Monday, December 19, 2005

It's a Small World

Posting from my co-founder, Barb Ewen

Last week, a long time CHEN PR client, Fairchild Semiconductor, convened a meeting of its global PR agencies, which included firms from the U.S., Europe and Asia. While the agencies have worked together over time, getting together in person is always interesting, cultural and fun -- especially when enjoying delicious Maine lobsters together.

While there were differences among the regions, there were more commonalities. The media environments all over the world are changing rapidly. U.S. outlets are consolidating and moving to onlines, while the number of outlets in China is growing. The U.S. is liberally using blogs and podcasts, while Europe and China have not leveraged these vehicles yet to any great extent. Company-authored technology articles are valuable assets globally and represent a significant opportunity to share views and opinions in all regions of the world.

Some global companies choose to have one large agency handle media and analyst relations in all regions of the world. Fairchild Semiconductor chose independent agencies that best met the company's requirements and formed the best fit in each region. This approach has enabled all of us to work together as required while providing the regional focus for specific opportunities. The model has worked extremely well over the past eight years and ensures that Fairchild gets a senior team devoted to the client in each region.

Dinner conversations highlighted what a small world it really is, with topics ranging from everyone facing energy issues, hints on touring Boston for a first time visitor, the Chinese New Year and its impact on holiday sales, all the way to Netball as a great game for women in Europe and Asia, while largely undiscovered in the U.S.

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