Ever since the internet age began, PR firms and practitioners have considered media relations just part of their responsibilities. And once social media became a viable business tool, that multi-tasking role became even more complex. New research from tech PR and content agency Fourth Day Public Relations shows that US technology businesses want to make it clear to the PR agencies they enlist in Europe—media relations is just part of the job, and they expect more.
For the firm’s new report, What US Firms Really Want from PR in Europe, survey partner Sapio Research sought input from 53 decision-making executives in US tech firms that are either already doing business in Europe, or plan to do so, to find out about their future plans and past experiences with regards to PR in the region. The new study also includes perspectives from the agency’s own European partners.
Asked what they want PR agencies in Europe to provide, businesses listed a wide range of services including strategic advice, event support and adapting US content. While traditional media relations is still an important element, it was ranked much lower than social media support, which topped the current priority list:
- Social media support (70 percent)
- Strategic advice (64 percent)
- Events (62 percent)
- Adapting US content (49 percent)
- Media relations (43 percent)
Despite the lower ranking of media relations, the ability to build relationships with local journalists was cited as a deciding factor in engaging an agency (53 percent), beaten only by knowledge of competitors in the region (68 percent).
After cost, the main barrier to engaging a consultancy was concern over alignment with the businesses’ US marketing (38 percent).
Nearly a third (30 percent) of respondents are currently working with a PR agency in Europe, but more than half (58 percent) of those who are not, do intend to. In all, a full 100 percent of the businesses that have worked with agencies in the past reported a positive experience.
“The research confirms that market insight and a localized approach are essential for successful campaigns,” said Xanthe Vaughan Williams, Fourth Day co-founder and director, in a news release. “It’s encouraging to see that businesses want agencies to advise them on strategy for this. The survey results also reflect the evolving nature of communication and the media, with focus transferring to online platforms, events and content creation.”
“It’s great to see that the companies we heard from have all had positive experiences in the past with European PR agencies, and that they recognise the value of local knowledge,” said Williams. “With that in mind, partners from our European network have provided insights for US firms in our report.”
Those insights came from Fourth Day’s partner agencies in the Nordics, France, Sweden, Germany and Poland, to give a flavor of how US firms can approach PR in these territories.
Fourth Day commissioned Sapio Research to survey 53 decision-making executives from technology companies surveyed across the retail, martech, HR, biotech and health sectors, in March 2023.