Friday, October 21, 2005

The Global Mandate

The Web is worldwide. But you knew that. What's becoming more obvious lately, though, is how the "wordwide web" is impacting PR at all levels. It's impacting PR at all levels because it's impacting clients' sales processes at all levels.

I am not talking about the obvious stuff, i.e., "What's posted in Sheboygan is read in Shanghai," or about blogs or wikis & whatnot (though that's important stuff, once you think about the execution of global programs), but, rather, about the fact that PR programs of ever-smaller sizes must each consider an international component - because the Web is truly globalizing sales channels for companies of all sizes.

Not that long ago, most PR programs for our clients were strictly domestic; they'd hire agencies in other geographies, of course, but asked us only to help coordinate matters. A company with, say, $30M in revenues likely got most of their sales in the U.S., anyway, so that was the big part of the PR focus.

This is changing. The newfound, Web-powered ability of a $30M company to sell its stuff across the world as cost-effectively as a sale made across the street is creating a necessity for PR programs of all sizes to incorporate global programming.

First there was the boom. Then, the bust. Then the big companies figured out how to make real $$$ using Web technologies, and their funding of these initiatives created a spillover effect that's trickling quickly down the supply chain.

In the old days "they" (maybe that should be "we") would say that "A website can make a small company look as if they can compete with a FORTUNE 1000 powerhouse." I am not so sure that was ever true, but what is true is that the Web is allowing a small company to compete in all the same global markets as the Big Boys.

And that's why clients of all sizes - with budgets of $5K per month to $50K per month - ask us about how we'll handle the worldwide PR program.

An interesting challenge for 2006. I'm keen to take it on.


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