Elizabeth Albrycht

Last week, 20 year Public Relations veteran Elizabeth Albrycht visited my Global P.R. class via skype. Ms. Albrycht worked in High Tech P.R. in Silicon Valley and then owned her own P.R. agency. She then recieved her Masters in French and Ms. Albrycht has now been living in Paris for the past six years teaching at two different universities, one being the Paris School of Business. Most of her students speak french but she teaches in english because it is required in France communication programs to speak english. Ms. Albrycht told us that in her international program more than 20 different countries were represented.

Ms. Albrycht then began her discussion focusing on International Business. She began by focusing on what people, in general, want. She said that people want good information, to be treated as individuals, to be treated with respect and kindness, to have problems solved quickly and correctly and when someone is wrong people want a sincere apology. Ms. Albrycht said that people hate to feel helpless and really just want honesty.

Ms. Albrycht then talked with the class about adapting to the culture in which you are in. She first suggested to take into account the concept of individual and collective approaches. A common criticism she hears in France is something being “too american and no soliditarity”. She explained that while there are many different definintions for P.R. one definition that is simple and true is that the purpose of P.R. is to create shared meaning, so with a language barrier this can be difficult.

We continued the conversation by discussing social media and what a profound effect it is having on the public relations field. Ms. Albrycht said that the audience is in control of the brand, not you, BUT, you can influence it. Social media like Twitter gives us a great oppurtunity to listen to our audience. But, how do we respond? Ms. Albrycht let us know that everything a PR person does has a dynamic meeting and that is why hours are spent on a press release and how it will be interpreted.

Finally Ms. Albrycht discussed International Public Relations. She let us know that media relations differ from country to country. She gave us the example that in France, the media will accept gifts from PR pro’s while in the U.S. that would be considered unethical. She told us that there are also regulatory differences and differences in advertising. For example, in some countries you are not permitted to show children’s faces in commercials. She informed us that in Europe there is quite a power struggle in organizations so you must be very good at negotiating and to check your ego at the door.

As she signed off she recommended living outside of the U.S. for atleast 6-months to see how other people live and to recognize how “enormous” the United States is. She also recommended gaining a well-rounded education because in P.R. this is extremely important.

Overall, I really enjoyed this guest speaker and would love to hear from Ms. Albrycht again!


October 26, 2009. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Andrews replied:

    It would be nice to have her speak to another class. Maybe next spring or next academic year.

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