As part of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, we are glad to invite on our blog our Swedish PR partner Oxenstierna Kommunikation. Its Head of PR, Björn Mogensen, discussed with Yucatan how Press Relations in the Nordics are different in terms of culture, languages and media landscape.
What are the differences within the Nordics?
Well for starters, we are four different countries, actually even five! Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland. Even if we tend to be lumped together as Scandinavia or the Nordics. But make no mistake, these countries have different experiences and history even if there are some common grounds.
Together we are about 26 million people spread over a vast geographical area. But as for Sweden, Norway and Finland most people live in the southernmost third of the country.
Most of us understands the other Nordic languages, especially the Norwegians and the Swedes. Well, Finnish is a completely different language but as Finland is officially bilingual (Finnish and Swedish) you do get by in Swedish. Most of us speak reasonably well English.
In terms of PR, can you explain us the media landscape?
There is no media covering all the countries. Every country has its own media structure. For instance, Sweden has very influential business media with Dagens Industri as a Swedish Financial Times or Wall Street Journal with a range of media from the actual paper to weekly magazines and a TV channel. High tech news are hot topics in all the Nordic countries and new tech products are usually selling very well, especially in Norway and Sweden.
What about the business culture?
Basically Finland and Sweden are quite alike in the business culture with big companies but also a lot of start-ups. Norway and Denmark tends to be more alike in many more smaller companies. In Norway of course the oil business has an important role. Sweden and Denmark are countries with a very capital centred business and media landscape. Most things happen in Stockholm and Copenhagen whereas it is much more decentralized in Norway.
To finish this interview, we asked Björn Mogensen to give us the do’s and don’ts about Press Relations in the Nordics.
8 things you shouldn’t do in the Nordics when working with PR:
- Assume that what works in Sweden also works in Denmark
- Only focus on printed media – digital and social media are very important in the region
- Try to publish stories or news with no connection to the Nordics
- Place prewritten articles
- Try to use only English for all communication: the local languages work better!
- Try to use the same material in all countries. Indeed, there are different trends in every country
- Pitch a story about “old tech” to major media: there is no space for it
- Ignore the message. It has to be adjusted to work in each country
So therefore, this is what you should do:
- Get a local spokesperson. That will get you many more interviews
- Try to find local stories or news to pitch if there are no products to show
- LinkedIn works quite well for tech news. Get LinkedIn pages in every country
- Take a look at the local media you want to get into and see what kind of news they highlight. With some Google translate it should not be too hard.
Björn Mogensen is Head of PR at Oxenstierna Kommunikation, Yucatan’s Swedish Worldcom partner. Currently he is working as the Swedish PR partner of companies like Carmignac and Thales.
You have international press relations projects in mind? Don’t hesitate to contact us!