At Three Box, we live by the mantra, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” We like to think our highways, dinner plates and PR practices expand pretty far, but even we know our southern scope can’t compare to that of international PR pros.
Donna Coletti, PRSA Dallas president and former director of international communications and market research at Texas Instruments (TI) and Taylor L. Cole Longacre, APE, marketing and communications director at Expedia Group, recently spoke to PRSA Dallas NuPros about what it means to truly communicate internationally.
Turns out, every victory celebrated, crises juggled and project tackled had one common denominator – relationships. Below are some pieces of wisdom about international communications to keep in mind as you spin your globe.
Learn local, as in from the locals.
The internet is one of the most efficient tools for modern day research, but in this case, best practices in learning about local culture is to schedule a phone call, video conference or keep up with an email thread where you and a local contact can chat about everything from trends to cultural norms. Donna put it this way: “Culture is like an iceberg – you only see 10 percent.” So, break the ice and dive in.
Know the culture. Know yourself.
It’s important to be familiar with cultural norms, of course, but it’s equally important to know how you fit into that cultural mold. For example, if you know you have a direct, get-to-business personality by nature, keep a watchful eye on your actions and know that you may have to actively work to be a little less confrontational and strong when communicating with global contacts.
Remember your humanity.
While some cultural differences can seem as drastic as night and day, humanity connects us in a global way. At the end of it all, people crave community, kindness, laughter and friendship. If you spend time connecting with people, no matter where they are in the world, defeats become less sour and victories become even sweeter.