German & UK comms – why we’re not so different
This blog post is by Louise Watson from the Brands2Life Global team
This week, I was able to come and visit Adel & Link in Frankfurt through Brands2Life’s global partner network. During my visit, it provided a great opportunity to understand and see first-hand how PR and comms differentiates in Germany compared to the UK – and Christoph from Adel & Link has previously touched upon this when he came to work at Brands2Life’s offices last November. Whilst you hear about the different ways of operating in different countries, it’s interesting to see how things actually work on the ground.
What was surprising to me from my experience over the last few days, is how we approach communications in the same way, however go about executing things in slightly different ways. Here are three things which I discovered have similarities, but also have variations, so you must be aware of how to address them from country to country.
1. It’s all about relationships – In the UK, we really focus on developing relationships with journalists so we are their first point of call when they have a story to write. We take them out for lunches and drinks after work to understand a bit more how they run their news agenda. Unlike the UK where most publications are based in London, in Germany a lot of the national newspapers are spread out across all the different regions, making it a lot harder to do so. However, it’s important to still develop relationships with the journalists and create personalised pitches. Similarly to the UK, media publications are keen on spokesperson interviews so having access to these people and their availability is key. Networking is a great way to find out about inspiring people and what they are doing in their different fields to disrupt the industry. Adel & Link has its annual Trendvernissage event coming up in November so be sure to check it out to meet some interesting people, as well as discover some new and upcoming trends.
2. Technology is impacting every industry – Adel & Link has some great clients like Glassdoor, Ikea and Visa. Whilst these clients operate in different industries such as retail, home and lifestyle, workplace benefits and financial services, technology is playing a part in every single one. For example, homes are now becoming smarter and the financial services industry is taking more and more advantage of contactless technology. Whilst the UK is very much moving towards being a cashless society, Germany is a bit slower when it comes to adopting these new mobile ways of paying – and it’s important to consider these aspects if delivering a global brief. At Brands2Life, we work with companies in similar industries in both B2B and B2C fields. All over the world, different industries are being affected by the rise of new innovations, and, through collaborating on insights from our partners, we must take on board the effect this has on our clients, prospects and their future.
3. The political agenda will always influence news – In light of Brexit and with the upcoming German, French and US elections, it’s more important than ever to retain an outward looking focus – especially for international companies we work with. With the widely changing political landscape, having local expertise with a global understanding is really important, as the political agenda in every country has an impact on our clients. With more countries going ‘right wing,’ further collaboration and co-operation across the globe – and particularly across Europe – will offer a more open and collaborative approach to any campaign.
As an independent agency in the UK, we’re lucky enough to choose our own global partners across Western and Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, and North and South America – and are pleased to be working with the Adel & Link team! It’s great to be able to share the different insights from each country to better deliver on global client campaigns – whilst having the people who speak the language on the ground to execute them. I am very grateful that our partner agency has given me the opportunity to work with them and I look forward to working together on cross-border client projects in the future!