International Communications Tip #1

The objective of international communications is to portrait a consistent image of a corporation (or a brand) in varying cultural contexts. Often this is mistaken with trying to portrait an identical image – which is not only an impossible task, but would most likely even harm the organization’s success. For example, being a distinctively ‘american company’ might be a great asset in some markets, but less so in others; dedication to environmental soundness may be highly relevant in many markets but completely irrelevant in others. This is not to say communications should put forward outright different characteristics in different environments – since that would create a range of inconsistent local images, and thereby minimize the benefits of an international recognition. But one should be careful in prioritizing the different elements of a corporate DNA, according to their specific local relevance. In a metaphor: if your corporation was an elephant, you’d want to be perceived as an Indian elephant in India, and as an African elephant in Africa.

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