Today’s post continues from yesterday’s piece on the subject. Once an organization understands the message their presence would send in their new environment, they can make strategic business decisions and take actions considering the communication value they hold.  Such actions send specific messages to the various publics in the new context, and it is the job of the decision-makers to strategically engage in actions that send the desired messages.

Hypothetical and Real World Examples
For example, a company affecting a variety of local stakeholders may sit down with such groups and dialogue regarding concerns and ways to leverage each other for a positive result. Manufacturers potentially impacting the local environment negatively can make strategic decisions regarding operations that minimize negative impact and go above and beyond required measures. Similarly, companies employing local people or those that have local employees in their supply chain can make policy decisions that improve working conditions above what is required.

From there, businesses can utilize public relations to extend the positive impact and reach of messages sent out by the businesses through overt means or by way of actions taken. Reframing does not minimize the reality of the challenges as they still are present, but doing so changes the mindset, approach, and strategy to overcome them. Several real world examples illustrate such opportunities. I discussed a recent development with Foxconn Technologies, a Chinese electronics manufacturer, in an International Business Times piece. There were concerns about labor practices and pressure came from contracted companies, such as Apple, for the manufacturer to improve standards. These companies were and still are in a situation to make a statement with their actions.

The non-manufacturing technology sector is not immune either when it comes to the cultural implications of operating in a different context. Google experienced it in Germany when they rolled out Google Maps amid much push pack from many German citizens regarding privacy concerns. Dialogue with those raising concerns was achieved, but more stakeholder outreach beforehand could have sent a better message early on and diffusing any potential issues.  This highlights the importance for any tech firm expanding into international markets to fully understand the rules and regulations regarding digital issues, especially privacy, before entering the new markets. Check back in tomorrow for the last installment of this post offering implications for internet marketing.