Letter from Mexico
by Laura Vanessa Munoz
I am from Mexico and work in Mexico City at an international PR firm; one of the big issues in Mexico applies to other Latin American countries, we are trying to understand how the media are changing.
Due to the economic crisis and the development of technology a lot of newspapers have already reduced their pages and magazines have moved to online versions, social media is slowly becoming an important channel to attract younger audiences and companies are slowly accepting the idea to have tactics with social media. All these changes represent opportunity for the PR industry, companies need better and more strategic communication with all their audiences and only PR can build those relationships companies need nowadays.
When you work in Mexico professionals face two different realities, one is the life style and behaviour in the big cities and the other is the life style and opinions from the small cities. Media and the way of doing business also change from state to state.
Having said that, people new to Mexico often think of the country as an under developed country, mostly because of Hollywood movies and so they often get wrong the perception of the life style of Mexicans, therefore they do not understand the way businesses are done or how to build relationships with media.
Most Mexicans are proud of their heritage and proud of their accomplishments. They know that there is much to do to improve life in Mexico, and they may sometimes criticise lots of different things about politics, religion and other social issues. Knowing that, if you are interesting in working in communications in this side of the world, realise that it is a country of many faces, show respect of their ideas and make proposals based on facts, don't bring a global strategy and pretend it is going to work as it worked somewhere else, instead bring the strategy and complement it with the experience of locals to increase the possibilities of success.
In my experience, PR activities are very similar around the world, however in Mexico the relationships you establish with media and your clients include knowing a bit more about their personal life, for example it is good to know if the editor of the top business magazine loves playing tennis but it is equally important to know if he/she is married, has children or not, or something about his/her parents or siblings; remember family is corner stone for the Mexican culture.