Public Relations (PR) is an interface between a marketer and the media, and the collaborative efforts of these three, viz. Marketer, PR Firm and Media help to make marketing more strong & impactful. Whereas advertising is a solo show business, the marketer directly promotes a brand through the media, but paid. Businesses in the present times understand the potential of PR – integrated, influencing and inexpensive. That’s why the newer weapon of Marketing means PR is considered more practical and powerful than its predecessor (Advertising) by a majority of smart and marketing savvy entrepreneurs for promoting a brand or concept in almost every developed and growing economy. But, exceptions are everywhere and Mexico, the North American state is one of the rare countries where enterprises are still sticking to traditional forms of marketing like advertising and direct mail to interact with the target audience.
Even I was not aware that in Mexico businesses are still reluctant to PR. In January this year, I wrote an article ‘Never Underestimate the Public Relations’ and posted it on LinkedIn. One of the readers who appreciated my post was Alfredo J. Enriquez, a gentleman from Mexico, in the comment box, he wrote,” Beautifully written. But most businesses in Mexico, I don’t wonder why yet, do not hire PR and they tend more to hire Marketing agencies, and it is more difficult to start a PR agency. We still have a lot to do and to learn in this area. What do you think?”
His question was very challenging, but I mustered up some courage and asked him to give two weeks time to investigate the causes. The busy work schedule did everything to embarrass me and after consuming 12 long weeks, today I feel a bit comfortable to answer – why businesses do not hire PR agencies in Mexico?
Here, I would like to share the factors responsible for the low PR acceptance in the world’s 11th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity.
- A majority of entrepreneurs in Mexico perceives that PR is just to rescue an organization from the crisis.
- The Gulf oil spill tragedy in 2010 and the failure of PR in dodging the BP’s Crisis.
- It is a common perception that newspapers are the harbingers of bad/negative news/stories.
- Low penetration of digital and social media, people still prefer TV and radio for news and information acquisition.
- Overly negative views of the outside world towards the Mexico due to drug trafficking and rivalry among narcotic traders.
- Not so good trade relations with the USA, the powerhouse of the world economy.
- The Latinos are still less friendly with English, the trade language of world’s business community, they still prefer to communicate in Spanish.
These are the common barriers that discourage the growth and acceptance of the PR in Mexico. Identification of problems is worthless until and unless they are countered with some remedial measures. In the next write-up I will try to come with some feasible solutions.
Please Keep Patience, Solutions Are Just 500 Words Away…
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