Communication adds value and facilitates the success of companies in the internationalisation process, an essential strategy to the future of many organizations say Luis G. Caonmanuel of LUCA Communicación Corporativa based in Madrid and Dircom (Spanish Communication Directors’ Association).
Ten key points to consider
1. Without communication there is no international expansion.
Companies should have a structured communication plan before embarking on the conquest of international markets. Although it seems obvious, it is not always so.
2. Knowing the customs of each country in advance.
You have to know the culture and hear what is happening in each country before operating, to adapt the communication from the company to the new environment. This can be extended to the neighboring countries, to take advantage of any synergies. Or avoid risks.
3. Speech, processes and operations must go hand by hand.
Define well the corporate speech and storytelling is a must and requires to adapt the timing and circumstances of each market. Communication processes should be well structured to operate simultaneously on different continents and countries, all depending on the operations and business strategy. The coordination and timing are key.
4. Humbly but with determination.
Humility must be an attribute of the behavior of any company when going outside. But not forgetting that we have a triple purpose (of visibility, reputation and business), to be pursued with determination.
5. From the inside out.
Internal Communication is essential in the process of internationalization. The organization must understand and participate in the strategy and change. This requires not only to have a clear and aligned corporate culture, but the ability to extend it to new markets and every corner of the organization.
6. Communication mobilizes organizations.
And on the opposite non-communication can cripple organizations or direct them towards unwanted targets, with the high risk that entails. In many cases, if a company does not directly communicate, the competitors and stakeholders will do for it.
7. Each pattern is unique.
Each company should establish its own communication model, in terms of its organizational structure, business and budget, a model that must be practical and scalable. Don’t try to do everything at once: set priorities, with a view of short, medium and long term. Each phase will have a specific goal. For questions about how to define your own model, demand outside help.
8. Digital tools facilitate internationalization no matter where you are.
Internationalization is not a geographical issue, is an attitude. There are brands internationally oriented and others born to operate globally. In both cases, the platforms and digital channels should be your main ally. Use their full potential in communicating, listening, monitoring, display, talk … and also to sell and retain.
9. Investment, yes. Expenditure, no.
The budget for International Communication should be considered an investment rather than an expense. Every dollar spent must have your return in terms of positioning, visibility, credibility and reputation. Measurement models should be established for each case.
10. Find the best travel companion.
The support of a Communication / PR agency is key to any organization in their internationalization processes. A consulting PR – Communication agency with international experience will be your natural ally and can operate as an extension of your own structure.