The Similarities between Euro 2024 and European PR

The UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2024) is now well underway in Germany, so while awaiting England’s next match I’m playing with the parallel idea in my mind on how global scale-up tech firms can effectively set up quality European (or indeed global) PR campaigns.  

As the European footballing nations will be tested as they adapt to the diverse and quality European footballing styles opposing them, breaking into new European markets is no easy feat either–especially for non-native tech firms. 

To expand in to the world’s second largest trading bloc, Public Relations is the most cost-effective way to build reputations, brand awareness and accelerate your sales momentum.  But, doing it right takes time and focus, so here are five initial tips when setting up that winning European PR game plan! 

1. The Importance of Planning

Currently, England Coach Gareth Southgate is in serious planning mode for his team’s upcoming games. 

By the same token, effective planning is the cornerstone of any successful PR work. Whether targeting one, two or several countries in Europe, aligning global, European and local plans upfront is crucial. 

That translates to solid business briefings and regular updates from the right company advocates to ensure that local teams are up to speed with business developments and potential issues. This mustn’t overload the team, but planning needs to remain flexible and 100% outcome-focused.  

2. ‘Glocal’ Thinking

While the core global and product messaging should remain consistent, localisation to the country context is essential. You need to find the right balance, but this goes far beyond basic translation.

Ensure your local teams are allowed the flexibility to capture and use relevant local market themes, evidence, customers and anecdotes to spark engagement. Your best ‘striker’ here is a “glocal” approach—combining global strategy with local execution by local executives, to ensure your messaging scores.

3. Use Local Expertise and Insights

With European PR, one size does not fit all. Working with the right PR partner means collaborating with professionals who have navigated these waters before and understand the local language, culture, holidays and media landscapes. 

Listen carefully to these local teams to ensure your approach is culturally sensitive and insightful. If England get through the group stages, and need to take on the mighty Spanish team, for example, Three Lions midfield hopeful Jude Bellingham played for Real Madrid last season, so his insights will help Southgate’s team.

4. Communication, communication, communication

Effective communications is critical across the whole football ecosystem (within the team, the coaching staff but also fans back home) before, during and after every game. Regular, team-wide communication is also important in European PR programmes, too, ideally face to face, but virtually too of course. 

While top-down/HQ communications will naturally play a role, ensuring each country is given the time to explain what’s working locally and where the challenges lie is vital. 

Best practice tells us this approach helps build team culture, aids understanding and addresses problem areas before they escalate. 

5. Keeping Score

Aligning on outcomes from the outset is vital. Tools are available for measurement, but getting alignment with your PR/marketing colleagues and the local agency team is key.

Ultimately, collective understanding helps ensure you’re on the right track and allows for adjustments. Local executive teams should also be aligned with PR plans to maintain that collective focus.

Extra Time

Whether it’s one or several European markets, winning in Europe requires a well-thought-out PR strategy that embraces local nuances and leverages both global and local strengths. 

The good news is that by focusing on planning, localising your messaging, embracing local insights, maintaining open communication and measuring your outcomes effectively, scale-up global tech firms can power through the ‘group stage’ and establish the strong PR foothold in Europe they want.  

Love to stay and chat more, but it’s time soon to shout at the telly. Come On England! 

To discuss your PR programme needs for 2024 click here to book a short intro strategy call.