International Public Relations

All the way back on February 13th (late post I know) I had the chance to attend a lecture about international PR by former United Nations Public Relations Officer Kara Alaimo! Kara was personally appointed to her UN position by Barrack Obama himself and is a current professor at Hofstra University. Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.00.02 AM.png

Farrell, C. (April 20, 2017) Screenshots of notes [png.] Retrieved from Google Docs

I probably should have blogged about this lecture right after I went, but I was reminded of the event recently because just today I purchased Kara Alaimo’s book “Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication.” Someone from my AMUN internship actually recently recommended that I buy this text because it’s a good reference point for my future career and would be helpful to read for my UN career dreams. Kara was nice enough during her lecture to give anyone attending a 20% off discount on a purchase!

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 11.56.51 PM.png

Farrell, C. (April 20, 2017) Screenshots of Amazon purchase [png.] Retrieved from Amazon.com

The lecture itself was all about how to communicate with other countries according to their different cultures. Alaimo went over social expectations for communication in 5 areas of the world: Asia, Middle East/ North Africa, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe. She went over what is considered polite and what is disrespectful in each culture.

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Farrell, C. (February 13, 2017) APR speaker Kara Alaimo [Jpeg.] Retrieved personal photos

What I found most interesting is that just within Europe there are 5 different sub styles of communication: Anglo, Latin, Germanic, Nordic, and Eastern, but Nordic is my personal favorite. She specifically mentioned Sweden and how they use “radical transparency.” She showed the example of the @sweden Twitter account. Apparently Sweden allows a new Swede every week to take over the account and post whatever they want, and sometimes it gets them into trouble, but the Swedish government is okay with it because they want everyone to see life for real Swedes.

After the lecture Kara Alaimo took questions and I asked about her UN experience and how she first got started with the United Nations. She said that she had previous experience with PR and simply applied for an entry position online and worked her way up. She also said that any job at the UN requires a minimum of a Master’s degree in your preferred field and internships require a Bachelor’s degree.

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