How to run an international PR campaign

For a comms or PR director, choosing your agency is a big deal. It’s an important choice that you need to get right, and will have a direct impact on your success over the coming months and years.

A range of factors might influence your decision: budget, skills and expertise, agency vision and – often crucially – relationship and chemistry.

But for EMEA and global comms directors whose roles cover multiple regions, the process is more complex. Before choosing agencies, you need to make a fundamental decision about your global PR strategy. Do you choose:

  1. One, wholly-owned, agency relationship; a big brand with offices in multiple international locations
  2. A best-of-breed network approach…
  3. Or a hybrid approach, by picking both a single agency that covers one specific region, as well as independent agencies dotted strategically across other regions

There are merits in all three options, as well as complications. While global consultancies offer scale, they are often born out of one location and so may lack the local knowledge that networks benefit from. They’re also less likely to offer bespoke, specialist services due to more of a one-size-fits-all approach.

A good network unites a string of independent agencies under an agreement to work together for clients in order to deliver shared objectives and goals. Each agency is a specialist in its own region, with the insight to provide valuable consultation, and deliver campaigns that are tailored to the local audience. There’s more flexibility to try different strategies in different regions.

One concern with a network is that comms will be disjointed; that different agencies will struggle to maintain consistency in messaging, or fail to hit shared deadlines. What is often needed in this case is for one of the agencies to offer centralised management, reporting and coordination. A service that Octopus Group provides.

We are a founding member of ION. Launched in 2007, ION consists of 40 technology-focused marketing comms agencies in 30+ countries.

We provide clients with senior teams from trusted, owner-managed agencies around the world. Whatever the model and scale, we’ve got the relationships, reporting and content-rich campaigns to land your message internationally.