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PR in Costa Rica – Our Story

Any international company wishing to thrive in the market can benefit from working with a Costa Rican PR agency that understands the unique cultural idiosyncrasies of the country, but also has an international perspective.

Whether you are a consumer brand, business services provider or a disruptive tech start-up, Sherlock Communications is a unique among PR agencies in Costa Rica in offering an award-winning team that combines local insight and media contacts, besides decades of international experience.

Whether it’s media relations, social and digital media, influencer campaigns, performance marketing or inbound lead generation, Sherlock’s Costa Rican team has a proven track record of delivering great results for international clients, from disruptive tech companies to blue-chip brands.

Market Overview

The republic of Costa Rica has a population of just 4.8 million and is one of the most prosperous and politically stable countries in Central America. It is also the only state in the area without a permanent standing army, after it was abolished in 1948.

The country enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the region and this prosperity and stability offers a wealth of opportunities to those working in the PR, media and communications industries, with businesses open to growth and development and a vibrant media landscape to support public relations.

It is an excellent hub for business and trade due to its geographical location at the heart of the Americas, with ports on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

In fact, Costa Rica’s investment climate has been favourable for many years. Foreign direct investment is high and has been a significant contributor to economic growth. In addition, the Costa Rican government has put in place measures to counter challenges faced by the country, including rising operating costs, a complex legal system, bureaucracy and infrastructure issues and these actions have improved greatly its ability to do business.

The Media Landscape

Costa Rica has a vibrant media sector, with numerous public and privately owned newspapers, television outlets, and radio stations. There are nine major newspapers and cable television is widely available. Radio, with 112 stations nationally, is the most popular medium for news dissemination.

Costa Rica also has one of the highest innovation potentials in the region thanks to a high-quality educational system, good use of ICT and an above-average capacity to innovate and use available technology. Internet access has 87% penetration (4.2 million) with 3.2 active social media users, and 7.9 million mobile subscriptions.

The Economy

Probably the most economically stable country in Central America, Costa Rica’s current GDP is $58.1bn and despite a slight recession following the global economic crisis, its economy resumed growth at about 4% in the years 2010-14 and by 4.3% in 2016.

While the traditional agricultural exports of bananas, coffee, sugar, and beef are still the backbone of commodity-based exports, in recent years, a broader variety of industrial and specialised agricultural products, high value-added goods and services such as medical devices have further bolstered exports. Its main industrial products are: microprocessors, medical equipment, electronic components and food processing. These goods, along with pineapple, banana, dairy products and coffee, are the country’s main export products.

Tourism also is a continuing addition to foreign exchange as Costa Rica’s impressive biodiversity makes it a prime destination for ecotourism. Foreign investors remain attracted by the country’s political stability and high education levels, as well as the incentives offered in the free-trade zones. As a result, Costa Rica has one of the highest levels of foreign direct investment per capita in Latin America. In 2015, it received around $2.8 billion and several multinational companies have set up their hubs in the country over the last few years. Investors are encouraged due to the country’s high standards of living, political and economic stability and excellent educational system.

Costa Rica also has free trade agreements with the European Union, United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Singapore, the rest of Central America and Caribbean countries among others. The US-Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into effect on 1 January 2009 and has increased foreign direct investment in key sectors of the economy, including the insurance and telecommunications sectors which have been opened to private investors. It also provides the most attractive and cost-effective tax incentives in the region.

Costa Rica is the most visited nation in Central America and the tourism sector is one of the fastest growing in the country, becoming the largest source of foreign revenue. It alone has earned more foreign exchange than bananas, pineapples and coffee exports put together.

There were 2.43 million foreign visitors and $1.92-billion in revenue in 2013 – an all-time record – and in 2012, tourism contributed to 12.5% of the country’s GDP and was responsible for 11.7% of employment.

In figures, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Costa Rica’s GDP was USD 2.7bn, 13.4% of GDP in 2016, which is forecast to rise by 3.6% in 2017, and by 4.6% annually to USD 11.4bn – 14.6% of GDP – in 2027. In 2016 the industry directly supported 110,000 jobs, 5.2% of total employment. This is expected to rise by 2.1% in 2017 and by 3.0% year on year to 151,000 jobs – 6.0% of total employment – in 2027.

The Capital – San Jose

San Jose is the largest city in Costa Rica with a population of 1,720,000 and home to more than 50 private universities, which, as a result, boasts the best education levels in Central America.

It is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity and the country’s major transportation hub.

Although few people live in the city centre, it is the most important business hub area in the country and as a result, brings in more than a million people on a daily basis. According to studies in Latin America, San José is still one of the safest and least violent cities in the region. In 2006, the city was appointed Ibero-American Capital of Culture.
The city is also the sixth-most important destination in Latin America, according to The MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index 2012.

San José has several internal transportation networks that connect the city districts and metropolitan area; as well as national transportation networks which connect the city to other parts of Costa Rica.

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If you would like to learn more about PR in Costa Rica, find out how Sherlock Communications can help you meet your business objectives in Costa Rica or simply have an informal chat do call or drop us a line:

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+55 11 3817 5852

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contact@sherlockcomms.com

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Rua Mourato Coelho Nº 923, Pinheiros, São Paulo – SP – Brasil, 05417-011