public notary offices

Public Notary Offices in Brazil – a wide market waiting for its blockchain overhaul

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Of all the early purposes envisioned for blockchain, one of the most intuitive is land registry and notary work. And of all the countries in the world to try the blockchain platform, few are a better testing-ground than Brazil. Land registration in Brazil happens through a system that is as unusual and complicated as it is inefficient. Here, semi-autarchies, known as cartórios, or public notary offices, exclusively handle a selection of tasks including:

  • land registration;
  • land purchase, rental and sale;
  • validation of business contracts and their future verification;
  • authentication of documents attesting to civil status – like marriage, birth, divorce, death;
  • legal emancipation of minors;
  • validation of power of attorney.

The work of public notaries is bureaucratic and clunky, but the complications arising from the system go further. Because the notaries are often region-dependent (there are about 13,000 throughout Brazil), information doesn’t move seamlessly among them, quite the opposite – rarely will one notary office have all documents pertaining to a specific person, and verification of data requires travelling and manual searches. Information is not integrated, and the task of checking encumbrances is arduous and uncertain. Enter the 2017/2018 ground-breaking study in Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, where land registration in the municipality of Pelotas was done on the electronic ledger of blockchain. Under the supervision of Delaware-based company Ubitquity, the University of British Columbia paired with a local real estate notary service for impressive results.

The local notary office signed a contract with Ubitquity, looking to a bigger deal in the future. If the study is considered successful enough, the blockchain software developed by Ubitquity will be sold to other towns and cartórios, helping them replace paper with decentralised blockchain data that is uniquely hard to forge, manipulate or delete, and easily accessed by anyone on the network.

Every election, the topic of public notary offices is put up for debate; most proposals focus on their gradual elimination. Fees charged by cartórios are high, and the work is essentially clerical and mechanical, demanding little deliberation and discretionary decisions from the humans involved. It is estimated that over 50 million Brazilians do not have the necessary papers and registrations to prove ownership of their property and Blockchain can play a pivotal role in addressing this very serious issue. Public notaries are widely disliked. Until recently, they were a type of fiefdom with government concessions granted to a few families that often managed to keep their privileges even after the death of the family member who signed the concession agreement. Today, new heads of public notaries must take part in a national exam and must have a law degree, but their salaries are often exceedingly high and unjustified, and they help raise fees that are already considered high enough. The purchase of an apartment, for example, can end up 10% more costly after adding notary fees.

The Pelotas study went from August 2017 to January 2018, but the conclusions are not conclusive because while the archiving part of the system was easily done on blockchain, the verification of each document requires steps that are not yet in place. But things are moving fast in the validation market in Brazil, and even those missing parts may soon become obsolete or may be offered by local companies. OriginalMy, another pioneering local firm, may contribute to the replacement of cartórios by offering digital verification mechanisms. Launched in 2015, OriginalMy promises to “change the way authenticity is handled in Brazil and the world” through the verification of “the authenticity of digital documents, contracts and identity of people.” It will also allow for website login verification and the signing of documents through its application.

In August 2018, the company hit the headlines for having helped in the registration of a “bitcoin baby”, Maria Julia – a girl whose birth was registered by her father on the blockchain platform Decred. Edson Neto, the girl’s father, managed to register her birth without leaving the house. This landmark was not merely symbolic – Neto got to do it on a Friday after the public notary was already closed, without needing to wait until it opened on Monday. Maria Julia wasn’t the first baby registered on blockchain in Brazil, though. The economist Fernando Ulrich registered his child in 2016, but the birth later had to be validated by a public notary office regardless, so Ulrich still had to walk to a brick-and-mortar place for the task.

Latin America - Guatemala

Business in Latin America, a dive in a diverse world

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“We Latin Americans take more chances. We’re less academic and don’t have as many inhibitions. We’re inventors – and playful, even. People notice this. I think Europeans, for example, have realised that in many respects our continent is untainted and that we have a lot to say to the world. In fact, we’re teeming with new and surprising knowhow.” – Gabriel Garcia Marques, one of Latin America’s most notable writers.
Each country in Latin America is a dive into a large and diverse world. So how can we wrap our heads around deciphering such an extensive continent, that despite having most of its extension communicating in the same language, Spanish, has so much cultural, economic and social diversity?
Communicating on a global scale means understanding the languages and local cultures enough to transcend their borders. Latin America has 21 countries with a plethora of local idiosyncrasies.

Effective communication strategies

One of the mistakes many companies make when planning communication projects for Latin America PR is to think that what works in one country works in another. But information and trends spread quickly and somewhat uncontrollably in our globalised world, and campaigns are accepted – or questioned – almost immediately. Not considering unique perspectives may sound crazy, but experience with the Latin market has shown that it is not uncommon.
One of the most effective communication strategies when you have a target audience, be it a country or a community, is talking to your audience in a specific, direct way in a language they know and understand – their own vocabulary included. Staying up-to-date with the daily news, the latest local movements, and the concerns and anxieties of a place can be the answer to getting across effectively. Relevant local information about trending topics can be used as a hook for your product, brand or solution and will make a huge impact in communicating with your audience.
Despite the local differences, there are also similarities across Latin America. Personal relationships carry weight, and foreign products are newsworthy. Stories that engage people and create identification are crucial for receiving attention and strengthening a brand’s standing. Taking this into account, the importance of a native team qualified to customise information, localise vocabulary and content, and build the best local strategy cannot be underestimated. At Sherlock Communications, this is our foundation for supporting our clients in reaching each country in our Latin American hub. The approach is used across the board, be it campaigns, events, announcements or a simple press release. Only professionals with an experienced local eye and cultural coexistence can successfully move between worlds and obtain the best results with confidence.

