• Brand Now | How to do international PR in Taiwan?

    1. Danniel Cunningham

Brand Now is a video series where we answer key questions and share insights in the areas, including brand strategy, design, communication, experience, PR, and more.

Many Taiwanese brands offer excellent products or services, but they don’t have experience in international PR. This is a crucial stepping stone when entering a foreign market where fewer people have heard of the brand. When fewer people know the brand, it lacks credibility and it’s unlikely to attract opportunities, but when more people know the brand and believe in its capability because they read about it in a magazine that they trust, then it’s likely to attract lots of opportunities.

In this episode of Brand Now, Daniel Cunningham, International Project PR & Marketing Manager at DDG shares his views and experience doing international PR in Taiwan.

Q: What’s the typical process of doing international PR?

The first step is always to strategize. As branding and PR consultants, we need to think on multiple levels, taking into account the positioning of our client’s brand, and what its competitors are doing in terms of international PR. From there, we’re able to identify key opportunities for our client’s brand to capitalize on international PR, ideate and build a well-thought-out, long term strategy with well-defined goals. The second step is to start communicating and building relationships with journalists on behalf of our client’s brand, and third is to develop campaigns that are newsworthy.

Take DDG’s client YesHealth Group as an example. Through brand and industry research, we identified that YesHealth Group’s new vertical farm partnership with Nordic Harvest in Denmark could boost its recognition on the world stage. So we connected with journalists who are based nearby the vertical farm and invited them to the launch event. Finally, we earned more than 500 feature stories and accomplished the goal of transitioning YesHealth Group from a domestic vertical farm operator and vegetable brand into an international technology brand.

Q: What is the biggest challenge when doing international PR in Taiwan?

The biggest challenge when doing international PR in Taiwan is that we don't have a lot of international media bureaus in Taiwan, which means that we don't have a lot of international journalists based here either. And this causes a challenge because normally you'll organize an event like a press conference or a lunch when you can get the media together and talk to them about what it is your brand does. But we don't have that here. So the way we get around that is we focus on digital strategy. We try to connect with journalists in Hong Kong, London, New York, and all around the world. And we focus on journalists who have a specific interest related to our client's brand. So that might be technology, might be design. It might be something more specific.

Q: What are the things you wish clients would know before they start doing int'l PR?

One of the things that I wish the clients knew before they started doing international PR is to treat journalists like humans, not like numbers. We need to communicate with people in a normal way, and kind of bridge the gap between casual and formal communications. A journalist isn't just a journalist. They have their own life, they have their views as well. So all of these things need to be taken into account. And another thing I wish the clients knew before they came to do international PR is what their actual targets are for projects. A lot of clients come to us with already formulated projects, like I want this many press releases, I want to get this many coverages in international media. But that isn't always the best way to do what they want to achieve. And so, if they come and they involve us in the strategy level for the international PR campaigns then we can really help them in many more ways than just doing a project that they've already thought about. So yes, I really wish the clients will come to us with some targets and then talk with us about how to do a project before we actually get started.