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Managing Communications in Latin America

There’s definitely a lot of interest and excitement about Latin America these days. From a 14‐page cover story in The Economist on “The Rise of Latin America” to the Forbes story “Forget China, Look to Latin America,” all eyes are turned to our part of the world. It’s nothing new for JeffreyGroup which was founded in 1993 as the first agency specializing in Latin America and is today the largest independent marketing and corporate communications firm in the region. We have seven wholly-owned offices supplemented by Local Service Partners in every country of Latin America.

 

Although you’ve probably heard that Latin America is home to more than 500 million people, the population that most clients want to reach is very concentrated. Of those 500 million, more than 200 million are located in Brazil, which—despite some recent setbacks—is still world’s 8th largest economy and a vibrant consumer market. Another 120+ million are in Mexico—where the projected economic growth rate is now exceeding Brazil’s—and another 40 million in Argentina. So those three countries—where JeffreyGroup has its own offices—comprise about 70% of the total population of the region. They’re also home to the largest percentage of middle‐class consumers. Although there are other stable high‐growth markets – such as Chile, Colombia and Peru –a huge disparity still exists between the rich and the poor in many Latin American countries and sometimes the smaller markets do not represent a significant amount of revenue or investment opportunities for large multinationals.

 

That’s why it usually makes the most sense for clients wanting to build their brands and capitalize on the region’s opportunities to focus on increasing visibility and awareness in the markets where it will make the most impact. It’s also important to take into account the huge cross‐border flow of news, information and content, particularly in all of the Spanish‐speaking countries. People watch much of the same television programming, hear the same information, and go to the same online sites, regardless of which country they happen to be in. You probably wouldn’t hire separate agencies to manage your communications in New York State and Connecticut—but that’s what some companies still do in Chile and Argentina, for example (and by the way, the state of New York has a much larger population than the entire country of Chile).

 

If you’re interested in a program covering multiple markets, we can base the lead coordinating team in any of our five offices depending on what makes for the smoothest integration with your own structure. In markets where we don’t have our own offices, we use our unique LSP—“Local Service Partner”—model which draws upon our hand‐picked agencies and professionals in each country, selected on the basis of who’s best‐suited to handle your particular assignment based on our more than two decades of working in Latin America. We’re also glad to handle assignments for a single country as well and more than half of the business at our offices in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico is developing and managing local programs for that country only.

 

We offer a full‐range of integrated communication services for our clients including public relations, marketing support, influencer outreach, events, creative services, and we’ve been leading the charge with innovative digital and social networking campaigns in the region. We’re proud that our client list includes some of the world’s largest companies and brands, among them Among the firm’s current retainer clients are Airbnb, Airbus, Amazon, American Airlines, Bayer, Facebook, Instagram, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Nikon, Spotify and Xerox. And we also work for many companies which aren’t as well known—but we’re working hard to change that! 

 

 

 
 

About the Author

Jeffrey Sharlach is Chairman of JeffreyGroup which he founded in 1993 after holding senior management positions during a 15-year career in New York at top international agencies.  Since 2007 he has also been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Management Communication at the New York University Stern School of Business. Before establishing JeffreyGroup, he was Executive Vice President for International Operations at the Rowland Worldwide division of Saatchi & Saatchi, Vice President and Client Service Manager for Burson-Marsteller, and Vice President and Worldwide Creative Director for Carl Byoir & Associates.

 

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