Posts Tagged ‘Porter Novelli’
Thank you for attending the Porter Novelli Traffic Jam social event on Sunday, 12 May. We hope you enjoyed the short film, the atmosphere, the entertainment and, of course, the company. We look forward to welcoming you at one of Porter Novelli’s future events!
The PN team
* Please don’t hesitate to contact Yasmina Plas, PR & Marketing Manager at Porter Novelli on email@example.com should you want high resolution pictures or if Porter Novelli can be of any service. * Photos taken by http://www.brunocornil.be/
By Jurgen Mortier
Today, we live in a world where we are connected with friends and colleagues in every corner of the world. The digital media are providing us a huge amount of opportunities to share our most individual expressions and views on life, trends, kids or even more serious subjects like business. Even with those instant digital social interactions, it strikes me that, every now and then, we do need to get together with colleagues and business partners to share our knowledge and experiences by means of seminars and conferences.
Last week Porter Novelli organised a Global Conference for 170 managers worldwide in Coral Gables, Miami. I know, there are worse places in the world to attend a 3 day conference. Typically these kind of conferences are packed with breakfast sessions, presentations, workshops, receptions and dinners. No time to have a quick break or dive in the swimming pool.
This one was no different. But to be honest, I like the fast pace of these conferences: day and night blur into each other, the small amount of sleep you get is very intense and makes you drive on adrenaline. And that to me is the ultimate measure of a good conference: the vibes that you capture and exchange with hundreds of familiar and new faces from Beijing over Brussels to Buenos Aires.
Mark Goldstein, Vice-Chairman of BBDO North America, was one of the speakers who was able to energize the conference from day one with an interactive session about “Making The Tough New Business Decisions”. Before the conference all delegates were asked to read a case study about a high stake and unusual new business situation that happened with BBDO. The case study in itself was great but it got even more interesting when we were asked with a group of 12 people to decide what we would do in such a situation. The decision had to be made in 30 minutes. If only we would make those kind of tough decisions as quick in real life.
For governments, brands and companies, the ability to interact with target audiences on- and offline has become crucial. Increasingly sophisticated consumer engagement is leading to greater understanding, respect, loyalty and comprehension. And as more and more conversations and social interactions move online, we see more companies and brands doing a magnificent job of engaging loyal followers with digital and mobile technologies. However, many of the same organizations that enjoy tremendous success in America often struggle in Europe. Here’s why.
On a continent like North America, online engagement is relatively efficient and cost effective. A substantial amount of consumers can be reached, from coast to coast, in a single country (the U.S.), and in a single language (English). Adding just one country (Canada) and two languages (Spanish and French), provides access to most of the entire continent.
For metrics tools, conversation starters and community managers, three languages to engage and measure allows for profitable opportunities to scale online influence programs. In Europe, though, it becomes much more complicated—with 750 million people scattered over 44 different autonomic countries, each with its own set of laws, socio-cultural habits and ethno-historic sensitivities. From the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains, and from the North Pole to Gibraltar, roughly 70 different languages are spoken. To read and write in all of them, you need to be fluent in five distinct alphabets (Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Armenian and Georgian).
This makes online influencing and community engagement fairly complicated. Economies of scale and reusing existing material becomes virtually impossible. Messages and message delivery vehicles need to be adapted to the local language and cultural needs. Messages not only need to be translated, they need to be rewritten.
Even in smaller countries like Belgium and Switzerland, communication needs to be done in three different languages, which has severe implications on timelines and budgets. Compounding the challenges, big international metrics tools are often unable to filter out all of the semantic sensitivities of these 70 European languages, or simply do not have enough volume to give accurate analysis—enhancing the importance of local tools, and demanding a higher human involvement throughout the process.
Effective community engagement in Europe requires small, dedicated and integrated teams that can take an organization’s concept and strategy and tailor it for the local country. These teams must work hands-on with the tools that are most relevant for each European region, which are often quite different from the big global players. For instance, it’s impossible to reach the Dutch through Facebook, because they’re on Hives. And Poland has at least four different equivalents of Twitter.
To build global communication strategies, it is important to involve people who have in-depth knowledge of their region from the very beginning. All too often, compelling strategies and tactics conceived far from the actual countries where they will be implemented prove to be impossible to execute.
To successfully bridge Europe’s multicultural, multilingual diversity, it is far more effective to build communications strategies up from local insights and understanding. As many organizations continue to discover, in Europe, an overarching, top-down approach to consumer engagement often gets lost in translation.
(this post is part of Porter Novelli’ s “intelligence” series. Find the complete series here)