Think global - Go local!

Globalization, Internet, worldwide communication networks – and what do you think about all that? This is one of the most frequent questions we are asked when we discuss the global dimension of corporate communication with managers from so-called multinational companies. The solution is already in the name itself: multinational.

For European companies, whose integration capacity usually lags far behind the corporate culture of US companies, it means taking advantage of the disadvantage and use the multinational element in communication as a potential tool.

The company’s central communication should rely on local agencies, or on staff trained in the local market, in order to avoid serious communication mistakes and to get the necessary input for a adjusted international communication.

Of course, this sounds relatively simple. I hire an agency in country X, they then adapt my central communication and bring it to the media locally.

But let’s not forget the all-important issue, the work of international agencies and the international analysts and investors who don’t want to receive the same message in five different versions.

Think global – go local does not mean thinking nationally according to company headquarters and then selling this as global ideas. Think global – go local refers to sending and receiving messages, to input and output.

Only a company that has local eyes and ears can communicate meaningfully and achieve optimum results through press and media relations. In contrast to American corporate cultures come from the well-sold national culture, and its mixture, European companies have a broader national identity and can thus be much more easily accepted and understood as local players.

Taking local differences into account in communication means, above all, including such criteria into strategic considerations. Close cooperation with all local communication partners is therefore vital.

 From our April 2005 Newsletter

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