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The Art of Media Relations in Brazil
A closer look at the possibilities, means and challenges.
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 by Fernanda Di Franco

Fernanda Di FrancoCommunication companies around
the globe have developed widely
divergent methodologies and styles
over the past few decades.

That variation stems from a variety of factors including cross-cultural differences, technology and the media mix available in any given market. The concept and role of public relations firms, for example, differs greatly from one nation to the next.

While Brazil exhibits a strong focus on media relations, the PR industry in other
countries has matured differently. The Brazilian public relations industry differs significantly from its counterpart in the US.

While not dismissing the importance of media relations, the American style is characterized by the widespread use of technology, strategic planning and quantitative research. These firms create comprehensive data-driven campaigns, with an approach similar to advertising.

In Brazil, relying on quantitative research and analysis to drive campaign development can be problematic.

While there is a nascent third-party research community in Brazil and sector-specific trade associations have contributed to the body of business knowledge available, the media outlets are often the principal data source for industry-specific coverage.

Given the lack of reliable data in many instances, news outlets in Brazil attribute comparatively less significance to numbers and surveys than their American counterparts. Furthermore, in the US, the use of corporate press releases remains a tried and true method for PR firms to communicate a company’s strategic initiatives.

In Brazil, the use of press releases may initially appear to be a good way to disseminate information about a client’s initiatives. However, more often than not, a press release leaves the Brazilian media completely uninspired.

Effective PR professionals in Brazil must work with journalists to develop interesting seed ideas for stories that will capture the attention of the general public and, by extension, raise awareness of their clients’ projects, strategies and product releases.

In essence, media relations in Brazil hinges on forging working partnerships with the general and trade press in order ensure that the client’s message rises above the din of an increasingly fragmented and crowded media environment.

Fernanda Di Franco is a journalist, public relations expert,
advertising agent and historian. She has worked with media such as
MTV, NHK Japan, CNN, and clients including Kodak, Fuji, Yashica,
Sanyo, Sony, Aiwa, Goldstar, Burguer King Motorola.

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