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Global Alliances, PR, and a 15 Billion Dollar Industry

A group of students from George Mason University visited the CIPR earlier this year to hear one of our committee members, Eva Maclaine FCIPR, speak about global PR practice. Here is a blog from one of the students.

By Sierra Fatlowitz

Communicating in the UK is like playing one big game of telephone for Americans. From attempting to ask for directions on the tube, to ordering a drink at a pub, you may not get quite what you asked for, and that’s okay!

The phrase, “People can be divided by a common language,” is relevant all over the world, especially while visiting new places. Generally, what we MEAN, what we SAY, and what they HEAR is often lost in translation along the way.

For Eva Maclaine, Founder of Maclaine Communications, building cross-cultural relationships is key to her success in international emerging markets. While the business is based in the UK, Maclaine Communications offers global public relations consulting services for crises, reputation management, and strategic business communications.

With a marketplace reaching over 15 billion dollars annually, global PR is transforming the landscape of business in 2018. Eva Maclaine utilizes the acronym of ROSIE to create business plans for her clients. Research, objectives, strategy, implementation, and evaluation are key to creating a successful public relations plan.

In research for a global market, Eva Maclaine says that is important to identify differences between local and international publics in order to create the best content tailored specifically to their interests and values.

For instance, without proper research, communicating with publics in India would prove to be quite difficult. With over 461 languages spoken, reaching a target audience in an appropriate way is important.

Eva Maclaine explained that sociocultural demographics and awareness can include things such as fashion, personal space, time, relationships, and sense of humor.

Running one universal advertisement for a car company with the tagline “Fit for a Queen” may not resonate with American customers the way it does with members of the United Kingdom.

The George Mason University student group at the CIPR with their tutor Suzanne Mims, Eva Maclaine and Oshin Sharma from CIPR International.
The George Mason University student group at the CIPR with their tutor Suzanne Mims, Eva Maclaine and Oshin Sharma from CIPR International.

More specifically, Eva Maclaine shared that research shows in comparison to North India, South India prefers coffee over tea. This means that publishing generic tea advertisements in India would have a difficult time reaching potential customers in South.

Eva Maclaine stressed the importance of utilizing the right channels for who you are trying to reach. Whether your publics are Fortune 500 CEO’s or teenagers from a small farm town, there is a way to reach them efficiently and effectively, so choose wisely.

She explained that Greece surprisingly favors using more digital media daily, while Germany continues to consume traditional media such as newspapers and television. Her point was that as PR professionals, we should not assume we have explored all options, and remember to look in unusual places.

In a Q and A with George Mason University students from Virginia, Eva Maclaine said that “To be a good PR professional, you need curiosity, and you need it in spades”.

Eva Maclaine ended her session with the students by offering 4 Common Reasons For Failure:

Eva Maclaine is a highly respected public relations professional, founding Maclaine Communications over 20 years ago. She works closely with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations as a Fellow, Elected Member of Council, and member of CIPR International and of the Professional Practices committee.


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