What happens when we are trying to communicate with people who live in another place with a distinctively different culture? Do they do things differently there? How can we be sensitive to these differences?
As communicators, we are attuned to the audience we want to reach. But still we are grounded in the people around us, to where we work and live. It’s hard not to have our approach shaped by “the way we do things around here.” In other words, the local culture. It’s what we’re exposed to each and every day. So we don’t challenge or think about whether it is the best way of doing things.
On this week’s episode of the Inside PR podcast, we explore these questions with two guests who have lived and worked on both sides of the Atlantic.
Suzy Chisholm is head of communications at Philips Switzerland. A transplanted Canadian, she has spent over twenty years living and working in Switzerland, a country at the heart of Europe and a country with three languages.
Sherrilynne Starkie has worked in Washington, London, the Isle of Man and now in Canada.
Both Suzy and Sherrilynne offer their perceptions and insights into the challenges of communicating in different cultures. And then Martin, Gini and I weigh in with our own thoughts.
We hope that this discussion opens some windows onto the different experiences and approaches people may have working as communicators around the world.
What is your experience? Have you had direct experience of the differences driven by culture and language? We’d love to hear your thoughts.