Cultural intelligence – know what it is and where it may fit into your role? Read on and please take part in an associated piece of dissertation research to support a final year PR student.
by Connor Peters
“Cultural intelligence”. You might not have heard of the concept, but it’s a simple and increasingly important concept – like IQ, but for culture. Simply put, the higher your cultural intelligence (CQ), the better you’re are at thinking about and handling cross-cultural situations.
Just think – are you knowledgeable about other cultures? Maybe you change things as subtle as your non-verbal behaviour when a situation requires it? If you do, then you might just have a high CQ. And in an today’s world, CQ may be increasingly important in the comms industry.
When I mention culture here, it’s not just national or geographic culture that is relevant – other cultures such as organisational culture, or culture of certain demographics, age groups and more, all fall under the umbrella of ‘culture’. Being able to understand and navigate any culture that’s different to yours requires CQ.
As the world becomes more interconnected, and international business becomes more accessible than ever, many business leaders have stressed the importance of emerging economy markets and the opportunity of expanding British business. This means cultural intelligence and understanding differing cultures is becoming more essential by the day. Particularly for PR and communications professionals, as we’re the ones who need to communicate effectively across these cultures.
This is one of the key concepts I’m currently looking at in my dissertation. My study also focuses on social media usage, as this is possibly the clearest and cheapest path for communications professionals to engage audiences from all over the world. However, the change in culture has a profound effect not only in the amount that social media is used around the world, but how social media is used, not to mention what channels are used.
But how does cultural intelligence impact UK businesses now? And how does social media play a part in this? Well, that’s what I’m trying to find out. With my dissertation, I’m hoping to create a framework for PR practitioners to aid cross cultural expansion of British businesses – whether that be for their own PR businesses, or as communications advice for clients. If you’d like to read the whole dissertation when it’s published, I am trying to get it published in the Journal of Public Relations research. But to do that, I need a lot of survey respondents to ensure I have reliable data.
Which brings me onto a favour: As I’m doing this study through quantitative data, I need as many PR and communication professionals to fill out my academic survey as possible. So, if you’re working in the PR or comms industry, please fill out the survey below and share it with your colleagues – every survey response helps.
Thanks for your help
Connor Peters is a final year BA Public Relations student at Bournemouth University and on the look-out for a PR graduate job
image via Tullio Saba