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Global PR Perspectives – In Latvia it is essential to keep in mind the local situation and perceptions (part 2)

In part 1 of the interview our PR expert Vita Savicka talked about current trends and influences on PR practices in Latvia. Part 2 deals with general regional differences and special requirements for PR in the Baltic state.

1. Is there PR practices in which you think your region differs from PR in other part of the world?

Vita Savicka: Media are avoiding writing informative articles about business companies, success stories, management interviews that reveal know-how etc. They focus on figures, facts more, and problematic issues.

It also seems that at least 50% of media prefer traditional forms of communication and don’t attend video, online or telephone press conferences.

2. Can you describe common mistakes foreign companies make?

Vita Savicka: Common failures are made when companies forget that there are regional and country differences among various markets. For example, very often international press releases are not effective if they are just translated into the local language.

There are situations when we receive very commercial releases from international companies – about new products, company success story etc., but that kind of information works very rarely, only in cases when there is really something unique.

3. What do clients from other markets need to keep in mind when they plan to do PR in your region?

Vita Savicka: Latvia is not a country that is not interested in international news and trends but the chances a press release or information is picked up increase – just like in most markets – if there is a local angle to it. Instead of just translating an international press announcement a local PR agency can help companies to make information more attractive for local journalists.

In addition to basic things such as adapting the format and layout of the text based on local preferences this mainly means to add some local touch and find a local angle. Here companies profit from the agencies insights into the local market trends and developments, their knowledge local events, editorial calendars and popular topics currently discussed in the media.

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Next week out PR series will visit the Czech Republic where the demand for professional PR support grows as Eastern Europe becomes an increasingly attractive market for international companies.

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Vita Savicka is CEO of the GlobalCom PR Network partner agency “Baltic Communication Partners” in Latvia. She started her professional career in public relations in 1993 as a press secretary of the then-President of Latvia Guntis Ulmanis. After working in the State Chancellery she has been head of communication for UNDP Latvia, communication consultant for World Bank and Executive Directorate of IIHF World Championship, as well as associate professor in Vidzeme University College. Master’s degree in communication and master’s degree in politics.

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