One of the key attributes of the PR business is the ability to follow current trends and to move ones business forward. This can be achieved through memberships in PR networks and cooperation among its members. While cooperation on the national level is fairly common, being involved with in an international PR network is the real deal. There are many international networks, organizations and associations in the field of public relations, but the seas can be rough and hard to navigate.
As we were considering joining an international network, we wanted to make sure we would be getting more than just a logo on a website. We wanted the participating agencies to actually be involved in real projects, to exchange knowledge and to get together on a regular basis.
Our very first meeting with Public Relations Network (PRN) members in Vienna was clear proof that we made the right choice. Representatives of PR agencies from several continents came to the event, allowing us to meet them in formal and informal settings and share information on the approaches and the many forms of PR campaigns employed in various corners of the planet.
As far as the current trends go, we agreed that clients no longer require only media relations; they are interested in integrated campaigns, counseling, and crisis consulting. Thanks to shared experiences from a variety of markets, we had the opportunity to rethink our services in new contexts and reassure ourselves that we are heading in the right direction. Even the very first feedback from abroad was very significant to us.
Photo: Veit Mathauer, Chairman of the Board at PRN, presents Petr Lesenský of LESENSKY.CZ with the agency’s PRN membership certificate
First cooperation with partner agencies
We learned a lot in September when we invited our colleagues from our Vienna-based partner, Milestones in Communication, to our office in Brno, Czech Republic. The main topic on the agenda for this meeting was Milestones’ proprietary ‘Webmonitor’ tool, which introduces new opportunities for media monitoring, social media blogs, and discussion forums. All communication activities can be monitored in real-time – which plays a key role in crisis communication. This was a chance for us to compare the functionalities and the user environment of Webmonitor with that of similar Czech tools.
Despite being a new member of PRN, we have had the opportunity to work with our German partner, Sympra GmbH, on media relations activities for an international technology company in the Czech market. We were also intrigued by the idea of the network’s international exchange program as we see great potential in sharing know-how and best practices in the field – be it for our student project, ‘PR Gang’, or for the continuous education of our agency’s account managers.
Photo: Petr Lesenský (left) and Roman Kučera (right) of LESENSKY.CZ with fellow PRN members at a client on-site visit during PRN’s last meeting in Vienna
International campaigns for clients
The most important strategic advantage of being a member of an international network such as PRN is the opportunity to offer to our clients international services and reach for PR campaigns. We have had clients in the past who requested just that, but in recent months the interest in this aspect has been growing. Now we can, through cooperation with the network’s partner agencies, offer and guarantee a professional approach based on familiarity with the specific nature and differences of individual markets.
Up until now we have been reluctant to participate in tenders where the conditions required international PR. Even though some of our clients are based in Sweden, Germany, France, and Poland, our campaigns abroad have, so far, been few and far between. Now we know we have found professional partners and colleagues in PRN who can always be relied on for large tenders or complex projects.
Since joining PRN in March, we have had several opportunities that have convinced us that we made the right decision. We are already looking forward to the next member meeting, scheduled to take place in Shanghai, China in February, 2020.