We are neighbours, speak the same language, coproduce TV shows and laugh about each others jokes about each other. Most of the times we get along very well with our Belgian friends. Our countries are small and we both know how important it is to defend our role within the European Union and the world. When it comes to destination branding, foreign clients and tourist boards see us as ‘one important market’: the Benelux. But is it possible to represent three small countries seen from only one Dutch point of view? We have our doubts…
Of course, the distance from Amsterdam to Antwerp is about the same distance as from one side of New York to the other. And since there is no language barrier (with the Flanders part) Dutch PR agencies often are being appointed to promote a foreign destination in both the Netherlands and Belgium. Lots of them accept the assignment and are convinced they can do a proper job.
Like we said before, at Check-in PR we believe in a personal approach, in meeting with media on a regular basis (face to face!) and in sending tailor made media releases and information. Although we get along with our Belgian neighbours very well, we find it hard to really get ‘into the minds’ of the Belgian media and approach them the same way we do with their Dutch colleagues. Not because we don’t want to, but because a lack of time to keep up with the Belgian market and to visit our contacts personally.
That is where our partner agency Glenaki comes in 🙂 They are specialized in destination management, content PR and storytelling, just like we are but with the real Belgian touch. They know their own market from inside out, spot the words in our media releases that are ‘typical Dutch’ (without us being aware of that) and speak the language of the Belgian media, B2B partners and consumers. For various destinations and clients we closely work together so we both can do the best job we can.
And you have to admit… a Belgian steak tartare is not a Dutch sandwich filet americain. And a Belgian cheese not a traditional Dutch farmers’ cheese. So let’s all practice what we preach and join forces whenever we can.