Prior to becoming a part of the team at the AXON office in the UK, I worked for a healthcare public relations agency in New York City. Often, people ask me the difference between living in New York versus living in London, and I happily tell them that as well as NYC does the bagel, London does the roast dinner and, therefore, both are fantastic places to live. What I’m not often probed about is the variances of working in my previous city compared to my new one. Because of this, the answer is not so easily given but, instead, an interesting one to investigate.

When first pondering the question, I come up with a lot of easy conclusions, including: referring to  the end of a sentence as  ‘full stop’ instead of ‘period’ and experiencing the difficulties of deciphering a German accent when your ear is only trained for various levels of excitement or anxiety in an American one. There is also something to be said for learning to dial foreign telephone numbers (there are so many digits!) and perfecting the afternoon ‘cuppa’ tea. These were all skills that had to be quickly learned and perfected.

After moving beyond the nuances, it is clear that the real differences come down to the work each location typically does on a daily basis – domestic versus global. Although seemingly a title for a rowdy sporting match of some sort, comparing the two is about understanding and appreciating their differences, rather than choosing one over the other. Much like ‘football,’ they are two different, but equally challenging and rewarding games.

As a global PR practitioner, I often focus on numerous markets and how they function individually. I approach a PR plan by asking what can be developed that will resonate and help educate a range of people in different languages and cultures, and how can it be executed at both global and local scales. Different aspects of PR, including market access and affiliate communications, become the forefront of my thoughts and the inner workings of countries’ regulatory bodies are slowly uncovered.

After thinking about the differences, it’s hard not to consider the similarities that have made my experience in both countries unforgettable. Not surprisingly, the list is long and includes my numerous fantastic colleagues, the overall devotion to excellence, the varied, regular challenges, the exciting client conversations and the feeling that at the end of the day, I’ve helped communicate important information to people who need it the most.

Regardless of whether it’s located stateside or over the pond, said in an American accent or a British one (Scottish or Welsh or Irish – take your pick), or referred to as a touchdown or a goal, it’s rewarding all the same.

Julie Van Vliet, AXON Senior Programme Manager, London, UK