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Focus on Peru

VitalStatistics

Population: 29,549,517
Monetary unit: Nuevo sol
Capital city: Lima
Major languages: Spanish 84.1%, Quechua 13%, Aymara 1.7%, Ashaninka 0.3%, Other native languages 0.7%, Other 0.2%
Major religions: Roman Catholic 81.3%, Evangelical 12.5%, Other 3.3%, Unspecified or none 2.9%
Ethnic composition: Amerindian 45%, Mestizo 37%, White 15%, Black, Japanese, Chinese and other 3%
Age breakdown: 0-14: 28.5%, 15-64: 65.1%, 65+: 6.4%
Life expectancy: Male 70.78, Female 74.76
Education: 2.7% GDP
Urban/Rural split: Urban 77%, Rural 23%
Income per household (USD): Lowest 10%: 1.4%, Highest 10%: 36.1%
Broadband internet users (%):

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Introduction

“Something extraordinary is happening in Peru,” reported Bloomberg in April 2012. Indeed the rapid shift of population from the countryside to coastal cities, annual GDP growth of around 6%, soaring exports and external investments, recently led the intellectual Alfredo Barnechea to declare: “We're a China in miniature.”

 “With the constant economic growth in Peru over the last 12 years, our PR industry has grown,” observes one industry insider. “Many international PR companies now operate in Lima, the capital city, and international PR events are becoming more frequent. Slowly, Peruvian companies are adopting modern PR practices.”

While those leading the industry bemoan a shortage of skilled PR practitioners, they also point to the courses now run by Peru's universities. They confidently predict that these will soon result in the influx of a cadre of skilled Peruvian PROs. “It's not easy to recruit talent,” says one agency boss. “But progress has been made in the universities and we will see the outcome in a few years.

It is an industry in a state of change. The Peruvian PRO of yesterday had strong journalist contacts, and was skilled at placing positive stories in the media. The Peruvian PRO of tomorrow will play a more strategic role within his or her organisation, will be more comfortable with digital and social campaigns, and - in an economy that is as dominated by extractive industries - will be increasingly aware of the importance of CSR programmes.


Media

The most influential newspaper is El Comercio which started in 1839 and has nationwide coverage. Gestion is the go-to publication for economic and business issues, while for government and public affairs coverage Peruvians turn to the official newspaper El Peruano.

In a mountainous country where much of the population is remote, radio broadcasting is very important and RPP is the leading source of information for the public. On television, Channel 4 – which is from the same stable as newspaper El Comercio – leads the ratings alongside Channel 9 and Channel 2.

“We are making progress on digital media and social networks but we have some way to go,” says one industry insider. “There is an interesting feedback between bloggers, Twitter and Facebook users. However, the most important and renowned, media are still the traditional ones.”

Major Brands

Technology is a fast-growing industry in Peru, and is one which has been making good progress on its PR. Brands like Samsung, Sony, LG and Lenovo have become recognised and trusted in a relatively short amount of time.

“The world is changing constantly and we must be able to adapt swiftly to those changes,” says Wendy Gallardo, PR Manager at Samsung Peru. “So our recent campaigns have focused on telling a story to consumers that connects them with the brand history, our products, our mission and vision.”

She continues: “Our PR campaigns have allowed us to show how our cellular phones are constantly evolving to keep pace with the ever-changing world around us, and I believe Peruvians now have a good understanding of our brand message, new products we launching, and our corporate and social responsibility messages.

Multinationals such as Starbucks, SAB Miller, Coca-Cola and Bayer have a strong presence, and in such a fast-growing economy the finance sector is important with players like Banco de Crédito, AFP Integra, and BBVA all working hard to build their reputations.

Finally, APEGA, the Peruvian Gastronomic Association, is worthy of mention. It recently organised Mistura, a festival of Peruvian cuisine which achieved an impressive half a million visitors, largely on the back of its media coverage.

Agencies

Ogilvy PR some years ago tried to launch in Lima. Although unsuccessful, it prompted an influx.

 Several other global players have arrived in Peru through partnerships with local operators, including Burson-Marsteller, Weber Shandwick (Apoyo Comunicaciones), Edelman (Pacific Latam), Fleishman–Hillard (EfectoEstrategia), Ketchum (Corporación Pro), and Andreoli MSL.

Spanish agency Llorente & Cuenca is present, and notable local agencies include Chirinos y Salinas, Chisac and Metrica.

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