Oh Antonio!

Trip Start Jun 10, 2010
Trip End Jul 22, 2010

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Flag of Spain  , Madrid,
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Today was a good day. I had a great night sleep, and had full day ahead of me. We were scheduled to have Antonio Nunez come and speak with us about "Storytelling made in Spain. Branding Spain the United States." I was excited for this speaker, I have always enjoyed storytelling. Antonio introduced himself and how he got started in the business. Starting at age 18 in the wine business Antonio then moved to Euro communications and customer relationship marketing. He studied in San Francisco, and then found his true passion, writing novels. He has been creative writing for twenty years now. He makes money on evaluating and telling stories. He stressed to us that you can only influence not control. This was a very important fact I took from this speaker, because in PR that is a lot of what you are trying to do, influence, and I know it is hard to not want to control. He asked us questions on what we thought Spain was known for. This was a great session because we took us though an evaluation and let us learn on our own that branding is a huge issue for countries. He gave us examples and asked us our opinions of how to deal with branding issues. He got us involved and it motivated me to continue to think and explore more of branding in Spain. He talked to us about how countries brand themselves, and the many PR tools for branding. He explained how new technologies emphasize how important PR is today. I thought Antonio was a great speaker to have because he had so much to say and he was such a great person to interact with. He was very knowledgeable in the field and was a motivator. He sparked inspiration in me. After the lesson we all went down to the lobby to talk and digest what we had all leaned. The funny thing about our conversation was not only was Antonio a great speaker, but he was also very beautiful… This was our comic relief! All the girls were talking about Antonio and how we all wanted him to show us around Madrid…. Oh Spain had been good to us!

We had a few hours before our next adventure out to the PR firm, so some of us went to lunch with one of our Professors, Cesar. This was a perfect time to absorb the city and sit back and watch. I was so fortunate to have both our professors on this trip with us. Cesar grew up in Madrid so he was perfect to have around. He was our own personal tour guide. We went to one of him and his wife's favorite restaurants in town. It was a cute little place to sit and chat. Food was a big thing I was looking forward to before this trip to Spain. I have always loved food and enjoy exploring new types. When it came to ordering food I do wish that I would have been better at speaking Spanish. It was so hard to try and order without butchering the name of the dish. If Cesar and or Jennifer were not around it was difficult to know what I was about to eat, exciting yes, but ended sour at times. So back to lunch with Cesar. Customer service was one of the major cultural differences I saw between the U.S and Spain. During our lunch I saw this plain and clear. In the states we pride ourselves on excellent customer service. If a waiter in the states screws up a customer’s order then most of the time they comp the meal, but in Spain that is not the case. It was hard for me to not think that the staff was being rude. Coming from North America I guess you could say I was sensitive. I asked Cesar at lunch if he thought Spanish servers were rude and he said, “Having lived in the states I can see why Americans feel this way.” I understood that they were not trying to be rude, but they were not going out of their way to be extra nice like they do in the states. Leaving a tip for the restaurant staff is also a lot different. Usually you tip only like fifty cents or so for a meal, but in the states you all know its way different. I could see this also being a reason why the service is different. In the states the servers are working for their tip, but in Spain they don’t get a percent, so they don’t care. The lunch with Cesar was excellent; I was able pick at his Spanish brain for good info, and pick at my Spanish dish for good taste.

Around four or so later that day we all met up to go on our tour of the Public Relations firm, Llorente & Cuenca. Being that I am studying PR this was the tour that I was most excited about. Getting to the firm was not walking distance so we had to take the city metro. This was a fun way to see the city trying to blend like a local. The bus was very similar to the public transpiration back home in Seattle. It was nice to get a little tour of the streets on our way to the firm, poor Cesar was explaining the whole way there. The firm was in a nice modern looking building with I believe it was two or three floors. The elevator was exciting for us because it was so different from what you see in the states. We had too much fun with it. Our presenters for the day were two very kind gentlemen I believed their names were, Arturo Pinedo and Carlos Suarez. They presented to us a case study on an international public relations campaign in Spain, by an American company. They introduced themselves and their company as the leading communications consulting company in Spain and Latin America. Their mission was to achieve results for their clients business. They talked to us about the external and internal communications, and the challenges of multi- country projects. The main message I learned was that you have to balance cultural tolerance and reputations are global. When working internationally you have to identify common concepts and themes. The one thing I know I will always remember was that we all need to start thinking globally. They said that they have experienced from Americans that when a crisis happens in America, we make statements in America for Americans not the rest of the world – NEED TO GO GLOBAL! After their presentation we got to do a Q & A and end with a tour of the firm. This was a good day.
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