How the media works across Latin America

The way that media works over here is an important thing to know. Media is concentrated in the hands of few, with traditional families owning the majority of outlets. Large groups often have various channels under their control, including newspapers, radio and television stations. In Colombia, for instance, the production of information is in the hands of eight groups with national coverage and high levels of reception. They are large economic conglomerates.
In many Latin American countries, radio is still the primary source of information and is still growing. Taking advantage of this is vital. In Peru, there were 5,684 radio and TV stations in 2016. At the beginning of 2018, this number had jumped to 6,943. In Argentina’s capital region, more than 6 million people tune in to a radio station every day, according to the Brazilian Institute of Statistics (Ibope). News coming from radio is replicated on TV then echoed on the internet. Understanding this cycle and how information travels empowers us to better seize opportunities and tell our stories.

An Online Necessity

Social media now presents a huge window of opportunity, with a regional reach of over 90%, according to household surveys carried out by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The digital alternative has cleared a path for independent press, small groups and a new, booming and specialised blog scene, ranging from topics as diverse as technology and food. It’s a rich field to work in with a wealth of opportunities and possibilities. Mexico has the highest online reach in the region with 98,2%, and its connected population is only second to Brazil, which, in turn, is the fourth largest internet market in the world. Brazil also has a user base of over 139 million and around 66% penetration, according to Internet Labs Stats.
Knowledge of the region and the intelligence used in developing strategy sets a good, effective communications plan apart from those that don’t reach their targets. Having the necessary support from people who understand these regional movements makes all the difference in communicating about brands and products with relevance and authenticity.
To better understand how Sherlock’s Latin American hub works and to have access to an overview of each country in the region, visit our website and learn more about South America as well as Central America and the Caribbean, where our experienced professionals effectively support our clients with expert knowledge on each market.
Nira and Ronaldo at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Sherlock Communication’s team member joined São Paulo Fashion Week catwalk

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A Sherlock consultant had the unique chance to walk down the runway of one of Brazil’s most prestigious stylists, Ronaldo Fraga

Fashion isn’t all about the latest trends, it is a form of art – a way of expressing an idea, a feeling or a belief. Many stylists all over the world have been using their visibility at fashion shows and on social media to make statements with their pieces. Clothes are no longer just well-sewn cloth, they carry a message.

Ronaldo Fraga’s show at São Paulo Fashion Week was one of the most commented and memorable moments of the event. Setting himself apart from others, Ronaldo showed the audience a glimpse of what he had witnessed in Israel. According to him, it was a tribute to Israel and its diversity. Tel Aviv, a city where he had seen Arabs and Jews, black, white, gay and straight people coexisting, was the inspiration for his fashion show.  On the runway, many of his models were ordinary people of different backgrounds and appearances.

Nira Worcman, one of Sherlock’s consultants, had the privilege of being one of the people to walk down his runway. “It’s not every day that a 56-year-old woman can strut down a catwalk at SPFW. But at this show, Ronaldo Fraga wanted to promote diversity in age, colour, gender, sexual orientation and religion. And so, there I was”, she said.

At the centre of the runway was a large table filled with wine and food. The audience had no idea what was to come. The models walked around the table and sat in the chairs placed around it. The show kicked off with a kiss between the first two male models. Applause erupted. Another two kisses took place later on, making the audience cheer. “I was so excited to be part of a fashion show so different from anything, promoting liberty and equality”, Worcman beamed.

“It was all a matter of keeping a quiet mind, a straight spine and a peaceful heart. I was wearing beautiful overalls and all the flashes and cameras were pointing at me. I put on a shy smile and in that instant, I felt like a star.”, Worcman exclaimed. Jeans were the material of choice for most of the clothes as it embodies resistance and uniformity. “It’s a very present fabric, it units past and future like no other”, said Fraga in a press conference. Ronaldo Fraga’s show was a protest. With the second round of the presidential election around the corner, hate speech and prejudice were at a historic high. His show fought back with love and acceptance.

After all the models had taken their seats on the runway, they stood up and held hands in a circle around the table – a gesture of unity. And then something unusual happened. Ronaldo Fraga invited Israel’s Consul General to join him on the runway. Then, the models started inviting other people from the audience to join them at the feast as well.

One by one, people from the audience were invited until everybody was on the runway, participating in the show. People were ecstatic to be part of this inspiring gathering. Certainly, it was a lot more than what is usually expected from a fashion show.


