Seven things to bear in mind when doing PR in Spain

29 September 2021, By Canela

Spain has a total population of 47 million people, being the fourth most populated country in the European Union and the fourth largest economy in the region (14th in the world ranking). Despite this, it is not a seen as priority market when global companies design their marketing and communication strategies. And that is shown in their campaigns! As a local PR agency with more than 15 years of experience, we are giving you seven key aspects that you must take into account if you want to communicate in Spain.

Yes, we all speak Spanish, but there are more languages

Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world by native speakers and the third most used on the Internet. Even though we understand each other perfectly with our brothers and sisters from all over Latin America, there are some differences. A translation from Argentina won’t work well here, or vice versa.

In addition to Castilian (the official name given to the Spanish spoken in Spain), there are other languages in our country ​​that are recognized as co-official in their respective regions, such as Catalan, Basque or Galician. These are the mother tongues of many people, who also have their own media and cultural industries. On the other hand, only one in five Spaniards has a good level of English.

There’s more than bulls, flamenco and paella

In the 60s, when Francisco Franco’s dictatorship opened up to the world, Spain was very successful in exporting an exterior image based on elements such as sun and beach, parties, flamenco or bullfighting.

Although these symbols are very popular, we do not like to be identified solely by them, since the reality of our country is much more diverse. From the humid and mountainous north to the warm south; from the Mediterranean Levant to the immense plateaus of the interior; and from the cosmopolitan cities of Madrid and Barcelona to rural Spain, the culture, folklore, gastronomy, manners and traditions of our land make up a great mosaic.


We like informal and face-to-face communication

Like other Mediterranean countries we have a reputation for being joyful and emotional. We love to see each other face to face, we need physical contact and we love to talk about business sitting at the table having a few beers. This is also reflected in the communication style that best suits us, which is based on clarity and transparency.

Except for very formal situations, the informal tone “you” is appropriate to address consumers in general, and a call to direct action works better than the “over-politeness”of other languages ​​such as English. Speak clearly and they will understand you!

The media landscape is in full swing

As in many other countries, the barrage of the Internet has caused a deep crisis in the media. The large journalistic headlines, from El País or El Mundo to regional newspapers such as La Vanguardia, are seeing a decline in their circulation and are trying to find new ways to remain relevant in the digital world, making money with it (firewalls are the new update in the Spanish media and it is not clear if they will work).

At the same time, television and radio are experiencing an increasing fragmentation due to competition from video-on-demand platforms, podcasts, for example. All this means that hundreds of media have closed and thousands of journalists are now unemployed. Digital media and influencers proliferate, but few are professionalized, so reaching good communicators requires knowing the media landscape very well.

We are addicted to our phones and instant messaging

Even though the penetration of digital media is among the lowest in Europe, we are the world leader in penetration of smartphones and fiber optics at home. The most used application in Spain is WhatsApp, followed by YouTube, while our favorite social networks are Facebook and Instagram. We spend an average of two hours a day going through social platforms, compared to the three that we spend watching television.

These data reveal the existing fracture between the young population, highly focused on digital channels, and the adult population, who keep using conventional media. Therefore, depending on the group you are targeting, you will have to choose an appropriate media mix.

We love e-commerce and delivery

For years, Spain has been one of the fastest growing markets for e-commerce, and the pandemic has only accelerated this phenomenon. Almost half of the Spanish population shop regularly on the Internet, even though the physical stores continue to be the dominant shopping channel in all age groups and product categories.

Another successful phenomenon in Spain is delivery. With the pandemic, we are at the same level as the United States or the United Kingdom when it comes to food delivery orders, with about 45% of users using these services. Aside from food, we are also the originators of home delivery of all kinds of products through Glovo, one of the unicorns of the Spanish Internet, which is valued at almost 2,000 million euros.

Our brand loyalty is priceless

Spanish consumers are among the most loyal to brands in the world, according to KPMG. 91% of them usually buy from the same brand and 85% do so from the same retailers. Fashion, food and beverages are the categories in which we show the highest brand loyalty. What are the keys to gaining the trust of Spanish buyers? The quality, the price, the customer service and the shopping experience.

That said, we are not very fond when it comes to loyalty programs (only 35% of consumers use them regularly), but at the same time statistics show that 91% of Spaniards are willing to recommend a brand to their friends and family if they are happy with it.

Do you want us to help you launch your communication in Spain? Ask for our help!