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Global PR Perspectives – The Czech Republic becomes more and more attractive for international PR and as a gateway to the East (Part 1)

The demand for professional PR support by local PR experts in the Czech Republic is growing as Eastern Europe becomes an increasingly attractive market for international companies. Learn morte about current communication trends in today’s interview with PR expert Martin Frydl.

*This series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.

1.         What is the latest trend (change) in PR you have identified in your region?

Martin Frydl: There are several trends we have observed lately. First is geographical. Many clients are now looking further east and they are establishing Prague as their base for further expansion. What they therefore need is help in coordinating the PR activities within the whole EMEA region.

Another strong trend comes as a result of the recent global economical crisis. Clients have found out what a good PR can achieve in the troubled times and they much more clearly realized high value/money ratio of PR compared to other marketing disciplines such as ATL or BTL. As a paradox, economical crisis brought the whole PR stronger footage and prestige in the eyes of our clients.

And finally, as elsewhere, clients are investing heavily into  social media. However, we feel that the companies on the Czech market are doing this step by step, deeply thinking about the return on investment before they commit themselves.

2.         How does your agency handle / embrace this?

Martin Frydl: As for the first point, we are continuously strengthening our relations with other agencies within the GCPR network. If you want to serve the clients on different markets and to be able to coordinate this, you need reliable partners.

Second point is not about coping but more about utilizing the opportunity. We are currently growing organically by strengthening the budgets with existing clients and also externally by getting a lot of new clients. And as this is all about people, we are currently concentrating on strengthening of our team.

And finally, regarding social media – we are lucky to work with clients who are deeply thinking about this new trend and who are giving us the opportunity to test innovative ideas. We have been for instance developing Nokia CZ Facebook project for the past year and thanks to activities such as interactive lending of devices to fans for testing etc. have become clearly the best page in the segment on Czech Facebook.

3.         Can you give a recent example from a project or best practice?

Martin Frydl: Maybe one confirming that “timing is everything”. We managed to persuade one of our clients from finance sector to do a press conference regarding 2010 market results for the mortgage market on January 5, 2011. Although we did not have exact numbers yet, we prepared estimates which were really close to reality. We were the first ones to publish the numbers and the publicity was really broad. PR lesson coming from this is that if you are bold and quick, rewards can be huge.

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Next Thursday, in part 2 of the interview, Martin Frydl reports on common mistakes companies make in their PR and communication practices in the Czech Republic and explains how to avoid these.

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Martin Frydl has worked for the past 15 years as an Executive Partner of AC&C Public Relations, one of the leading Czech communication consultancies. He is responsible for the key clients service coordination and for strategic planning of communication programs for clients such as Nokia, T-Mobile or Honeywell He is also involved in activities of the Association of Czech Public Relations Agencies (APRA) as an executive board member responsible for external communication. In early 90s he worked as a reporter in the business news section of the publicly owned TV broadcaster Czech TV and subsequently as deputy editor-in-chief of the leading national business daily Hospodářské noviny.

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