NEEDED: A New U.S. Perspective on Global Public Relations
Events that take place outside the United States are no longer "foreign" to the public relations industry, or to the interests of our clients. U.S. practitioners must develop a new perspective on public relations at the international level. Failure to meet this challenge will result in U.S. public relations losing its leadership position in the world, not to mention a lot of international business.
Our perspective of the world and how we work for our clients and companies must widen. Otherwise, the U.S. public relations industry, and our careers, will suffer. Today's changing business environment has been affected by breakdowns in international barriers and increases in international trade. In response, our educational focus must broaden, and we must become conversant on international affairs.
To support these assertions, consider these facts.
A total of 95 percent of the world's population lives outside the United States. U.S. business is heavily dependent on international trade with these people and their countries.
Business Week recently reported that today, dozens of top U.S. companies sell more products outside this country than at home, and service businesses are close behind. The trend is even more dramatic in terms of profits. In the past three years, The Coca-Cola Company and General Motors Corp. made more money overseas than in the United States.
At the same time, overseas investors are pouring an increasing amount of money into U.S. companies and industries. It is not unusual for 15 to 20 percent or more of a company's stock to be held by overseas investors.
This is true even of companies whose entire operations are inside the United States. Their investor relations programs now must meet the demands of internationally linked markets and financial exchanges.
Although the United States continues to lead in terms of dollars spent on public relations, the industry in Europe and Japan is growing rapidly. The industry's growth rates in those countries are about 20 percent today, the …