Are we ready for a career in international public relations? Public relations majors learn a lot of skills in school. They learn how to write, how to think, how to acquire the skills to persuade and how to get their messages across in the best and most effective way. They learn about journalism and how to deal with the media, how to utilize social media to work in their favor and how to communicate effectively. ALL within the scope of our laws, cultures, customs, and traditions.
But are we going to be limited to only where we live when we graduate and get a job? For those who are from Ann Arbor, are you going to find your dream job in Ann Arbor? Most probably, not! At least not if you want to work for a big company, and explore more opportunities for your career advancement.
According to Think Public Relations by Wilcox, Cameron, Reber, and Shin, “hundreds of corporations based in the united states have been engaged in international business operations, including marketing, advertising and public relations.” Most big companies in the US has international offices and various different relations with other countries around the world. So, at any given time during our career, we should expect to deal with some kind of international client or international assignment. What do we know about other cultures? Almost nothing!! The following link is to a very interesting article about global public relations.
What skills do we need to know and are those skills on the national level or can they also work on the international level? Do we know everything we need to know or is there anything else that we need to learn outside of the classroom.
So often, we expect that other countries around the world to be similar to our believes, tradition and customs. What we don’t know is that, every country is completely different than the other and that even within a country people can vary drastically. For example, it does not make any sense if we start marketing a Ford F150 in Manhattan to bank executives, Wall Street managers and CEOs. Which car will make sense to market over there? Probably a mercedes or a BMW.
One of the most successful slogans for BMW in the middle east was “We do not claim perfection but we always try to be as close” This slogan is not just a slogan. BMW did thier HW and knew that in muslim countries, people believe that nothing is perfect, whether a person or a product, nothing what so ever is perfect. Perfection is a word that is only reserved for God. So, here, BMW understood the culture, sent the right message and got the results they wanted to. PR practioners should know a lot of things about everything, it is a hard job to do but I personally like the challenge and I believe that a good PR professional is the one who turn any problem around to the company’s favor.
I think that PR students should learn about cultures and traditions as much as they learn about writing and persuasion. It will be very beneficial if PR curriculums had some kind of cultures of the world class to be taken as a mandatory class. It will be also very good if something similar to that is applied to cultures of the US.