International PR – does standardised communication work?

21 Jul

ImageHow important is it to take different cultures in consideration for PR practitioners? Is their role to work as cultural intermediaries or is international PR making standardized communication more important?

There are many theorists that debate the role of PR practitioners in todays global world. To see how PR is adapting to globalization, let me first give you a brief description of what global PR and International PR means.

Global PR means the internationalisation of the profession.

International PR however, is “ the planning and implementation of programs and campaigns carried out abroad, involving two or more countries (Tench and Yeomans, 2009).

When talking about International PR, it is important to look at the issue of PR practitioners working as cultural intermediaries. One can argue that PR practitioners have a role of being cultural intermediaries, because cultural differences can affect the relationship between the organization and its publics.

But in todays global world, is cultural differences no longer important to take in consideration for PR practitioners?

Andrew Wernick is one of the academics that think that we no longer need to be cultural intermediaries because of the globalization. He thinks that for example the ‘Americanization’ of brands is a good example of how integrated global brands can be around the world in different cultures.

However, I think that globalization does not have to mean homogenization of cultural views. I am sure that cultural differences will still be important to take into account. International campaigns are absolutely possible to conduct, but without an understanding of cultural differences they will not have the same success as they would with an adapted communication.

Just look at the example of Starbucks’ failed attempt to open a store in the Forbidden City in China in 1999.They were told by the Chinese to shut down the shop after a massive internet campaign against the opening of the outlet. If they had done proper research and taken cultural aspects into consideration while planning their opening, they would have learned that the Forbidden City is sacred for the Chinese and not a popular place to open a store that is not adapted to the Chinese culture.


I think that PR practitioners role as cultural in intermediaries is still important. International PR should consist of a mix of standardized and adapted messages to their different cultural audiences. They should have a clear understanding of the cultures they are communicating to, and mix global processes with local understanding.

Do you think global PR will decrease the importance of PR practitioners as cultural intermediaries?


Lecture notes, Michaela O’Brien University of Westminster, 2013

Gang, H. & Zhang, A (2009) Starbucks is forbidden in the Forbidden City: Blog, circuit of culture and informal public relations campaign in China.

Tench, R & Yeomans, L. (2009) Exploring Public Relations. 2nd ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

Wernick, A. (1991) Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression. London: SAGE

Images in courtesy of:,


10 Responses to “International PR – does standardised communication work?”

  1. facebook contact number April 10, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Thanks to my father who stated to me regarding this
    blog, this weblog is genuinely amazing.

  2. Silvia April 11, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    A person essentially assist to make critically posts
    I might state. This is the first time I frequented
    your web page and so far? I surprised with the research
    you made to make this actual post amazing. Excellent process!

  3. phaser 8560n April 11, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope
    you write again very soon!

  4. facebook applications April 17, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your site in
    web explorer, could check this? IE nonetheless is the
    market chief and a big component to people will pass over your great writing because
    of this problem.

  5. Abdul April 24, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail.
    I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  6. xerox 8560 printer April 25, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    That is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

  7. Private Cloud Computing April 25, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    Great work! This is the type of information that are meant to be shared around the net.

    Disgrace on Google for not positioning this put up upper!
    Come on over and consult with my site . Thanks =)

  8. best web hosting for small business uk May 6, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    Wow, superb blog structure! How lengthy have you been running a
    blog for? you make blogging glance easy. The total look of
    your website is fantastic, as smartly as the content material!

  9. xerox 8560 phaser May 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now 😉

  10. financial aid July 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    I simply could not leave your web site prior to suggesting that I actually loved the
    usual information an individual provide in your visitors?

    Is gonna be back often in order to investigate cross-check new

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: