Five Questions to Susanne Kapfer, Nordic Communications Director at SAP

Susanne Kapfer
Director Communications Nordic & Baltic Region, SAP

1. Is there anything called Nordic PR - or is there big local differences?

Unfortunately, there is no common PR standard for the Nordic region. The local media landscape, themes, formats and how to tell a story vary from country to country – and the important decision makers and industry organizations usually do not work across borders either. This means that you have to customize the stories and adapt to local conditions. However, I am convinced that a Nordic perspective on digitization and innovation ability – just to name a few common challenges – would bring great value to businesses being active in more than one of the Nordic countries.

2. What is the most important thing to keep in mind when you are responsible for cross-border communication?

That core messages and news stories get a local relevance and to adapt them into the local language. This means that you have to carefully prioritize your available activities. If the idea is to focus on a special theme for the whole Nordic region, you also have to plan resources for adaptation and location.

3. How far has SAP come in integrating PR and marketing – two areas that still are completely separate in many companies?

Although we still belong to different organizational units, we are increasingly working with each other on a local level. We are still responsible for our own traditional areas, but we jointly create and deliver on new formats and experiences.

4. What is most important for you in your role as a communications director and purchaser of external communication services?

Local expertise, transparency on everything from budget to results, genuine understanding of the company and the industry. And increasingly that external service providers build and manage networks and a wide range of communication services. No one requests an agency to have everything in-house, but it is a great advantage to be able to use additional services from the agency's ecosystem when needed.

5. How will the market for PR and communication develop in the Nordic region during the coming years?

We will see larger fragmentation of target groups and channels and more focus on social media and alternative niche channels and niche media. There will also be even fewer journalists and the boundaries between earned and paid media will be even softer.

When each individual is or becomes an ambassador for special interests and organizations, it will be even more important to have an integrated view on communications. Digital storytelling and integrated internal and external campaigns will be core competencies for business communications managers.