Cultural differences across Europe can have a significant impact on your European PR strategy, and research conducted by the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) highlights just how costly cultural ignorance can be for a CEO and their company. It’s important to remember that the European media operates in a completely different way to the US media, and not only that, but the media from country to country across Europe will also differ immensely. Here we have compiled some of the key findings from the report, to provide some guidance about the requirements and habits of European journalists, and ultimately what a CEO should expect from European media interviews;

Convince European Journalists of Your Deep Market Insight

92% of European journalists believe that the most important characteristic and skill of a CEO is their knowledge of the company and market, so it is important to demonstrate extensive knowledge of the market. You should also be aware of just how much the personality of the CEO or spokesperson impacts media judgement (86%), as well as the fact that their overall track record and performance is important to 72% of journalists across Europe.

European editors are typically more accommodating with regards to their interview subjects

When it comes to the European media, it was found that 41% allowed the CEO or the company’s PR agency to review the CEO’s quotes prior to publishing, and 21% even allowed them to review the entire article, although this is often dependant on the relationship the editor has with the company or agency. That said, this will vary from country to country, and is expected more in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Denmark, whereas editors in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal will be far less willing.

Failing to answer critical questions will have negative implications

73% of European journalists believe that failure to answer key questions is a major no-go, and unsurprisingly, arrogant behaviour is also a common interview pitfall and won’t go down well, particularly with Spanish journalists (94%). 62% of European journalists also strongly dislike CEO’s talking in platitudes.

European journalists will be strongly influenced by past media interviews

Swiss journalists rely primarily on past media coverage when preparing for an interview with a CEO (94%), and although this is significantly higher than the 58% European average, it is important to be well informed about what has previously been written about you and the company as a whole, as these journalists will try to elicit additional information from you. You should also remember what you have said in previous interviews.

British journalists prefer to conduct interviews by phone

While European journalists in general prefer face-to-face interviews, specifically 67% like these interviews to be held at the company’s office, whereas 55% like to meet in public places such as a bar or restaurant. Alternatively, British journalists prefer to conduct interviews by phone, with only 33% preferring to meet in person.

For insightful tips and best practices for doing technology PR in Europe and effectively managing European media interviews, download our guide to planning and implementing a successful European PR strategy.


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