International PR – ensure your story’s not lost in translation

UK companies are enjoying more and more success abroad, and with opportunities opening up for cleaning and facilities management companies, international PR can help to raise awareness and increase business. Ceris Burns International – the specialist communications agency for the cleaning, waste management, and FM sectors – explains why companies don’t need to feel scared about international PR, as long as they engage the right communications expert to partner them on their travels.

The global marketplace is not a figment of our imagination, or a buzzword that has no foundation in reality – it is a fact of life. Improvements and innovations in travel and technology have blurred geographical boundaries, bringing us all closer together in terms of both communications and commerce.

Growth is particularly noticeable in the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – but other markets in Asia, South America and the Middle East are also starting to gain momentum. According to manufacturers’ organisation, EEF: “Rapid growth rates, combined with progress in infrastructure, communication networks and global co-operation, are making doing business in high growth markets the ‘new normal’ for British exporters. The number of UK firms exporting to large high growth markets has risen substantially in recent years in most sectors. For example, since 2002, the number of companies exporting to China and India in the construction and IT sectors has increased by over 100 per cent.”

Where there is investment in infrastructure and buildings, there follows a need for cleaning and facilities management (FM). This can be directly or indirectly, maybe through partners or distributors based in individual countries, and could range from the provision of floor cleaning machines to the delivery of high-rise window cleaning services. Big global events such as London 2012 and the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil this year – with Russia following in 2018 and Qatar in 2022 – focuses the minds of a huge audience of consumers. The publicity surrounding the construction of the Shard in London is another example of a story that involves numerous companies and service providers that will attract the eyes of potential new overseas clients.

International PR is an effective way to raise your company’s profile and gain new business – and it’s not as scary or complicated as some people think it is! Cleaning is a universal language, which can be translated easily – as long as you have a PR partner with the right skills and contacts to make it work for you.

Nearly every country in the world has its own business to business press sector that is hungry for all the things that the UK media wants – interesting, informative and accurate editorial. This could be in the form of a blog, thought leadership article, press release or industry comment, and it’s something that we have specialised in from the start.

PR is as much about forging links as producing punchy copy, and Ceris Burns International has built relationships with an impressive number of overseas editors, publications and journalists since the company was established in 2007. We make it our business to know international markets inside out; identifying the key titles in the relevant target sectors, researching the opportunities, and delivering what editors, and our clients, want. Language is also no barrier – we are already fluent in cleaning and FM – but we have the expertise to ensure that all copy is translated accurately into whatever language is required.

ISSA Interclean Amsterdam is the global event for the cleaning industry and it is here that the experienced international PR company comes into its own. As well as pre- and post- exhibition publicity, press packs need to be produced, meetings with journalists and editors arranged, and long-term feature opportunities researched and secured. Ceris Burns International will be doing all this, and more, for a number of clients who will be exhibiting at the 2014 show. These companies, who supply a wide variety of products and services to the global cleaning and FM industries, need to know they have a PR partner with a proven track record in international PR in order to achieve the results they want.

So, if going abroad in terms of publicity and communications fills you with fear, think again. International PR is a route to increased business and success – and the journey can be trouble-free with the right expert to guide you.

If you feel that your company could benefit from a higher profile in relevant international target markets call Ceris Burns on 01825 714329 or email

Published in Tomorrow’s Cleaning Yearbook