It’s always quite revealing to read the media headlines after a major announcement. They tell you much more than you would think. Take for example the morning press review following Jean-Claude Junker’s State of the Union speech of 9 September. With headlines ranging from “Greece cannot be kept in the euro at all cost” (Telegraph), over “This is no time to be afraid of refugees, but to act” (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland), “We need a Transatlantic Partnership for trade and investment (Focus, Bulgaria) to “Junker’s silent dream of a new Europe” (Spiegel Online). And what to think of “There is a reason why the number of O’Neills and Murphy’s in the US exceeds those in Ireland” (Irish Examiner). They all heard the same speech, but selected to highlight different aspects from a national political perspective. Words get a different sense when they travel.
The point I want to make here is that people – whether consciously or not – filter what they hear or read and put their own “what does this mean for me” angle to reproducing it. As communications professionals, providing strategic advice to our clients about how to bring their message across, we must at all times be mindful of that. Companies with global exposure must be sensitive to linguistic, cultural, political and socio-economic differences throughout their geographies. When their story reaches every corner of the world, they don’t want it to be scrambled by human selectivity or interpretation. That’s where the support of a comprehensive advisory network with feet on the ground makes a difference in ensuring that the one or two core messages are elevated and communicated effectively, even if they are repurposed to fit local market preferences or specificities.