When US companies decide to go global, Europe is often the first port of call. Understanding that the market has many complexities – whether multiple countries, many different languages, an intricate and fragmented earned and social media landscape, and cultural sensitivities and nuances – means that many savvy communicators decide to approach the UK as a gateway to this new continent.
As a result, the UK can frequently take on the role as the regional hub, asked to help build a fit-for-purpose agency network that will make an impact for clients wanting to grow into Europe and further afield.
When building a global agency network, it’s critical to find agency partners that will go beyond delivering tactical execution. Ultimately, the global success of the PR network is a shared commitment to creating and delivering better stories for bigger impact.
We have built a strong Brands2Life Global Network, made up of like-minded, ambitious and entrepreneurial owner-managed and independent agencies. Here are three of our key considerations when looking to establish a global agency network:
- Be cautious of the wholly-owned network pitch. Yes, we are biased, because of our own set-up where we choose to work with best-of-breed independent agency partners. Unlike many global firms, we will not just put forward the wholly-owned local office despite any inherent reservations around their capabilities. We choose the best partner for you and your business in each region, with the relevant expertise, experience, and without conflicts.
- Listen to your in-country agency partners. They are experts in what resonates in their market. In the right relationship, they will want to deliver great work for you and will advise on how to make this work. Whether it’s highlighting cultural sensitivities, advising on the ideas and stories that will gain traction in individual markets or how best to engage with journalists, their local insights will help your campaign bear fruit globally.
- Build opportunities for collaboration. Having invested in an expanded team and pool of talent, there is so much more you can achieve than relying on them simply for tactical execution. Find ways to play back creative ideas across the network and incorporate those into your EMEA or global content investments.
For more of our best practice principles, check out the original blog from Fiona Goldsworthy, Head of Global at Brands2Life.