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Wide-ranging cultural distinction has greatly influenced the evolution of communications companies offering public relations services throughout the western hemisphere. This divergence has yielded incredibly singular methodologies and styles. While Brazil, for example, exhibits a focus on media relations derived from years of dealing with the press, other countries may have matured differently. In its present incarnation, the service-focused Brazilian public relations industry differs greatly from its American counterpart. The north-American style can be characterized by the widespread use of technology and strategic planning. American companies utilize brand strength and the reputation of the public relations firm as strategic pillars.
These firms create comprehensive campaigns, with an approach similar to advertising, accentuating and building on the institution they promote and not the customer they are trying to reach. The Brazilian media is overflowing with overwhelming enthusiasm and plenty of talent to cover events and produce great stories. However, it often uses inaccurate figures in its news coverage. It is aware of the inaccuracy of the information, mainly because the media itself is the principal data source. Consequently, because it believes that the information is basically incorrect, the media chooses to attribute little weight to numbers and surveys. A lack of time for larger research efforts pushes it toward sensationalism and a focus on what is readily available. The function of a press release, an elaborate text written by press relations and given to the journalists, is to provide information and can be very useful in industries that are exceptionally technical and have little competition.
The press release may appear to be good for the client at first, but it leaves the media uninspired. It is important to realize the importance of concretizing interesting stories for clients and the general public. Doing so will inevitably lead to great business. Regarding this case, the media expectations management is a Public Relations Professional mission. In the United States, the media appears to be emotionally cooler and there is a clear inclination for news at a global scale.
On the other hand, when the news is of national importance, the excessive details, tiring profundity and repetitiveness of the American news report stresses-out the audience. The American news media seemingly neglect creative idea generation and see themselves as fact-based reporters that work like criminal investigators. A Public Relations professional is north American a real spin doctor, and need to make the client understand that the media cover has opinion, and is not a servant to do what the client want.
Latin America, on the other hand, has a more traditionalist media, that can be motivated or disenchanted by its own economic situation and by its political environment. In most countries, the existence of an active commercial media trading market makes public relations more difficult. It is important to avoid playing the media game and trying to make the client look good in editorials. Creativity is fundamental in this market. Interest in a client’s news should be generated through the power of persuasion and not by purchasing editorials. If the media gets addicted to such practices their might be a negative impact on how the message is absorbed. It is crucial that the advertising that shapes public opinion be in line with the mission and overall strategy of the company. When well controlled, the power of the media yields credibility and provides the consumer, client or vendor with tangible commercial results. But it is crucial to take advantage of key moments. A good public relations professional is able to encourage these moments and convince the client to use the effect of the projected stories for their benefit. If this isn’t done properly, the work losses its value and the result may be a horizontal clipping in the newspaper. Fernanda Di Franco is a global media consultant and Journalist covering New York, Washington D.C. , Florida and Brazil.