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PR in the Dominican Republic – Our Story

Any international company wishing to thrive in the market can benefit from working with a Dominican 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 the Dominican Republic in offering an award-winning team that combines local insight and media contacts, but also decades of international experience.

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

Market Overview

Following rule by a series of dictators for 134 years, the Dominican Republic became a democracy in 1978 with its national powers divided among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches.

With a population of 10.6 million, the country has a multi-party system but this has been dominated by two main players for the last 20 years. Generally, elections are free and fair, according to international observers. The current president is Danilo Medina from the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD).

Located in the centre of the Caribbean Sea, the Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the region on the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, which is also home to Haiti.

Its GDP is recorded as $71.58bn with sugar processing, coffee and tobacco its main sources of income and tourism becoming an important contributor. Known as the ‘breadbasket of the Caribbean,’ more than 50% of the terrain is used for agriculture.

As a fast-growing economy, the Dominican Republic’s doors are very much opening to PR and Media activities and Sherlock Communications, as a major communications agency in the region is well place to access these opportunities for businesses wanting to expand their media presence.

The Media Landscape

Although media ownership is concentrated in a few influential hands, there are multiple terrestrial TV channels and more than 180 of radio networks which are mostly of a commercial nature. Radio Televisión Dominicana is government owned but the most watched channels are The are Color Visión (Canal 9), Circuito Independencia and Canal 6. In total, there are seven land-based television stations plus 30 cable operators.

The most widely read newspaper is the Listín Diario with a daily circulation of 166,000, a Saturday edition with a circulation of 180,000, and a Sunday edition with a circulation of 150,000. Other newspapers include Hoy with a daily, Saturday, and Sunday circulation of 82,000; El Nacional with a daily, Saturday, and Sunday circulation of 42,000; and Última.

Other national papers are El Caribe and El Nuevo Diario, circulation 20,000. The largest regional paper is La Información from Santiago de los Caballeros, with a circulation of 22,000, and there is one English language paper, The Santo Domingo News.

There were 6.6 million internet users (56.2% of the population) in the Dominican Republic in 2017 and access is unrestricted. 4.5 Million of the population own smartphones. Facebook is the most used form of social media (55.54% of the population), followed by YouTube at 16.38% and Twitter at 10.79%.

The Economy

The Dominican Republic is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region and has enjoyed steady growth since 2005. In 2016, growth in GDP was 6.6%.

The country’s main trading partners are the USA, Puerto Rico, Spain, Japan and Venezuela and its major industries agriculture, cement, food processing, metal refining, mining, textiles, electrical components, medical devices and tourism.

Principal exports include gold, silver, cocoa, sugar, tobacco, meats and a variety of consumer goods while imports include petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Tourism is the leading foreign exchange earner along with mining, financial services, agricultural business, construction, and free-trade-zone manufacturing as the most important sectors.

The country supports free trade and as a member of the WTO, it has a Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the United States of America (DR-CAFTA) and is party to the Economic Partnership Agreement (between CARICOM & Dominican Republic and the European Union). In addition, the Dominican Republic has a partial international treaty with Panamá. Furthermore, bilateral negotiations are being held with Mexico, Colombia, Canada and Cuba to conclude trade agreements.

The nation is also a regional leader in attracting Foreign Direct Investment, which in 2016 totalled USD 2,406.7 million. The UK is one of the largest investors, with the main sectors of investments for UK companies being consumer goods, security, creative industries, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.

An estimated five million people visit the Dominican Republic every year and overall, the country ranks 6th among the most popular tourist destinations in the Americas. This is expected to reach 10 million annual visitors by 2023. The majority of tourists come from the United States and Canada.

In 2017 the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the country’s GDP was USD 4,081.1m and this is forecast to rise by 3.5% annually to USD 19,126.6m, 16.7% of its GDP in 2028. In 2017 the sector directly supported 206,500 jobs (4.8% of total employment) which is expected to rise by 1.7% year on year to 250,000 jobs (4.8% of total employment) by 2028. Investment in tourism was USD 632.7m in 2017 and predicted to rise by 4.3% pa over the next ten years to USD 1,039.9m by 2028.

The Capital – Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo was founded in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus, the brother of Christopher and was the capital of the first Spanish colony in the New World. It is the largest city in the Dominican Republic and the largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean by total population, which was 965,040 in 2010 and including its surrounding suburban areas, 2,908,607.

It is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, and is also the site of the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the New World. It is also the cultural, financial, political, commercial and industrial centre of the Dominican Republic, and the country’s main and most important sea port, the harbour taking the largest sea vessels and the port dealing with both heavy passenger and freight traffic.

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If you would like to learn more about PR in the Dominican Republic, find out how Sherlock Communications can help you meet your business objectives in the Dominican Republic 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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