Communicating Effectively with Montrealers: A Key Element in Positioning Your Business

Companies looking to penetrate foreign markets need to be clever, ambitious and innovative to overcome the many unpredictable challenges and obstacles involved. Fortunately, organizations such as Montréal International (MI) can provide valuable assistance to help companies integrate local markets. A driving force in Greater Montréal’s economy for 20 years now, MI attracts wealth from abroad and accelerates the success of its partners and clients. Of all the challenges that face foreign companies setting up operations in our beautiful city, the interdependence of communications and public relations with Montréal’s unique culture and issues in particular creates a strong need for local support. Regardless of the industries in which they are involved, all companies can derive considerable benefit from consulting a local firm for help with business market entry strategies.

Experts can show you the ropes to help you better understand how communications, social acceptability, public and government relations play a role in an organization’s integration into the Greater Montréal market.

Understanding the social and business culture

To develop strategies in line with a new market, it’s important to understand the market’s quirks and subtleties. Knowledge of the United States is not enough to understand Canada’s market and different cultures. Fluency in one, or even both, of our official languages does not suffice to establish dialogue.

An organization that exports its activities needs support to learn how to communicate effectively in new markets, so that it can highlight its special characteristics while avoiding any pitfalls that could impede its economic or commercial development.

Communicating with public officials

Communicating with political policy makers, public servants and elected officials calls for in-depth understanding of the rules and practices in force in order to be heard at all levels of government and by public institutions. Our three-tier government system can present a challenge to foreigners trying to understand the roles of the different governments and how to communicate with them effectively.

Speaking to the media

Companies rarely make public relations a top priority, which is unfortunate because public relations are an accessible, affordable and effective way to make one’s mark. However, making sense of foreign media can take a great deal of time, resources and research. It also helps to be familiar with the language, political affiliations, publishing niches and target audiences of local media. Moreover, contacts with the media generally grow out of interpersonal relationships built over time, permitting the development of trust and beneficial dialogue between journalists and directors, managers and other key stakeholders. We work with purveyors of information and opinion—partners, influencers, experts, journalists, columnists, editorialists, bloggers—to get your message across effectively.

Engaging with the community

In order to develop successful proposals in relation to certain projects and the issues they raise, detailed knowledge of the public consultation process is required. The arrival of a foreign company can raise questions or even lead to resistance.

Any entrepreneur who wants to participate in the Montreal market needs to create dialogue with public authorities and connect with the local media, but for long-term success, the local community needs to be engaged in the business plan. Given the current trend favouring local products, support from Montrealers will give your business a significant boost.

Developing a corporate identity

Penetrating a new market requires careful management of internal and external communications. Since the communications principles and best practices needed to tackle overall corporate issues are influenced by culture, foreign companies need to adopt local traditions and establish a reputation based on the local context.

Whether they come from near or far, whether they share the local language or not, foreign organizations can always benefit from the services of a communications and public relations firm to facilitate market integration, as well as to shed light on the major issues and unique characteristics of the country in which they have chosen to do business and, by extension, of customers and potential partners. To succeed internationally, companies must comply with local rules, and focus on building long-term relationships in their new market in order to become rooted in the community.