PR Experts Weigh In on Why Cultural Awareness is Crucial

Deirdre O'Donoghue
Deirdre O'Donoghue  |  April 15, 2019

Everyone has a culture.

And no one’s cultural identity is the same as the next person. As a society, we’ll never know all the intricacies of each culture, but we can become more culturally aware. Globalization of businesses increases the need for cultural awareness among employees.

Effectively applying cross-cultural communication to your PR strategy starts with cultural awareness. For culturally informed communication, you must analyze your own culture, think beyond the confines of your culture, and actively engage with other cultures.

Levels of cultural awareness

It’s imperative that all professionals not only know what cultural awareness is, but also understand why and how they can implement this awareness into their day-to-day lives.

Why PR experts need to be culturally aware

Being culturally aware is easier said than done. If you don’t understand why public relations pros have to practice cultural awareness, then you’ve come to the right place. Learning the reasons why a topic is important will help you get ahead in your PR career.

These PR experts are here to give you real advice on why being culturally aware matters in the PR industry today.

Maintain relevance

“If you want to be relevant in the near future you must become culturally aware. There is no getting around it. Yes, you will have to put in extra work. But, it is the only way to survive in communications moving forward.”

- Andrea Garcia, CEO at COMMS/NATION

Elevate brand awareness

“Being culturally aware will help PR professionals in the long run when leaving a good impression to seize potential PR opportunities to elevate your brand awareness.

- Bernice Quek, Content Marketing Specialist at Traffic Bees

Make your clients happy

“It’s essential that PR teams be culturally aware so that they know exactly how to relate to customers without upsetting them and pushing them away.”

- Nate Masterson, CEO at Maple Holistics

Enhance your bottom line

“PR professionals absolutely must be culturally sensitive - we are in the business of public–read people–relations. Being aware of your prospects' and customers' lifestyle is only going to enhance your company's bottom line.”

- Yaniv Masjedi, CMO at Nextiva

How to become more culturally aware

Now that PR pros convinced you why being culturally aware is important to your career, it’s time to learn how. Patience is key when discovering how to be culturally aware. You can’t snap your fingers and make it happen. It takes years of experience, but you have to start somewhere.

Learn to listen

“I literally look at every human interaction as a collaboration between two people. It makes me more present with the other person, I gain a new perspective, and it adds more value to my life. Every single time. No matter what is being said or done.”

- Andrea Garcia, CEO at COMMS/NATION

Study and immerse yourself

“The best way is to train yourself to be culturally aware is to read up and gain real-life exposure. Subscribe to international news sites to keep yourself updated about current affairs. Then, attend regular networking sessions to get to know people from other companies and different cultures.

- Bernice Quek, Content Marketing Specialist at Traffic Bees

Align on expectations

“Ensure content aligns both with the brand's core messaging, as well as with prospects' cultural expectations.”

- Greg Heilers, International Content Consultant, G.P. Heilers

Knowledge is power

Cultural awareness is all about knowledge and experiences. Knowing why and how it’s important to PR will get you started on your journey toward effective strategizing in the workplace.

Deirdre O'Donoghue
Author

Deirdre O'Donoghue

Deirdre O’Donoghue is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. She brings her passion for research and creativity to her writing. In her free time you can find Deirdre fostering puppies or exploring the Chicago foodie scene.