The Public Relations Global Network recently had nearly 30 agencies attend its twice-yearly international conference in Dubai representing more than 15 countries and 7 states in the U.S. The conference identified several trends in the global communications marketplace that are worth noting. Some of these takeaways include:
Visual communications is almost as common as written content. More agencies are becoming full-service boutique firms and have added new communications resources to accommodate the growing needs of clients, such as video, photography, design, web, and SEO.
PR partners are sharing clients. As technology grows, and it is becoming that much easier to do business in multiple cities throughout the world, more firms are continuing to partner in various cities, making the localization of PR (and the PRGN concept) a true competitive advantage in business.
In-person meetings are still important. Face-to-face relationships are still extremely important to influencing business collaborations and growth efforts throughout multiple societies and cultures. Meeting in Dubai re-affirmed the value of face-to-face engagement between member principals.
Finding good talent at the junior level is a challenge. Most firms who are hiring are having a hard time finding professionals with 2-4 years of public relations experience. Anyone searching for a job in any of PRGN’s markets should reach out to PRGN’s leadership online via various social media channels such as twitter.
Local relationships are key: Personal relationships also remain a pivotal component of media, social and business relations in each market. The PRGN’s local presence remains a key resource that the network’s members deliver to clients looking to reach their targets in markets around the world.
Emerging markets: there are a number of key emerging markets around the world, like Cape Town, South Africa, where PRGN’s local knowledge in these key markets sets it apart when it comes to the network’s ability to leverage global resources on a moment’s notice.
24-hour coverage is a growing opportunity. Given PRGN’s worldwide reach, when one agency is asleep during the night, another agency on the opposite end of the world is working away. In an age where a global company may need 24 hour support, the PRGN 24/7 operations is an opportunity for companies who have 24/7 communication needs.
Global economy is stretched thin. The world’s economy is suffering in some places but not everywhere, while the U.S. economy remains strong. In particular, the impact of Syria’s refugees on European countries is making it extremely challenging for Europe. For example, Hungary recently posted a fence around its borders. Austria ships refugees to Germany. And Germany welcomes 10,000 refugees a day. Regardless of the economy, most PRGN firms are optimistic about a good end to 2015; and a strong opening in 2016.
Dubai is doing its best to become a global mecca. While many of our PRGN members questioned the visit to Dubai, we had a strong showing in the country. What we realized on the ground is that the country is certainly quite safe. It is extremely modernized. And the leadership is doing its hardest to invest in the future. With cranes and new construction everywhere, Ferraris as police vehicles and tourism increasingly becoming a larger part in the Dubai marketplace, doing business within Dubai is something all businesses should consider.
Enjoying each other is a priority. PRGN is together twice a year in various cities around the globe. The time we spend together is essential to the real-life working scenario – it fosters good business acumen, team sharing and client success stories. ROI is so important but getting there together is even more important.