Trade mission aims to build links between US and Yorkshire media firms

SENIOR figures from US media firms will head to Yorkshire next month as part of a trade mission which aims to forge stronger ties between New England and companies at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

The trade mission to Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle will investigate potential trade relationships and off-shoring opportunities between the US and the North of England.

The mission, which will be led by the British American Business Council of New England (BABCNE), will meet businesses in Manchester on September 18, Leeds on September 20 and Newcastle on September 21.

The delegation will be welcomed by senior business and civic leaders and Government representatives in the three UK cities, and there will also be the opportunity to schedule one-to-one meetings between the US agencies and their UK counterparts.

Rick McKenna, the chief executive of the Boston-based advertising and brand agency Wallwork Curry McKenna, will lead the media delegation, which also includes public relations, business development and video production agencies from Massachusetts.

Paul Snape, of Appeal PR and Great British Marketing, which has offices in Harrogate and Boston, Massachusetts, is organising events and meetings for the delegates in Leeds.

Mr Snape said: “The relationship between the UK and US has never been more important for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, and this is a chance for media agencies in Manchester and Leeds to meet potential partners in the US.”

Mr Snape said the trip could lead to new international trade opportunities between Leeds and Boston-based firms.

He said senior figures from the Leeds City Region are also keen to give businesses and representatives from Boston an insight into what Leeds has to offer in terms of tourism and inward investment.

Mr Snape told The Yorkshire Post: “Two US law firms are also on the trip, aiming to grow networks and offer immigration and tax advice to a growing number of UK clients.

“There are 13 delegates, including the Consul General to New England, Harriet Cross who comes from Beverley, and is a great advocate for Yorkshire.”

Events to welcome the delegation are being hosted by the law firm Clarion, Leeds City Council, professional services firm RSM and marketing services group Paragon in Leeds.

Mr Snape said that Yorkshire business leaders who were looking to forge ties with US firms must be prepared to spend time in the US market, building connections and networks.

He added: “Too many firms don’t try to empathise with target customers, and don’t appreciate the subtle differences in business culture that can really hamper relationships. American businesses can be run in a very different manner to UK firms, but they can teach us a great deal, and they can offer huge opportunities, especially with the current climate and economics.”

Mr McKenna said: “We are here looking for UK clients who want to get advice on marketing in the US, but also to forge some long-term relationships with UK agencies who might need US partners, just as we sometimes need support for UK campaigns.”

Any agencies interested in meeting Mr McKenna and his colleagues can make contact via the website and request an introduction.

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