A step by step guide to planning international PR campaigns


Charlotte Corner


International SEO

Building brand awareness is a crucial step when launching into new global markets, and launching a digital PR campaign can help to build brand presence and place you in front of your target consumers.

However, different markets respond differently to PR and link-earning campaigns – what works in your native country may not get results elsewhere.

We’ve helped several enterprises successfully launch into international markets; while the tactics and campaigns themselves may differ depending on which market you are branching out into, the process involved in the planning and execution of the campaigns remains the same.

In this blog, we will run through the considerations and steps you’ll need to take before launching your international PR campaign.

1. Research the market

Having a comprehensive understanding of the market you are launching into is an essential first step to undertake before any ideation or planning begins; not all topics will be relevant or of interest to your new market, so something that has worked well in the UK may be unsuitable, or only applicable at certain times of the year.

While translators are able to carry out a media audit to see if a topic has been covered before, working with mother-tongue experts means you will have access to ‘insider knowledge’ of what the market interest is like and if a topic is culturally sensitive.

2. Pre-outreach your ideas

Once you have a campaign idea in place, and before you execute it, you should take steps towards qualifying whether it will bring in the results you are aiming for:

  • Consider all possible hooks and angles, and identify which types of publications you will be targeting
  • Seek out key journalists in these niches and pre-pitch the idea – this will provide feedback on if there is anything that needs to be changed or added in to make the campaign successful. It may also lead to journalists buying in to the story ahead of launch, and gives opportunity to provide exclusives.

3. Plan your timings

Tying in your campaign to national or international awareness days can create a hook that makes the story more newsworthy, so it’s important to identify these opportunities and plan the timings of the campaign around them if needed.

While some events make it more likely your campaign will be picked up, others may reduce the amount of resource journalists have to cover brand campaigns. Working with experts who understand the culture and are aware of important cultural dates will ensure your campaign is outreached at the best possible time.

 

4. Source data, experts and influencers to add value

The UK benefits from a wide range of publicly available national data which can be used to strengthen a PR campaign. In non-English speaking markets, this is not necessarily guaranteed so you may need to consider alternative data sources. This is particularly important if you have a UK campaign you want to  adapt and outreach across international markets, as the data will need to be localised to be relevant to the country you are outreaching to.

Utilising exclusive commentary from experts, influencers and authoritative bodies can add a layer of credibility to your campaign, making it easier to get buy in from journalists. This tactic is particularly useful in international markets where journalists place a stronger focus on reliable, accurate and representative information. As with the data, you will need to ensure the experts are local and relevant to each new market you outreach in.

5. Understand the media

Getting your story in front of the right journalist plays a large part in achieving coverage, so ensuring you have a well-structured, detailed media list is integral to the success of your PR campaign. Within the media list, you should have: each niche your campaign is relevant for, each publication within this niche you hope to secure coverage in, and the most relevant journalist along with their contact details. Some journalists like to receive pitches via email, while others prefer being contacted by phone or over social media; the preferred method for each contact should be noted in your media list.

Thoroughly researching the publications and journalists beyond their contact details can make the difference between getting coverage or getting blacklisted. Each pitch should be tailored to encompass how the publication covers a story, the types of headlines used, and the journalist’s interests and topics covered.

You will also need to understand the timings of editor’s newsroom meetings; the timings and frequencies of this may differ between countries, as well as between different publications within the same country.

6. Create an outreach strategy

Once you have a media list in place, you’ll need to plan your outreach strategy – a good place to start is by tiering the publications so that catalyst and high-authoritative sites are pitched to first. You may want to offer an exclusive or extended quotes and data to your wish list sites; if so, identify exactly what it is you will be offering as the exclusive so that the team knows not to send to the masses.

7. Get on board with time zones

If you are outreaching to markets in a different time zone, you’ll need to consider flexible hours during outreach to ensure your team can sell in the story before a publication’s media agenda has been set.

You will also have to assess whether someone will need to be on hand outside of office hours in case a journalist needs more information or has a question about your campaign.

Launching an international PR campaign can be more time consuming, as there is a greater level of research required to understand the market. We work with mother-tongue speakers who have ties to the culture, giving them a more compound understanding of the types of stories and campaigns that will secure coverage and links.

Thinking of expanding your brand? Why not get in touch and see how we can help.