On Wednesday 21st October at 4pm BST, Firefly’s Europe experts are hosting a free webinar that will cover everything you need to know about how to ensure success in multi-country PR and comms campaigns.

As a taster, here are a handful of the key challenges that must be considered when running campaigns across Europe. The solutions to these challenges will be covered on the webinar.

Every country is different

It’s understandable if communications professionals that have primarily operated in one country fall into the trap of thinking that the communications landscape operates in a similar way in different countries. Most of the time, that’s not the case. They may be close on a map, but there can be major differences when running campaigns across borders.

This graph shows exactly that. It reveals the variation in media attitudes across a range of different criteria in France, Germany and the UK.

Not all tactics work the same

There will be times when a tactic and content can be used with minimal localisation for multiple countries. However, on most occasions this won’t be the case. There are a wide variety of hoops that you may need to jump through to make a plan or content suitable for multiple countries.

The important point to note at this stage is that a strategy/tactic/piece of content can’t simply be duplicated and expected to perform highly in different countries. Accept early on that certain activities will do well in some countries and not perform as highly in others.

Resources spread too thin

Now, as the points above emphasise, taking a one-size-fits-all approach to comms across Europe won’t work. Neither will spreading resources too thinly.  Trying to stretch a pre-determined, non-flexible budget to cover as many countries as possible is a common error.

It rarely works out and often leads to starting again 6-18 months down the line. During this time, competitors may have further established themselves.

Fortunately, there are many different financing options that are more sustainable than spreading a budget too thin.

Coordination can be painful

Even if the differences between countries is understood, tactics have been localised, and budget is assigned effectively, there’s still the challenge of getting every country to sing from the same hymn sheet. It can be challenging.

Each country can interpret instructions differently, will have different questions, and will have to adapt to apply instructions/requests to their country. As a result, managing different countries can be time intensive. There’s also the possibility of teams going off in different directions, failing to align on strategy, tactics, and desired outcomes.

So, that’s the taster. A carefully chosen selection of the many common problems you need to know about – or may even have experienced first-hand. To get solutions to the above challenges in Firefly’s full rundown of PR and comms in Europe and how to ensure success in multi-country campaigns, register to attend the webinar on 21st October 2020 for free here: https://fireflycomms.com/en/pr-in-europe-webinar/.

As August draws to a close, it’s time to bid farewell to the holiday season and hope that the sun shines just a little bit longer before the winter chill sets in. September is looming, and that means it’s back to school and time to get planning for 2018. Although 2018 seems a fair way away, you do only have around 100 days left to think, research, plan, budget, negotiate and get the team revved up for a cracking start to the New Year – and you have to do all of this on top of your normal day-to-day tasks. So, it’s never too early to get your 2018 communications plan sorted.

Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s some help. I’ve put together a few starting questions to ask yourself that will help you shape up your 2018 communications plan. As you may know, Firefly likes to work in four phases: insight, planning, delivery, and evaluation. These questions address five things to consider at each phase, and their answers will give you a skeleton communications plan to build on.


  1. How effective has the entire communications effort been this year?
  2. How did communications efforts relate back to and help business goals this year?
  3. How is your business or brand perceived among the target market?
  4. What are your competitors doing better or worse than you?
  5. What communications could your business or brand do better or differently to reach its target market?


  1. What are the needs of the business, and how will the communications plan aid them?
  2. What does ‘effective’ communications mean to you and how can you measure it?
  3. What communications tasks do you need to do so you can be effective?
  4. What market share or share of voice do you need so you can be effective? What creative ideas will help you stand out from the crowd?
  5. What do you want your target market to think about your business or brand?


  1. What is your ‘kapow’ factor and will your communications stand out, against competitors?
  2. How will you allocate communications tasks within your allotted time or budget restraints?
  3. What key news items or events do you need to factor into your timeline of activities?
  4. Who will be responsible for executing each communications activity?
  5. How often will you re-evaluate your communications delivery plans?


  1. What was good and bad about your communications measurement in 2017?
  2. How could measurement be improved going forward?
  3. Which current KPIs or goals need to be reconsidered or adjusted for 2018?
  4. Which new goals and KPIs in 2018 do you need to support the broader business goals?
  5. Will the achievement of your goals and KPIs in 2018 means achievement of your broader business goals?

Sometimes an outside perspective can go a long way into creating a fresh and effective PR plan – from insights you may not have spotted to new creative ideas. You can use these other blogs our Firefly team have previously penned for our website as more inspiration:

If after that you are still unsure, please call in the experts. We can help with planning requirements on a project basis, and there’s no obligation whatsoever to engage us for the delivery of that plan. Get in touch at hello@fireflycomms.com.

Inspired by the  ‘s**t my Dad says’ twitter feed, I’m motivated to write about the basic principles of great planning. I’ve always had a bee in my bonnet about planning. I’ve jumped up at many a white board and flip chart to create the ‘planning vs. activity’ conundrum for numerous colleagues and clients over the years, in order to emphasise the point about the importance of planning.

This is a crude test, but in principle, what is the best approach – A, B or C?

A is tempting with a bit of thinking and lots of doing! It’s all about is being really busy, but are you absolutely sure you’re doing the right things? This is classically when the plan says something vague but the team take off in their own directions. See  this clip. You get my point.

B is balanced – equal thinking and doing. But the plan and the team efforts may not work together and may even conflict. There’s not enough pull back to the plan and goals, or a focus on what absolutely needs to be achieved.

The right answer is C. You should spend more time thinking and planning than doing. If you only do what you absolutely know will be successful, then you are guaranteed to achieve your goal – and you’ll spend less time doing all those irrelevant things. You might even get to go home on time!

I will blog a series of how to put together a great PR plan, with lots of hints and tips. Below is what I would consider to a basic structure of a PR or comms plan and I’ll give more detail on how to build out each section over the coming weeks.

Broadly speaking (and in an agency), a director should set the strategy and an account director should spend their time putting together insightful detailed plans (and not executing the plan). An account manager is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the plan and account executives are responsible, along with the account manager and the rest of the team, for delivering the plan.

A basic PR plan structure should be along these lines:


Subscribe to this blog via our RSS feed, or keep popping back for more detail. And please give me your thoughts and experiences or what you want to know more about. Next update soon…

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