4 Tips for Engaging with an International Audience

With a population of almost 200 million and a burgeoning economy, Nigeria is ripe with opportunity and offers a diverse native audience for your brand. But, in order to scale, it’s important to reach an international audience. Every year, millions of tourists and business travelers from the U.S., Europe, Middle East and APAC countries, arrive in Nigeria. That number will grow as more and more travelers become aware that Nigeria is fertile ground for growth and development, as well as a prime leisure destination.

Here’s how to get on their map before they even board the plane:

1. Know what they want, while providing new knowledge.  All frequent travelers and international business execs have an Opportunity Radar that is constantly scanning articles and social media apps for a hit. The Opportunity Radar has a filter, depending on the traveler’s current goals, as well as their associations with a place.

For instance, an entrepreneur in London who is building a global business and is interested in Africa will be on the look out for opportunities that can translate into new funding or partnerships. But she may be focused on South Africa, because she’s already experienced it through the lens of business. Meanwhile, Nigeria is a “some day” adventure, but not an immediate business destination, which represents her primary interest in Africa.

Whether she’s consciously aware of it or not, her Opportunity Radar is always running in the background. Your job is to get on her radar by showing her that she can achieve her primary goal through you.  So an article in a UK magazine entitled “The Emerging Global Leaders of Nigeria’s Tech Scene” will elicit a reaction. Not only is there a connection to her personal goal, but it’s a novel connection — one that she hadn’t thought of before. 

2. Know what you want. Before you can reach an international audience with what they want, you have to know what you want. As your business goals change, your PR goals will change.

You probably have a number of goals you want to address simultaneously. You may need to reach investors in San Francisco (business PR), but you also need more international users or visitors (consumer PR). It is possible to do both at the same time, but it helps to be very specific about what you’re trying to achieve. Based on your own data, as well as external reports, you can determine which area of the world (and when) to focus consumer, business, or industry PR efforts.

3. Understand each region’s media landscape and codes of conduct. Once you know what you want from an international audience, and where you need to focus your energy, you’re ready to develop a publicity campaign or news announcement and start the pitching process. This is where global PR gets tricky. Every country is different when it comes to business mannerisms, expectations and pitching etiquette.

A headline that works in India might not be as effective in the U.S. or UK.  Pitching a reporter in Nigeria is a whole different game than pitching a reporter in Singapore. Do some research, talk to people, and hire a PR team who has international experience. Start reading industry blogs and news outlets in your target areas. The headlines will provide insight into the types of stories reporters in the region are interested in, and ultimately what the readers or viewers are interested in.

4. Be conscious of time zones. Global news announcements can be hugely rewarding!  However, it can be a challenge to juggle major time differences. This is especially true if you’re releasing the same news in two or more parts of the world. In most countries, mid-morning is the best time to announce news online. However, print coverage needs to be in the hands of editors the night before. 

The key is to prioritize the country that is most important for the news, or prioritize the news outlet you’re most interested in. That’s how you determine which time zone you favor. If you really want to get in the Wall Street Journal, you’ll want the news embargo to lift in the morning Eastern Time.  That means online outlets in Nigeria will be able to post the news that afternoon, but print stories in Nigeria will be delayed by a day.

At the same time, different countries have different expectations. While most publications don’t want to publish something that’s already been out in the world for almost an entire day, some are less concerned about it or they won’t even notice. But your safest bet is to align with the publication that’s most important to you, and work backwards from there. If done correctly, you can achieve two or three days of consistent coverage!


Navigating the global media landscape is not an easy task, but with a bit of research, a lot of patience and the right team, you’ll be on your way to international visibility and a big payoff!