And no one’s cultural identity is the same as the next person. As a society, we’ll never know all the intricacies of each culture, but we can become more culturally aware. Globalization of businesses increases the need for cultural awareness among employees.
What is cultural awareness?
The ability to understand, value, and respect our own culture and the differences between other cultures.
Effectively applying cross-cultural communication to your PR strategy starts with cultural awareness. For culturally informed communication, you must analyze your own culture, think beyond the confines of your culture, and actively engage with other cultures in order to avoid cultural appropriation.
It’s imperative that all professionals not only know what cultural awareness is, but also understand why and how they can implement this awareness into their day-to-day lives.
Why PR experts need to be culturally aware
Being culturally aware is easier said than done. If you don’t understand why public relations pros have to practice cultural awareness, then you’ve come to the right place. Learning the reasons why a topic is important will help you get ahead in your PR career, especially as diversity in public relations continues to grow.
These PR experts are here to give you real advice on why being culturally aware matters in the PR industry today.
“If you want to be relevant in the near future you must become culturally aware. There is no getting around it. Yes, you will have to put in extra work. But, it is the only way to survive in communications moving forward.”
“PR professionals absolutely must be culturally sensitive - we are in the business of public–read people–relations. Being aware of your prospects' and customers' lifestyle is only going to enhance your company's bottom line.”
Now that PR pros convinced you why being culturally aware is important to your career, it’s time to learn how. Patience is key when discovering how to be culturally aware. You can’t snap your fingers and make it happen. It takes years of experience, but you have to start somewhere.
Learn to listen
“I literally look at every human interaction as a collaboration between two people. It makes me more present with the other person, I gain a new perspective, and it adds more value to my life. Every single time. No matter what is being said or done.”
“The best way is to train yourself to be culturally aware is to read up and gain real-life exposure. Subscribe to international news sites to keep yourself updated about current affairs. Then, attend regular networking sessions to get to know people from other companies and different cultures.
- Bernice Quek, Content Marketing Specialist at Traffic Bees
Align on expectations
“Ensure content aligns both with the brand's core messaging, as well as with prospects' cultural expectations.”
- Greg Heilers, International Content Consultant, G.P. Heilers
Knowledge is power
Cultural awareness is all about knowledge and experiences. Knowing why and how it’s important to PR will get you started on your journey toward effective strategizing in the workplace.
Deirdre O’Donoghue is a Content Manager at Nature's Fynd and a former Content Manager at G2. In her free time, you can find Deirdre fostering puppies or exploring the Chicago foodie scene. (she/her/hers)