Regional differences, same results
True story: A young man worked in a global IT company in the late ’90s, which at that time only had a few employees in the Czech Republic. Having had a very successful year, the budget for PR was $250,000. Big money for us. No one at the branch knew what PR was. The young man said to himself: “So if it’s such a nice budget, I’ll set up a PR agency!”
The agency was formed, the global IT company was its first client and more were soon added. The agency has become one of the leading PR agencies specializing in the IT segment. At that time, I also started working for the agency. At Christmas 2004, a young man, the founder of the agency, went to Thailand for Christmas.
Tsunami… More than 230,000 people died… He was one of them…
Together with another colleague, we continued the work of the agency.
In 2007, I travelled to the UK to meet our UK partner, Whiteoaks. I was very nervous. The boy “from the East” had to present for the first time in his life to colleagues “from the West”. In English. At the same time, I was worried that I would make everyone laugh, I thought that we did PR differently.
But I had a smile on my face when I left. I met a lot of great people, I still enjoy meeting many of them to this day. But most importantly, I found out that we have exactly the same experience (with journalists), whether we are from England, France, Poland, Italy, Spain or the USA. That PR is simply a craft.
Since then, all the meetings I’ve had with Whiteoaks have the confirmation that we do PR the same. Sure, there are differences. Especially in the way agencies are organized. Some are large and have fixed rules, others are smaller and work more on the family principle. We are currently a micro agency with lots of experience.
A few days ago, I read a book written by a long-time economic journalist. He dedicated it to “all PR managers”. Chapters like “100 myths about PR, journalists and the media”, “20 scarecrows of every journalist”, “10 things to please journalists” or “30 journalistic and PR stories” reveal the work of PR professionals in great detail and are often not exactly supportive of our field.
Nevertheless, after reading the book, I had a similar feeling as after the first meeting of Whiteoaks: all the mistakes and bad things that the author describes do not concern us. Looks like we’re still doing our job well.
Therefore, I am very happy if I have the opportunity to work on projects with other colleagues from Whiteoaks. I know that I work with professionals and that success always comes. It is always only a matter of time because each (media) market has its specifics.
By Boris Keka, Partner, Move up