Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Cultural Knowledge 101 – Vital to PSYOPers

NFL Summer training camps always begin with the fundamentals. I came across an article in the July 31, 2016 print edition of the NY Times, “When ‘Yes’ Means Not A Chance”, it appears on-line as “How to Deal With A Foreign Colleague Who Can’t Say No” (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/jobs/how-to-deal-with-a-foreign-colleague-who-cant-say-no.html?_r=0, which is also the photo source).

The essence of the article is that you need to be familiar with local culture and customs no matter where you go. The article addresses some basic concepts such as “on time”, which in many cultures, means whenever it happens.

The article touches on graft and corruption as an every day fact of life in many places and how the notion of ‘law and order’ doesn’t necessarily mean that at all.

The need for cultural familiarity, to include nuances and little known ‘rules’ is a critical element in the success or failure of localizing products from a far off location.

I worked for Symantec for many years in Corporate Marketing. Corporate was the keeper of the brand and the source of global campaigns and marketing materials. However, each region needed to not only pick and chose what was appropriate for their market and their audiences, but how to modify the corporate piece so that it would be effective.

As your team hits the practice field – maybe you should too.

A very special ‘shout out’ to my brothers and sisters attending the POVA meeting in Fayetteville – I’m with you in spirit.

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