Many who have considered public relations as a career path have also looked at International Relations. These two subjects find a happy medium in international PR. Working in international PR, however, requires that the professional take a variety of other aspects into consideration, whether they’re working in-house for an international company, or an agency with a variety of international accounts. Consider the following:
- Language barrier: Though anyone studying communication should be proficient in at least another language, International public relations calls for a fluency, or at least a deep understanding of the language with which you want to work. Inflections, colloquialisms, and idioms are all aspects of language that may help the client build a more effective connection.
- Culture: There are certain gifts and gestures that may be considered highly offensive to your client, for example, and that is why understanding the culture you are doing business within is key to building strong relationships with these clients.
- Location: Understanding the influences from the surrounding countries can be important in building campaigns for certain sectors of the country.
- Competition: With respect to the rest of the world, where does your client stand in PR? How developed is their history? And with respect to their neighboring countries, where do they rank? Do your homework before getting involved with representing a foreign account; it will help design programs that might take the world by surprise, exceed expectations, or improve and mature the PR sector of any international account.
Whether you choose to specialize in international public relations or work in an agency in which international clients are abundant, be familiar in these practices. Other ways to prepare yourself for an international account include studying abroad, or taking anthropology/sociology/psychology classes that focus on other cultures, to better understand your clients and their vision to communicate effectively with their audiences.