At the end of 2021, we won an exciting new client - a global plant-based meat brand - to deliver PR across Europe, starting with five countries – UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, managed by a central hub. It’s been a fantastic journey so far - helped by a very smart, friendly and open client. However, setting up five countries to activate and produce results quickly isn’t without its challenges.

There is a lot to do and consider when setting up multi-market PR teams - building the right team with the right skill set and personalities to suit the brand and client; setting up the account - the processes and the framework; building and delivering the PR plan and localising this across markets; delivering great work and results, not to mention finding a cadence that works for your client and your agency team.

Below are a few suggestions to help set up successful multi-country PR teams, based on our learnings over our 16 years in business running multi-market programmes from Japan to Africa to the Nordics.

(Really) getting to know each other - With different teams in different markets there’s a lot to consider - culture nuances, individual personalities, different ways of working or approaches. Some markets traditionally work faster than others, others slower, some are more reserved in working style than others - but this is what makes multi-market work interesting. Taking time to understand each local team's working style and embracing it is important to fostering a great working relationship.

Collaboration is key - Very often with multi-market set ups, it can feel like the hub is just a broadcasting channel for delivering client comms. With this client, we have worked closely with each market and the client to create highly localised content and activity that has landed particularly well, while still being on-strategy and telling the overarching brand story. Working closely with in-market teams to gain local insights produces better quality of work and is the key to winning at a local level. It also helps build client understanding and trust if you take them on the journey with you.

Autonomy within a framework - While effectively managing a number of countries efficiently means working within a tight framework and process, there needs to be a certain level of agility and autonomy within that framework to allow the local countries to shine and to operate in a way that works for them. By giving that autonomy and a voice leads to greater ideas, value sharing and ultimately better results.

Keeping processes simple - Obviously, process is highly important in a multi-market set up, but how much process is a good thing, before it becomes complicated, time consuming and not very cost effective? Luckily, our client is all about focusing on getting activity away to garner results, and as a result, we have set up some simple processes that keeps activity streamlined but is not too onerous for the teams to stick to. A lovely quick guide to the account in the form of a short handbook has kept processes on track with ease.

Sharing is caring - Sharing ideas, best practices and content across the 5-country network can really reap benefits. It not only saves time and keeps stories and messaging cohesive, it also fosters a sharing culture and an engaged network, allowing insights and ideas to flow from all corners.

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  • Nicky Regazzoni

Last week we were shortlisted for the PRMoment Independent Agency of the Year 2022 award.

The bad news: we didn't win. That glory went to the mighty agency which is Manifest. There were 8 agencies on the shortlist! Shows what we were up against. We were thrilled to make the cut.

The good news: we got the whole PRN team together for the first time since before Covid!

Every single social occasion we've planned since 2020 has been thwarted by one of our team or one of our 16 kids having the lurgy.

Despite Covid, 2021 was another big year for our agency; we retained all our 5 top accounts & won a major pan-European piece of business with a plant-based burger brand in Q4. So, while it would have been great to win, we were content to toast to our own achievements.

2022 has started strong. We've got plans to grow our permanent team and increase our footprint in Europe. Watch this space!

#pr #comms #awards

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I’ve always been a stickler for client services, but I suppose that’s why I love doing the role that I do. But over the years and the various client relationships I’ve encountered along the way, I’ve always found that some have flourished into beautiful long-term friendships whilst others have perhaps floundered by the wayside. But why is that?

Having thought on it further, I’ve boiled the success of the agency client relationship (and it is just that - a relationship, not a transaction) down to five key principles that have set us up for the best success. Having shared these with my LinkedIn network of colleagues, clients and peers they have also helped to hone these further (thank you, you know who you are).

  1. Open communications: It’s all about the relationship (much like a marriage, no less) with open and transparent communication whether it be ideas, challenges, commercials or something else. Listening and responding thoughtfully will gradually build up trust as well as mutual respect. As one colleague said, if you can get this part right, the rest will more easily follow. Being empathetic of your client means you should strive to see the world through their eyes and be willing to learn. Equally though, you should encourage them to understand your world if you are approaching this as a true partnership and ensure you are aligned on both sides to common goals, roles and responsibilities. More often than not, you can jump into a relationship without agreeing the terms of engagement which can lead to painful conversations further down the line if you’ve not agreed the boundaries up front.

  2. Provide value: Driving value-driven conversations where you constantly bring something new to the table whether it be a new idea, latest industry musings, different ways of working or providing an introduction. Demonstrating that you’ve been thinking about your client and that you truly understand their challenges goes a long way to being aligned. Investing in getting to know your client's business is an absolute must.

  3. Be accountable: Take responsibility for being accountable - if you say you’re going to deliver, deliver. If for whatever reason you can’t, manage it upfront. Complacency has no place in the relationship and if you rest on your laurels, you may be subconsciously nearing the end. Never take your relationship for granted and invest in delivering great work with your clients even if that means writing the brief yourself so you’re aligned and accountable.

  4. Quality of service: Linked to number three, but quality is a must - from solid campaign ideas to spelling checks and everything in between, make sure you consistently deliver top notch work. Straight-talking honesty goes hand in hand with letting the quality of the work take centre stage. There is no room for egos, so have a degree of humility in how you deliver your programmes so the best work shines through.

  5. Have fun: Sounds cliche, but we work quite a few hours in the day with our clients and if you can’t have a laugh along the way, then the relationship might not be for you. Yes, we’ve all got a role to play in the professional world, but it’s also good to celebrate success together, kick back and enjoy some social time together. We’re all humans after all.







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