Public Relations Awards

Top 2 Tips for Businesses Trying to Break Into Latin America, From a PR Award Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Sep 01, 2011 @ 10:19 AM

Q&A with Edward de Valle, CEO of AMGW Agency of Brazil and Miami, Florida, USA, which received the Stevie Award for Public Relations Agency of the Year in Mexico, Central, and South America in the PR awards categories of The 2011 International Business Awards.  The IBAs are open to all organizations worldwide.  This year’s awards ceremonies will be on October 11 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Edward de ValleWhat are your top tips for U.S. and European companies or organizations thinking of doing business in South and Central America?

1. Do not try to take on the entire region at once, as it is extremely large.  Focus on key markets that are of interest to your organization. Each section of Central and South America has a different cultural working environment. For instance, if you want to focus on Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile that would be considered a Southern Cone business push. On the other hand, if you prefer to work with Venezuela, Peru, and Colombia, that is known as the Andean Pack. Focus on the markets that would best utilize your goods or services.

2. Tailor your goods or services for the markets you decide to work in. For example, if your company is a marketing consultancy like my own agency—which offers public relations, media placement, translation, and creative services out of our Miami offices—you might do well to offer just a few of those services in Central or South America.  Not all of your products or services may make sense in the competitive make-up of such widely different markets. In Brazil, for instance, we have found it best to offer media placement and public relations, but not our creative services.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?

I am fascinated by news stories on the ever-changing global economy. When I learned recently that American corporations were working very hard to increase their global sales rather than focusing on the U.S. and Canada, I felt that finally someone was listening to what I have been trying to tell people for years. The profits of American corporations will be over 50% of their P&L by 2015 (right now it is at 40%) so I feel that AMGW Agency is in the right place at the right time to help these companies expand their ever-growing businesses into new areas.

Do you have a favorite business app?

Not an app per se, but I follow an applicable way of thinking and working using ZMOT from Google. Amazing! It’s incredible how quickly marketing is changing and I am constantly going back to ZMOT to reference great new thinking and ideas.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?

Motivational speaker. I believe that youth globally is headed in a very dangerous direction. Expecting instead of creating has become the norm. We need to create, create, and create.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?

That they love what they do and are eager to help our clients get a return on their marketing investment—which can be very difficult at times.

What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work? 

Counting how much money you will make off each paycheck or client profit. If you work thinking only about what you earn, you do not have passion. Passion comes first and money later. Also, people first and money later.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?

To be honest with you, sometimes I do not know. I think it must be the drive inside me that never stops wanting to make things happen for others. I love helping people and I work every day with this in mind. I see a great company with bad marketing tactics and I salivate to get them on track. That’s the real thrill for me: getting results for clients.

About Edward de Valle

Edward de Valle established AMGW Agency ten years ago.  Prior to that he worked in the publishing industry, most recently as Director of Sales at Newsweek Latin America.  His career began at General Electric as the Marketing Manager for GE Power Systems Latin America.

Edward is Cuban American. His great-great-grandfather, Alfredo de Zayas y Alfonso, was the 4th President of Cuba and his great grandfather was the owner of one of the largest newspapers in Cuba, El Avance. More recently, his father ran a construction and real estate business in Florida, while his mother is a director and principal of education. His formal education includes a B.S. in International Business, an M.B.A. in corporate marketing, and three years of completed doctoral work in the science of organizational behavior at Nova Southeastern University.

About AMGW Agency

AMGW Agency provides essential services for luxury brands, developers /hoteliers, and medical/healthcare companies around the world. With its core services in media planning and buying, public relations, sales consulting, and interactive marketing, AMGW executes marketing strategies in all seven continents. The company has regional offices in the United States (Miami, New York, San Francisco); Mexico; Panama; Colombia; Venezuela; Dominican Republic; Brazil (Sao Paulo, Goiania, Brasilia); United Kingdom; Italy; Netherlands; Russia; India; Dubai; Qatar; and Lebanon. Recently AMGW Agency formed a global alliance with El Taller Creativo of the Dominican Republic, making AMGW the number one advertising, PR, and communications firm for The Americas and Caribbean. Its newest offices are located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. To learn more about the agency visit

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, agency of the year, public relations awards, AMGW