Cultural Sensitivity: PR 101

Culturally Sensitive Media?

Are you getting ready to expand your public relations reach? Maybe you’re considering developing meaningful relationships with cultural specific media outlets, such as Asian America, an NBC TV or Telemundo. These American-based news shows speak to specific cultural communities; many of whom may not speak English. To be successful, become familiar with the cultural norms and expectations of the group of people you want to make contact with. Take time to find out understand the rules of communication.

For starters, if your funeral industry client wants to publicize a new service or product, make sure you are not crossing taboo lines about the topic of death. Some cultures talk openly about the topic, others do not. For that reason, we think it’s important to be able to speak the language, literally and figuratively. 

There are nuances and linguistic subtleties to consider when delivering your message in the most appropriate choice of words possible. There is a world of difference, for example, between Te Amo and Te Quiero (I love you …. I want you).

Even if you don’t always get it right, the effort is appreciated. To be sure you may want to add a personal note, excusing yourself for errors. However, should you find it necessary, do not hesitate to hire a professional translation service to help you navigate avoidable landmines.

Find out about the culture’s social system. According to American Express Small Business Open Forum article writer Donna Fenn workplace environments can differ from country to country. The same applies to media outlets here. Not all of them are run like the stereotypical newsroom we have come to imagine whenever we think of the media.
In reference to global business expansion, she writes:

Be aware of hierarchy.
Many U.S. entrepreneurs may think of their companies as non-hierarchical; they can value workplaces that treat all employees equally, from support staff to top execs. In some countries, particularly in Asia, it may not be quite the same.
She concludes:  And while you should be aware of common customs and practices in different countries, use caution against making generalized assumptions.

The same holds true for media. All editors and reporters are individuals with personalities, just like the public relations specialists who contact them. Both want working relationships that fosters their individual goals. So, take some time to explore the cultural sensitivities. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

To read her complete article, click here.

Related Information:

Mega Trends 2017


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