Thursday, 5 March 2009

International PR and globalisation

International Public Relations (IPR) is an area that is still at its infancy, but in the future it cannot escape the global influence. The world is already becoming a small village, and what we see now is that public relations communication with international public is steadily becoming a reality both in big and small organisations. The convergence of new technologies, financial markets and globalisation of businesses is opening borders for public relations practice.

Similarly, international PR agencies play a significant role in the practice of IPR. With several networks across the globe, IPR agencies localise international campaigns as well as contributing a great deal to the globalisation of the practice. (Tench & Yeomans, 2006: p.120).

However, globalization has thrust public relations into the limelight providing new opportunities while posing immense challenges as well. There is likely to be a challenge of diverse cultures.
Although the world is becoming more and more interdependent to seek global solutions to problems, cultural diversity may also cause some misunderstandings. All this calls for better communication and it's important for public relations professionals to help organisations and businesses to think and act appropriately beyond the borders. Public relations practitioners must have an understanding of the culture in the country they are operating within and countries they collaborate with so as to be successful.

Wakefield R. (2000) in the book: Handbook of public relations, has outlined new ways of thinking that public relations people would require. In his chapter, Effective Public Relations in the multicultural organization, he quotes (Morley, 1998) as saying that: "what public relations needs is a 'paradigm shift' to reflect its emerging globalisation. This change should replace the misguided choices just described with a more comprehensive integrated approach to PR in the multinational." (P.641).

He goes on to explain that "international practitioners need to understand that it no longer is acceptable for corporations to impose their centralised mandates that do not fit local situations, as per the 'think global, act local' philosophies of the recent past.
Simply, local public relations activities must fit with the local community and still reflect the multinational’s core essence.

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