The COVID-19 pandemic spawned new barriers and opened new doors at breathtaking speed. Suddenly boarders were closed, travel banned, supply chains paralyzed and remote work normalized. More than two years later, businesses are still trying to navigate the new normal the outbreak created, and one of the elements is global growth in this new space. With employees and partners working remotely across borders, how important is a physical space for an expanding business? Do you still need boots on the ground? According to Zoe Watson, Australia lead and vice president of global strategy at Praytell, who has been navigating this space successfully, the answer is yes and yes.

In this episode of the PRovoke Media Podcast, Megan Miller is joined by Watson to talk about unique considerations agencies face when going global.

Founded in New York in 2014, Praytell has quickly grown to a strong team in in New York (Brooklyn and Manhattan), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, Melbourne and London. These offices serve large, global clients such as Anheuser-Busch, Destination Canada, Estée Lauder Companies, Danone, Under Armour, PepsiCo and Calm. Watson credits the company’s global expansion and strong portfolio to its client demand and one team, one dream mentality. Every time the company expands to a new market, the core of the business stays the same, but with a local touch.

“Our global growth has been fueled by our partners and our people, but our offering has not changed,” she said. “That offering is translated and influenced and delivered on really differently in the markets that we move into, because all of those markets are so culturally nuanced, and we know, more than ever, creating cultural currencies is what we do as an industry.”

Watson’s advice to those looking to expand is to make sure you’re bringing something unique to the market you’re moving to and to not expect to be the same business in every market — it can't just be about dots on a map or a satellite office.

“We’re not trying to do everything all at once,” she said. “We do not expect to step into Australia and be the leader on certain conversations that we are in the States. You have to earn that right, and you have to understand the unique landscape in which you're operating.”

Overall, despite the rise in telecommuting and technologies that make it easier to work across borders, Watson says there are still plenty of reasons for a PR firm to expand internally. It’s an exciting move to make, assuming you’re doing it for the right business reasons and have the right support in place.

Topics include:
0:00 Introductions
1:58 Praytell’s Personal Growth Journey
6:07 Go Where Your Partners and People Want You to Go
8:31 Make Sure You’re Bringing Something Unique
13:28 Start With Your Foundation
17:00 Focus on Team and Talent
23:04 You Can’t Do It All
25:39 Success is Defined by Learning and Sharing
26:04 Don’t Underestimate The Power of Your Partners