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Communication – Cultural sensitivity and subtlety

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Movies (reel life) are a reflection of real life. Often, the theme of movies were inspired by real life stories. So, as PR practitioners and communicators, learning the cultural sensitivities and subtleties are very important.

Most of the time, when our clients disseminate information, those information, whether from USA, Europe, LATAM, etc, we need to discern, translate contextually, and then relay the information to the media, stakeholders, and the public. The information we received are often clinical at best, and it is up to us to translate them into a culturally nuanced and acceptable format and content.

Even in APAC, the cultural nuances are diverse. Singapore is a rather “Westernized” state, and as such, the residents are easily congruent with an American or European messaging, and can accept it without much translation or contextual mapping.

However, the same content would need cultural tuning and editing for places such as mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and so on. The same messaging would quite possibly get passed through and ignored, if there is insufficient localization and contextualization.

The movie “Love like the falling petals (桜のような僕の恋人)” is a masterpiece which relays the Japanese ethos, one of #respect, courtesy, and yet, a certain spirit that allows masterful steering to put the other party at ease. It is a fine art, something we can learn from especially in difficult, emotional, and even explosive scenarios. This is especially useful not just in PR, communication, but even in politics and diplomacy.

PS – Not going to give the plot away, but if you can, watch it. It is a masterful tearjerker.