CEO Elon Musk, a part of the team that comprises Space X (an aerospace company), has developed a cult following of people interested in private space travel. Making the much talked about fantasy of interplanetary travel into a viable reality, Musk is at helm of one of the most innovative, defining companies to date, and in the process, becoming a visionary of this era.
He understood the culture of this industry and his following. Great ideas abound in this era where technology almost acts as catalysts for invention. However, behind every ingenious idea is the buzz that changes thought into action, a buzz created by culture.
In an academic sense, culture refers to a group of people with similar values, experiences and rituals, but for all intents and purposes, a culture makes up a group of individuals with a shared consciousness. Culture always shapes our attitudes and actions.
More than being aware of other cultures, understanding cultural nuances can open up opportunities for dialogue, a big part of developing two-way relationships with publics as a part of public relations.
This dynamic plays out in a number of ways through the number of cultural nuances professionals might encounter globally.
For example, some businesses are founded on the basis of friendships made before even entering into any partnerships. In addition to friendships, some cultures insist on developing business connections as a part of protocol. Other cultures insist that, as a part of engaging in business, gifting (giving gifts from favorite places) is a part of the relationship.
Another cultural nuance that shows up in the business arena is related to time where in some countries time is a little more flexible. As opposed to starting a meeting on time, some cultures might start way past the scheduled time, and everyone involved understands.
Dress is probably another nuances that depends on culture. In some cultures, appropriate dress code requires professional dress for business events while in the IT industry dressy casual is probably as professional as it gets.
Ultimately, these nuances that make up culture form the foundation of business, but more importantly, they can really influence a public relations campaign.
The whole point of public relations for organizations is to inform, persuade, and through dialogue, create long-term, two-way business relationships between or among publics. By understanding cultural nuances, organizations keep the lines of communication open, and more significantly, avoid turning off, shutting out, or completely shutting down possible business relationships.
One great example of this comes from President Donald Trump….
Trump is widely known as an entrepreneur who has engaged with many publics garnering support for a number of business ventures. Over the years, the public has come to know Trump in many roles.
Ultimately, Trump tapped into the cultural nuances of multiple publics to create relationships that established him as a household name.
On a grassroots level, Trump set the public relations platform long before his candidacy for president. By reaching out to different communities, from the wealthy to the working class and everything in between, Trump established relationships that probably played a role in helping him win the election.
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