Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Expanding Your Reach through Strategic Alliances

Is it better to have actual facilities in far-flung places, or just friends there?

For many companies, there’s no debate. Owning bricks and mortar in foreign lands just isn’t feasible. That’s probably never been truer than in this tenuous economy and tight credit market. Nevertheless, for more and more businesses, having a global presence is still essential.

The good news is that there’s a way to expand your reach without taking huge risks in terms of capital and credit: through well-crafted strategic alliances. That’s what many of our international clients have done. And it’s what we’re doing, too.

Last week, I attended the annual conference (in Boston, Mass.) of IPREX, one of the world’s largest networks of independent public relations agencies. IPREX puts us in a valuable partnership with reliable, accountable PR teams on the ground all over the world. So we have immediate access to cultural knowledge and communications expertise—whenever and wherever our international clients are doing business.

We not only support each other’s communications programs. We stretch our thinking, we provide each other access to both geographic and market-specific competencies, and we share best practices with a diverse group of professionals. It’s a far cry from the “not invented here” mentality or partisan politics that too often put individual success and the greater good at odds.

So perhaps it’s time to think differently about your competitors. Beneath the surface, you might just find a strategic ally and a company whose market and niche expertise may actually complement yours.

In an increasingly sophisticated, volatile and interconnected global marketplace, you might say that’s the best of one world.

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