Chile – Recognized by Investors Around the World

February 26 2024

Faces and Markets of PRGN is a new series of blog posts in 2024 that puts PRGN member agencies and their markets in the spotlight.

Each week, expect to read about a market from an economic, business and communications point of view, brought to you by the very people living and working on the ground in that country, state or region.

The blog pieces illustrate the vast amount of in-depth knowledge of business, media, communications and marketing PRGN brings together having presence in more than 40 countries and 70 cities on six continents through its member agencies globally.

In this week’s blog post, Valentina Giacaman, Founding Partner of RumboCierto Comunicaciones in Santiago, Chile, describes the business and communications environment in her home market and offers advice for businesses to navigate there.

Business environment in Chile

Chile is still one of Latin America’s most stable and prosperous nations, with strong regulations of its markets and great economy for the last 30 years. Many foreign companies choose Chile as a platform to invest in the Andes region.

It has been recognized by investors around the world thanks to its large mineral reserves, its energy potential and for being one of the 15 leading food exporting countries on the planet. This has been achieved through the signing of 26 international agreements and anti-double taxation treaties with 64 countries representing 86.3% of the world’s GDP.

Santiago Chile
Santiago, Chile | Photo by Chalo Gallardo on Unsplash

Chile’s unusual shape ranges from the world’s driest desert – the Atacama – in the North, through a Mediterranean climate in the center, to a snow-prone Alpine climate in the South, with glaciers, fjords and lakes. This unique landscape has generated huge potential for tourism. It won the Tourism Oscar for the second consecutive year as the Best Green Destination in the World. The award given by the World Travel Awards adds to the recognitions awarded as Best Romantic Destination and Best Adventure Tourism Destination in South America.

However, while ten years ago Chile ranked among the first 10 countries in the Economic Freedom Index, in 2023 it was listed at the 22nd place. This is in part for the constitutional uncertainty provoked by two constitutional referendums, in which Chile became the first country in the world to reject two new constitution-drafts in a row.

Communications, media and PR market in Chile

Chile has solid, serious traditional media, with seniority and experience and recognized prestige throughout Latin America, such as El Mercurio newspaper chain. Because it is a country that does not exceed 20 million inhabitants, it does not have many media outlets, and the country’s population prefers to be informed via radio, written press, television and digital media.

Business journalism has been around for decades in this country and that tradition allows companies to communicate their results and announcements in serious channels, always finding space for good stories. This has encouraged transparency and openness in corporate communications.

Key expertise of RumboCierto Comunicaciones

1) Public positioning of foreign companies that enter the Chilean market. Given our experience with international clients, we have successfully accompanied many foreign companies to enter Chile successfully. Our prestige and experience support us.

2) Media Management. Since our company was founded by journalists who had worked at the country’s main media outlets, we know the vision and ethics of the media and we know how to successfully place our clients’ stories.

3) Crisis Management and Advice. No company is exempt from crises, which is why a fair relationship with the media, transparency in communication and adequate strategic advice are always the best allies of a company.

4) Knowledge of the market, the functioning of institutions and the stakeholders for your business.

Top 3 advice for foreign companies navigating the communications environment in Chile

1. Have a strategic ally in the country who knows in depth how the laws, media, institutions and markets work.

2. Do not try to reproduce successful strategies from other countries, they may not work in Chile if they are copied verbatim.

3. Seek dialogue, integration and long-term sustainability as business trends for a country that coexists with indigenous communities and extensive protected green areas.

Most influential media for corporate and consumer communication in Chile

Newspapers “El Mercurio” – with more than 100 years of history to date – and “La Tercera” are the most influential in the country. TVN and T13 are among the terrestrial television networks that have anchor newscasts. The same goes to news radios such as Bio Bio, Agriculture, cooperative, Pauta, Duna, Infinita and Universo, and online media such as Emol, El Mostrador, among others. As well as a wide variety of online niche magazines.

The most popular social media channels in Chile

YouTube: 15.4 million users. A fundamental tool for many marketing strategies, depending on the type of product or service that companies want to promote or showcase.

Facebook: 12.5 million users. Once the most popular social media platform in Chile. It is still popular among younger audience, but it’s expected to lose market share in this segment, while remaining popular among adults and elderly people.

Tik Tok: 11.3 million users. Used by younger people. Its format of short videos has been copied by other platforms, and it could be the format of the future.

Instagram: 10.9 million users. It is projected to overtake Facebook by the number of users by 2028.

LinkedIn: 6.9 million users. In Chile, unlike in the U.S., LinkedIn serves primarily as a platform for business recommendations and not so much as a job seeking space.

X (formerly Twitter): 3.6 million users. Its number is projected to stay stable in next years. Stagnation is due to perceived violence on the platform and a growing presence of bots. However, X remains a top source of breaking news (often including fake news) and complaints from clients on companies.

Pinterest: 3.5 million users. Despite its potential for digital marketing, Pinterest remains relegated among preferences by the public.

Snapchat: 1 million users. Its use has been decreasing over time and it lost market share to TikTok.

Most important international events in Chile in 2024

VIÑA DEL MAR INTERNATIONAL SONG FESTIVAL (FEBRUARY): It is the most popular cultural event in Chile. Beyond the artistic aspect, this festival has such significance at the local level that it has never been detached from the political and social context of the country. 

PRESIDENT’S PUBLIC SPEECH OF JUNE: It is a public ceremony in which the President of the Republic delivers a speech before the Full Congress, to inform the country about the administrative and political state of the nation. Since 2017, it takes place on June 1 each year.

MUNICIPAL AND REGIONAL ELECTIONS (OCTOBER): The elections would be a test for Gabriel Boric’s administration and a demonstration of political force ahead of 2025 Presidential elections. These are elections in municipal (lowest) and regional (highest) administrative levels of the country.

Chile in Numbers*

Population 19 million
Languages spoken Spanish
Religions (% of population) 52% Catholic, 37% No Religion, 9% Protestant
GDP per capita (in USD): $15,000 (2022)
(Real) GDP growth rate: 2.4% (2022)
Inflation rate: 11.6% (2022)
Unemployment rate: 7.8% (2022)
Key sectors and industries (% of GDP) agriculture: 4%, industry: 32%, services: 54% (2022)
Mobile penetration (per 100 people) 135 (2022)
Internet users (% of population) 90% (2021)
Corporate profit tax: 27% (2023)
Consumer tax or VAT: 19% (2023)
Valentina Giacaman
Founding Partner, RumboCierto Comunicaciones

Valentina Giacaman Hazboun is the founder of RumboCierto Comunicaciones, which operates locally but with important relationships and clients globally, including prestigious corporations, public agencies, foundations, and executives. Valentina has a degree in Social Communication from the Universidad de Concepción (Journalist) and an MBA from the Universidad del Desarrollo, she graduated from the Corporate Governance program of the ESE Business School. 

Valentina has in-depth experience in media, as she has worked at the business section of El Mercurio for a decade. She has served as executive director of Bethlehem Foundation in Chile and as communications manager at an investment bank.

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