Why you should take your PR off the beaten track this summer

Anyone with an appetite for travel and who is in the same age group as I am will remember the special itineraries in the Lonely Planet travel bible that would take you off the beaten track. These ‘Roads less travelled’ suggested special places and extraordinary experiences that were not crowded by regular tourists. Going off the beaten track on these roads you’d be sure to get a different perspective on your destination, intimate insights into what the life of locals really looks like, and reap the rewards of your efforts. After all, committed travellers know the best experiences are those that you work hard for. Going off the beaten track provides a richer travel experience, so why shouldn’t you do the same with your PR?

Hiring a PR agency in most cases is a lot like preparing your travel for the summer, except instead of your family there are other stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. When selecting a PR partner, there are typically two routes that are taken: a best of breed approach where you handpick local boutique agencies. Or, go for the safe and easy route – your package holiday, if you like – and hire a well-known global agency. These are two very distinctive approaches that lead to a different experience with respective pros and cons. 

Having worked at local agencies for twenty years, I can certainly see why a local agency is an attractive option. Local agencies are highly engaged with their customers and result-focussed. They are mostly smaller and very service minded, and accessible for customers that don’t have six-figure annual budgets. Furthermore, there is very little red tape, and you can be ensured that budgets are spent efficiently.

A global agency is often hired as it’s easier to ensure consistent brand messaging and get local insights at the same time. This setup also ensures scalability and smooth expansion to other markets. As global agencies are relatively big, they typically provide access to an extended service offering that can’t be met by the local agencies. Moreover, global agencies come with the promise of being more streamlined and therefore more cost-effective.

I’m sure most comms, marketing and PR leaders have travelled down both these roads and in the course of my career I’ve seen an alternating trend for both of these trails. But why should you be constrained by only two directions that both have their limitations? Managing a string of local agencies can be very time-consuming, which already starts with raising ten different POs for every one of them. Also, when working with local agencies, adding a new market involves research, intensive pitch processes without any guarantee about the quality you will ultimately get. 

Global agencies generally look global from the outside. However, behind the scenes they typically are separate agencies with their own teams, targets and profit and loss statements. So, if you step onboard as a six-figure customer, you won’t be perceived and treated that way by the local branches, as every local branch gets its share of the budget and doesn’t have an overview of the total investment you’re making. Generally speaking, these budgets are set for the whole year. Evidently this doesn’t provide any flexibility and doesn’t enable consultants to think about their customers’ interests first. For instance, if a campaign in a specific market could use an extra boost of budget, other regions won’t be inclined to shift their budget to another region, as this will impact their bottom line. 

Exploring uncharted PR paths: Going truly glocal with PRWithoutBorders™

Now, what if you could combine the local and global advantages and have it all? This is exactly what a ‘glocal’ PRWithoutBorders™ approach offers.

Before I crossed paths with Tyto, I hadn’t come across a glocal approach in PR nor had I heard about PRWithoutBorders™. On reflection, it’s quite amazing nobody has thought about this before, as it virtually ticks every box for efficient and effective international PR. As a client you only manage one agency that has one international, borderless team of seasoned and highly qualified consultants with expertise ranging from PR, marketing, content, social, data and insights. There’s only one P&L (and one PO) so you can flexibly shift your budget to practically any European market and can be assured of getting advice that’s in your best interest. Also, as there are no bloated agency structures per region, you can get 30 percent more impact for your European PR budget.

So when you’re relaxing on the beach or hiking a mountain trail, I’d like to challenge you to be a bit more adventurous and think about taking your PR off the beaten track and going glocal. 


Featured photo by Stan Versluis