The Worldcom Public Relations Group is the world’s leading partnership of independently owned public relations firms, with 143 offices employing some 2,000 staff in 115 cities across six continents. In total, Worldcom partners reported combined revenue of US$300+ million last year from 3,034 clients. Established in 1988, the group was formed so that the strongest, most capable independent firms could deliver immediate impact and sustained value through the intelligent use of communications – wherever in the world a client needs support.
That is what the boilerplate text says about our global PR network. Now, let me illustrate this with a real life example, to make things a bit more tangible.
This is how my most recent ‘Worldcom does the trick’ conversation went:
[Serge] Wisse Kommunikatie, Serge Beckers speaking.
[Lead] Hi, this is [Lead]. I was wondering if you are up for a challenge.
[Serge] Sure! How can I help?
[Lead] Well, your PR profile looks very interesting, and apparently you know your way around crisis communications as well. So I’m assuming our communication needs in the Netherlands can be met without any problems.
But in the longer run we might also need support in the rest of the Benelux, as well as in the Nordics, on the Iberian Peninsula, in the UK, France, Germany and Poland.
[Serge] Sure, we can help you, no problem.
[Lead] So, do you have national PR directories for these countries, so I can investigate further?
[Serge] Actually, I can do better than that. I will send you the contact details of PR agencies in these countries.
[Lead] Great, that would be helpful! I’m sure that I can find some online reviews and references to these agencies and start my assessment. This will probably only take a little while, so I’ll gladly take the list you have.
[Serge] Hang on, let me rephrase that… I will get you the contact data of our Worldcom PR partners in these countries. For all the countries you just mentioned I know just who to get in touch with. I know the local specialists in your line of business.
[Lead] So, how do I know if they are any good…?
[Serge] I can vouch for each and every partner I put forward! We work on joint accounts such as Panasonic, Copernicus, SodaStream, Fitbit, CH Robinson, thyssenkrupp and Mallinckrodt, to name just a few. Moreover, we all meet in person, twice a year. We are distant but nonetheless very close colleagues. Professional friends, if you will.
So if you need healthcare related PR done in Spain, I will get Imma from LF Channel involved. If you need Poland, you’re getting MadeInPR. For healthcare PR in Germany I will get you Frederic from Komm.passion.
You choose the countries you need, we compile the best team you can get.
[Lead] …… (silence).
[Serge] And you can either use Wisse Kommunikatie as lead agency, or approach the agencies yourself, whatever serves your needs best. I’d be happy to establish contact between your company and my partners. I can guarantee that they will deliver the expertise you are looking for, as well as the local touch that you know is crucial in PR.
[Client] Sounds great, let’s get things started!
This particular example pertains to our most recent healthcare client. But I have come to realize that this conversation is actually a global ‘lead convincing’ template. Because this company is not the first to discover the benefits of Worldcom’s global reach and local expertise. And it won’t be the last, I can assure you!
Effective international communication has never been more relevant. And there is only one way to ensure this:
joint local communication.