International Communication Specialists: The Challenges

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The world is a global village. Interactions among communities though are complex.

Technologies have changed communication, making it more transnational, intercultural, and international. And business is increasingly global, and influenced by political, economic, social and cultural issues.

To implement communication strategies globally – where cultural and linguistic awareness and sensitivity are crucial – International Communication (IC) Specialists need wide-ranging interdisciplinary expertise.

It is an extensive field of study that merges various subjects – including communication, politics, economics, law, linguistics and sociology – and is applicable to any industry with an international focus.

How to create a compelling global message

  1. “Think global, act local”

IC Specialists have to adapt international communication strategies to local culture, values and the language patterns of their audience.

Communicating internationally means developing and implementing content that flows across geographical and social divides, exchanging information among nations and governments, and taking business-to-business and people-to-people interactions to a global level.

Nevertheless, ‘Think global, act local’ is the new motto in the current post-globalization era. In contrast to the cultural homogeneity imposed by globalization, the new trend is now the “simultaneous occurrence of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies in contemporary social, political, and economic systems”. What is the formula for compelling global messages then?

Global + Local = Glocal

  1. Get cultural awareness

Cultural awareness is about learning to identify and analyze how a culture influences preferences and behaviors. It entails understanding cross-cultural challenges and developing solutions accordingly.

The key for reaching audiences across borders is adapting a global message to local culture, values and language patterns with appropriate cultural awareness. The challenge is to acquire a solid knowledge of cultural studies and develop strong language skills.

  1. Consider social sensitivity

Social sensitivity is the ability to identify, perceive and understand signs and contexts in social interactions. As a core skill, IC Specialists have to take into consideration the effects of messages, news and campaigns on society. This is actually a new general trend in business, and mirrors the same pressure that impels companies to invest in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives.

Professional and personal skills

Communication and language skills are central. For example:

  • learning about communications theory, including research and communication methodology, data analysis, advertising techniques, online and social media practices, and content creation;
  • developing cross-cultural communication, with critical and creative thinking;
  • being proficient in as many languages as possible.

It is important to acquire theoretical knowledge and methodological-professional skills in the subjects of linguistics, economics, law, social sciences (such as sociological dynamics of communication), as well as computer/digital/internet proficiency. International communication courses are actually a balanced mix of law, business management, politics, linguistics, socio-cultural and communication studies.

International communication is a fascinating journey into multiculturalism. If you love cultures and history, are curious and sensitive to differences, this is your career. Be ready to invest your energies in multitasking situations!

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw


Picture: Photo by Slava Bowman on Unsplash


Stefania Capobianco Stefania Capobianco

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." - George Bernard Shaw

Extremely curious, creative, and passionate about intercultural and sociolinguistic processes.
As a multilingual communicator (Italian, English, French, Spanish, Japanese), I enjoy the challenge of shaping communication across cultures and making complex information accessible to a wide audience.

I am an International Communication and Project Specialist with a multidisciplinary background in international studies and management, including communications, politics, law, media and social sciences. My expertise at the international level encompasses communications and public relations, events and project management, marketing and digital branding.


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