Not all that happy with the professional development opportunities for my industry in Australia, we have always prided ourselves on seeking prospects internationally, especially in the early days where PR seemed to still be so much in its infant stages – thank god I no longer have to explain to all prospective clients what PR is anymore.
So when the opportunity was presented to become a PROI Partner in 2008, we were more than thrilled. PROI is a the largest group of independently owned agencies in the world with over 100 offices from Brisbane to New York City, to Mexico, to Cairo, to the Netherlands. Each year we meet twice with our partners to discuss trends, business opportunities, best practices, we work on clients collaboratively and we have had the opportunity to do staff and director exchanges.
Sure I have been to international conferences for many years, but this partnership actually gives us all the opportunity share, learn and grow in a safe environment without fear of competitiveness, or issues with confidentiality. And best of all, I can bench mark how my business is tracking and what best practices I can ‘borrow’ to implement myself. It has been invaluable to us as growing company. Any PR conferences I have been to in the past in Australia I just find are a hot bed of competitiveness and one- up-manship and many business groups I have been involved with I just haven’t felt are progressive enough. I am certainly not insinuating that you can’t get good opportunities in Australia, but how wonderfully refreshing it is to be in a room of world leaders in your industry and know you can mess with the big boys? Especially when so many of our younger Australian counter parts go to the UK or US to get ‘ real industry’ experience.
So I ask the question, do you actively seek out development opportunities for your business that allow you to get a global perspective? Are you pushing your team to investigate world best practices, not just Australian? Do you get international industry publications so you can keep abreast of the latest news that will affect your business? Can you offer your team international opportunities? Do you even know what a similar business to yours in Japan looks like? I don’t care if you are a PR agency, retailer or architectural firm, there is a lot to be said and much to gain for making the world a smaller place in your business community.
Spend an hour tonight looking at how your company can become global, I guarantee you won’t regret it.