Let’s get straight to it. Europe consists of 51 countries and 23 official languages (not to mention the additional 60 unofficial languages), many cultural differences and various time-zones. With this in mind, anything other than a tailored European approach will only lead you down one road; failure.
The fact is an effective pan-European PR strategy can most definitely be achieved. At Napier, we work with clients that reach all corners of the continent through their campaigns, but the one thing each of these clients have in common is that understand the European landscape and avoid the biggest European PR mistakes that many brands make. Below we’ve compiled a list of the most common European PR mistakes you should avoid to ensure you achieve success across Europe.

Ignoring Public Holidays

The European public holiday calendar can be a bit of a minefield, but it is a minefield that needs to be adhered too. It’s important to remember that not all holidays are national across Europe; just because Germany are celebrating a public holiday, the UK may be running as normal. The point is, as long as you consider these holidays when planning for campaigns, you are unlikely to fall into any problems. That said, it is important that you don’t forget bridging days, as many journalists and customers will often extend their vacation period. It’s also worth considering that the European media tends to slow down in July and August, as many Europeans take holidays in these months, and this should be taken into account when co-ordinating news globally.

One Size Fits All

This sort of approach will lead to nothing less than failure. There are a whole range of legislation differences, and industry challenges in each European market, and thinking what works for one will work for the other, just won’t cut it. Instead, tailor your brand messaging in a way that resonates with the challenges and requirements for each target market, and ensure you are targeting the right audience with the right messaging, at the right time.

Ignoring Local Spokespeople

Another common PR mistake that US brands make in Europe, is in fact having a lack of European presence. While journalists across Europe value meeting with CEOs, it should be noted that they really care about local spokespeople, therefore these spokespeople shouldn’t be ignored.

Translating Without Localisation

Here’s the thing, translation itself is not enough. Certain words in different languages may have different meanings, depending on usage and context, and your marketing communications must reflect this. This is why it is crucial to have local translators on board, ensuring your messaging is consistent. Failing this, you risk damaging not only your campaigns, but more even worse your brand’s reputation in that market.

Failing to Value the Importance of Relationships

Establishing and developing relationships with the European media should be an integral part of your European PR strategy, and you should avoid a ‘seagull PR’ approach. The fact is, coming over to Europe, shouting about a release, and then leaving and failing to maintain contact with the journalists is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes European PR. Effective media relations is still a huge part of any successful PR strategy, but it is a two way relationship, and you must therefore build genuine, long-lasting relationships with the European media.

For further insight and best practices for doing technology PR in Europe, download our guide to planning and implementing a successful European PR strategy.


doing tech pr in europe