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Rebecca Pocock

Published on

January 13, 2014


communications, global communications, Global PR, LEWIS PR, PR, public relations

The European media landscape shares as many similarities as differences. It is not easy to navigate and for companies looking to do PR in Europe, a ‘one size fits all’ approach should not be the chosen route.

As part of the LEWIS’ international team, I always recommend the 80:20 rule: create a global campaign with consistent messaging and allow 20 per cent flexibility to add local flavor and tailor the media outreach.

This is very true for PR in Spain, which is the first country under the spotlight in our mini series on best practice tips for successful local PR campaigns.

Spain is where I first discovered my passion for the comms field, studying a Master’s degree in PR and Communications at a business school in Madrid, and subsequently spending time in our offices there. “Spain is different!” is a well-known phrase I’ve heard many Spaniards say.

Pitching to a shrinking media pool

It’s no surprise that Spain is experiencing a shrinking media landscape, with many tech publications consolidating or closing. This isn’t so different to other countries in Europe.

With fewer publications to target, it is important to invest in a PR expert or team that is creative and very well connected, particularly with freelancers. Pockets of the media bucking the trend in Spain are national publications and regional press.

A free newspaper – 20 Minutos – distributed each morning on the country’s metro systems also offers an opportunity to reach a wide consumer audience.

There’s also a huge shift from offline to online publications in Spain. However, Spanish-based clients and spokespeople still favor print coverage over online coverage.

Earning an appreciation of the value of online coverage – the longevity, reach and SEO potential – is a challenge when explaining results and justifying PR spend in Spain.

What will whet the media appetite?

What do Spanish journalists like? Exclusives, of course! For B2B press, offering a local customer alongside your story is preferred. For NEC Display Solutions, our team in Madrid secured a great piece of regional coverage on the installation of NEC’s digital projectors in a local cinema chain.

Journalists also really like to speak to CEOs / country heads, who should provide a strategic outlook, local insights and market trends. Federico Haba, Head of NEC Display Solutions Iberia, talked about the ROI of digital signage to leading national title, for an article on the benefits of e-administration.

Foreign CEOs need to be able to talk about local topics, such as impact on the Spanish economy, if they want to get tier one business coverage. In briefings, journalists like to get strategic information and discuss general market issues rather than reverting to product news.

Compared to some of their European counterparts (e.g. German journalists) Spanish journalists are not interested in technical details and lengthy product fact sheets. Unlike some other European countries, opinion articles can be placed in the business press in Spain – a great opportunity to get your key messages in front of a purchase-decision making audience.

Articles need to contain a strong opinion and angle, talk about future trends, and contain figures to back up ideas. A good example is insurance company Aegon’s CEO talking about retirement and the need for Spaniards to secure their financial future, which contained survey statistics supporting his viewpoint.

With these ingredients, the byline article was successfully placed in Cinco Días, the second most important business newspaper in Spain. Surveys work extremely well too. Journalists like strong statistics, especially when they can make comparisons between different regions – finding the quirks and contrasts between each.

A good example of a survey that had all elements of a winning story was digital marketing company, QDQ media, which looked into how prepared (or unprepared) Spanish SMEs are for selling online. Our Madrid team pulled the key results into a press release, which was published on EFE (the leading Spanish newswire).

As a result, multiple other publications covered the story too.

Do you work in Spain, or run a PR campaign in Spain from another country? Share your experiences! Stay tuned for more PR insights from our best practice tips mini series.

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