Conquering the new frontiers of tech

Are you thinking of targeting different territories with your PR strategy? Or do you simply want to expand your audience in new regions? For most companies, international PR means developing their presence in Western countries or across the ocean, depending on their headquarters. However, you might be surprised of the wealth of opportunities if you venture further.

Here Georgiana Marian, multilingual account executive at Stone Junction, explains why you should consider Central and Eastern Europe as the next PR destination.

Central and Eastern Europe – who?

Central and Eastern Europe — or CEE — is a complex yet geographically unclearly delimited region. As the OECD definition has it, the CEE region stretches from the Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — all the way through Poland, Hungary and Romania on the east. Despite being a vast region, you should reflect on where your interests lie before sketching a PR campaign.

Even though digitalisation and globalisation have made it easier to penetrate these new markets, planning your strategy and doing your local research is important to avoid a PR failure. Besides language barriers, business culture can be significantly different, which makes research crucial.

So why should you do PR in CEE?

The region’s tech landscape is developing at a fast pace, while PR is still in its infancy here. Doing PR here could put you in a good place to inform how the industry develops, but it could also mean less competition and therefore more success in getting the interest of relevant media contacts.

Besides economic, social and infrastructure development in each country, CEE has often been referred to as a “tech hotbed” or “the next Silicon Valley” due to its fast technological advancement. This means the population is already quite tech-savvy and eager for innovation, which could boost your presence.

For advertorials, if your budget is limited, but expansion is one of your goals, CEE is ideal. You can expect to pay a few hundred euros for coverage in national and trade media, compared to hundreds or thousands for a page-long appearance in a Western outlet. Many magazines will publish content in English, which will reduce translation costs and ensure a pan-European online presence for your company.

How to be successful?

A first important step towards a successful PR campaign in CEE is knowledge of the region. For starters, learn the difference between Bucharest and Budapest. At a more serious level, it is important to know about the country or countries you wish to target and to understand your audience. The region shares some similarities in how PR works, but you should be mindful of the differences.

One such similarity is the level of personal communication. Communist pasts and corruption often make CEE companies distrustful of institutions or big corporations. The key is to connect with the clients and editors at a personal level, for example through a multilingual PR person. Speaking the language is a plus, but reading about cultural aspects or regional news will certainly make a difference in building a relationship.

Creativity is also essential for PR success in CEE. Don’t be afraid to be bold and innovative in your PR message. Because the PR and marketing industry has only been in place for around 30 years, companies often feel the need to catch up with their Western counterparts. Campaigns need to be dynamic and create instant impact, rather than long-term brand identity.

This is why simply translating your message in the regional language won’t cut it. You need to tailor it and add context, for example by incorporating statistics or recent national news in your press release or blogpost.

Due to the increased level of digitalisation in the region, online coverage is more valuable than print one. This means that you might want to measure your success through online readership or social media distributions, rather than number of print clippings.

At Stone Junction, we make international campaigns meaningful through our multilingual employees, who currently speak eight different languages. If Central and Eastern Europe is on your PR radar, we’ve got you covered.

To find out more about ways we can help you do outstanding PR in these regions, e-mail or call +44 01785 225416.

About the author

Georgiana Marian
Georgiana Marian - BA, MCIPR
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