Communication strategies have become a requisite across various industries. Why? Because it allows companies to speak with audiences in a way that truly resonates with them. Thus, audiences develop a better understanding and awareness of the brand. Simple enough, right?

However, as companies adapt to a globalised world, new opportunities arise to reach different markets which need to be explored. One such way that brands can appeal to global audiences is by seeking out communication services internationally. And South Africa is here for it!

Multiple companies have already dived in and outsourced their communication services. And, according to Hunter, it’s the South African communication companies that are standing out among the rest.

Below, media update’s Lara Smit speaks to Hunter to gain a deeper understanding of this outsourcing trend and why South African communication companies are catching the eye of global companies.

Keen to learn more? Let’s dive right in:

Why is the outsourcing of communication services a trend amongst global companies?

Businesses now recognise that resilience requires a digital-first strategy and that it no longer matters where workers or vendors are based. [This is] putting South Africa’s media and marketing services in an advantageous position.

Global powerhouses are realising that they can secure internationally competitive services, at competitive costs, by working across borders. Brands are now able to pick the best talent — at the best price — regardless of location.

What makes South African communication companies unique to global companies?

South Africa is now the most favoured location for offshore customer experience delivery worldwide, according to the 2021 Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey. This is thanks to the country having:
  • similar time zones to Europe,
  • a high degree of English proficiency, and
  • a skilled workforce, digital infrastructure and attractive exchange rates.
South African businesses are also well positioned to service international companies looking to expand into Africa. Although other markets in Africa have continued to develop, South Africa remains the business hub for sub-Saharan Africa. It represents the continent’s second-largest economy and the most industrialised and technology-enhanced country in Africa.

How are South African communication companies adapting their services to meet the requirements of these global companies?

The nature of communications has fundamentally changed over the past two decades, and Covid disruption has added to this. Across the world, the media industry [is feeling the heat]. This makes it extremely competitive for brands to be seen and heard. Therefore, local communications professionals are seeking creative ways to constantly add value to their campaigns — including their ‘owned’ corporate channels.

Communications is now becoming integrated with marketing and advertising and takes place across multiple platforms and channels. What was once a press release is now repurposed multiple times across various channels to become:
  • a podcast script
  • an executive leadership post on LinkedIn
  • an ad banner
  • a website blog, or
  • a newsletter.
Businesses and service offerings are changing. Clients have evolved and communication companies have to evolve with them so that we remain an asset. As the media world shifts, agencies need to shift with it, crafting and amplifying content intelligently across multiple touchpoints, platforms and publishing networks. The goal is to cement branding and growth for clients without heavy reliance on publishing houses and press releases.

How are the markets of these global companies influencing the approach that South African communication companies have when it comes to content creation?

Firstly, understanding different cultures and etiquette is critical. Secondly, diversity, which we know and understand is important in South Africa, is at the global forefront as we foster a more inclusive workforce. [This stands especially true] as we move towards a more sustainable future in light of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Diversity must also reflect in visual imagery while considering diverse speakers for events. Localisation might sound like an obvious and apparent influence but shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Last but not least, global companies are taking more of an authentic and sincere messaging approach with a big focus on ‘purpose’ to connect with today’s conscious consumer.

What do you think that South African communication companies are learning from this experience?

[Companies are learning] resilience, determination and global best practice. Local brands benefit indirectly, as communications agencies can call on international best practice in their work with South African companies — thus raising the standard of practice across the board.

Local agencies will now also be able to enter global marketing and PR industry awards, which means that they are judged against their (often larger and better-resourced) peers.

On a local level, communication companies are continually provided with opportunities to challenge themselves. South Africa’s complex business landscape and multicultural society provides an excellent training ground for media and marketing specialists who have to work with sophisticated audiences, different cultures and multiple viewpoints.

In an increasingly globalised world, South African experience is coming to the forefront.

What are your thoughts on global companies seeking our communication expertise? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Want to learn more about PR in South Africa? Then check out our infographic titled Public relations in the South African context [Infographic]

*Image courtesy of Canva