Sunday, February 18, 2007

Communicating with Diverse Audiences

Know your audience.

It's a basic principle in public relations, but it can be interpreted and applied in so many ways.

At Thursday's Puget Sound PRSA Program on Communications and Diversity, our panel discussed understanding and overcoming social, cultural and language barriers to effectively and efficiently deliver messages.

The one piece of advice they all shared: Know your audience-- really KNOW your audience.

  • Read the ethnic or specialty publications you're pitching if you can.
  • Build a relationship with those publications by, not only sending news releases and pitching, but by purchasing ads when your budget allows.
  • Get to know who the community views as leaders. Don't just look to the five or six mainstream ethnic leaders you hear about in the media all the time.
  • Recognize the best ways to gain entry into a community. If you haven't built a relationship with a community, partner with groups the community trusts for your initial entry.
  • Really take time to build relationships. Don't just pop in and out of a community when they have something you need.
  • Work with public affairs specialists who know the community and can help you communicate effectively with them.
  • Make a long-term commitment to building new relationships. If your budget only allows you to translate a news release or two, work to increase efforts in the future. It makes no sense to reach out to a non-English speaking community with one news release in their language then have no one available to answer questions if they try to follow up with your organization.

Thanks to:

Share examples of your best practices in our comments section!


PRSA Puget Sound Chapter said...

PR Firms interested in bringing in interns with foreign backgrounds, keep the UW in mind. At our firm, Frause, we have had an intern from Mexico and another from S. Korea. Both were experiences that gave us immeasurable lessons. If you'd like to learn more, contact Lanita Greisz at the UW English Language Program at 206-221-3824. Also, you can post job openings and look for candidates on

PRSA Puget Sound Chapter said...

There is also a great article in the Feb 12th issue of PR Week that highlights the use of the press release internationally.