Blockchain in the Brazil health sector – still in its infancy, but very health

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The use of blockchain will revolutionise several industries in a way never witnessed before, and Brazil may start at the forefront. Known as a general-purpose technology, blockchain will be used in ways that we are still incapable of predicting, but it is already changing how we deal with information, commercial relations, trust and accountability. It is expected to disrupt the world as much as the invention of the press, the industrial revolution and the internet. One of the areas where major changes are envisioned is healthcare, and Brazilians are thinking of possibilities.

Brazil is a country bursting with creativity, and its continental size presents a lot of that proverbial necessity that gives birth to invention. Local law, for example, rightfully aiming at protecting privacy, forbids hospitals and healthcare companies from sharing patient’s information. That protection has its downside, as it makes it difficult for patients to inform different doctors about their diagnosis and health history. Even the patient – himself the rightful owner of his health records – does not hold most of them, as records are kept in the clinics and hospitals where treatment was sought. That makes an accurate diagnosis hard to be achieved, and it particularly hampers the efficiency of pharmacists and paramedics – two professionals instrumental in saving lives in case of an emergency.

With that and more in mind, young Brazilians working with the AI and blockchain lab Entropia have come up with EverSafe, a project based on a blockchain platform that would reconfigure healthcare in ways that were unthinkable before.

The digitalisation of hospitals in Brazil is not new, and less than 15% of medical facilities with 50 beds or more are believed to not have started the process yet. But health records are not necessarily communicable. They are saved in different formats and different computer languages, and those holding that data often have competing interests, unlike the patient, whose only aim is to stay healthy. The problem is further compounded by the fact that there are two separate health systems, private and public. EverSafe will create a single databank  – the blockchain ledger – where each patient will be able to compile and gather his or her health information and make it available at will. Eating habits, health history, previous diagnoses, allergies, prescription drug intake will all be gathered under a single encrypted key that will allow the owner to retrieve the information instantly or share it with any person, hospital and health facility. The patient will also be able to sell that information, even anonymously. Interested buyers can be anyone from researchers, government offices dealing with epidemics, insurance companies, scientists, medical companies running drug tests. All that will be done in a safe, hack-free, encrypted platform. EverSafe also proposes the use of tokens to “gamify” the community, so people would be enticed to record their data and earn tokens for consumption within the network.

That type of incentive is also proposed by another healthcare blockchain project under development in Brazil aiming at increasing donation of bone marrow. “The idea is to create a platform where healthcare institutions can cross-check information with eligible donors,” says Samira Lopes, a member of the collective Women in Blockchain, in an interview to Onco, a Bazilian medical magazine. Donors would be entitled to tokens that serve as currency within that blockchain environment.

Two Brazilians were also part of the seven-member MIT Experimental Learning Group that won the USA Blockchain Challenge in 2016, a private initiative to reward with cash prizes the best projects in “Blockchain Technology and the Potential for Its Use in Health IT and/or Healthcare Related Research Data.” Anne Chang and Luca Forni won the challenge with a white paper presenting a project that would, as explained by Chang,  revolutionise the way treatments are prescribed to patients.”

“Today,” she says, “we depend on studies and medical articles that are done in a restricted form, with small samples and that often do not consider specific factors like ethnicity and genetic predisposition.” With blockchain, once medical records are added to the platform, with the due permissions and necessary requirements, that massive amount of anonymous yet verified data will become a goldmine for research and solutions, and person-specific treatments will become less costly and more efficient. “We want to give a more dignified destination [to our medical records]. When the patient is in the hospital, he rarely has access to his records, lab test results, treatments, drug interactions and other information that, even though it belongs to the patient, end up staying in the hospital.”  Such transformation may also reduce the frequency of medical errors, which a 2016 study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says was the third leading cause of death in the USA.

Brazil has adopted other technological innovations in health that are more widely used by the public at large precisely because they do not require access to a blockchain – still a platform to which the average person has no access from a regular phone or notebook. But with the improvement of the technology and its adaptation to everyday gadgets, several of these apps will soon be available in an improved form in a blockchain platform with its main advantages: security, encryption, anonymity and an almost guaranteed absence of fraud and forgery. One of those innovations are the already widely used apps that show the cheapest prices for drugs within one’s location. Government health departments are also discussing the use of blockchain as a means to give transparency to public tenders and avoid overbilling in drug purchases. All of that is very promising, and more so in light of the Goldman Sachs report, leaked in April 2018, which revealed the bank’s advice to clients in the medical field that it was sound business not to aim at curing a disease but at keeping it chronic.

China Tourism Night

China’s National Tourist Office partners with Sherlock Communications to promote event in Latin America for the first time

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A night of dancing, music, and food brought together tourism representatives of two of the world’s largest nations – China and Brazil. The celebration held on Friday, October 19th, called “China Tourism Night 2018: The Charm of Yangtze River” made its Latin America debut. Over 32 people from the Chinese tourism delegation representing destinations along the Yangtze River met with top Brazilian agents and tour operators.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China hosted the dinner at the Sheraton WTC in São Paulo and was organized by China’s National Tourist Office in New York and Sherlock Communications to celebrate the cultural and touristic attractions of both countries.

Ceremony gathered Brazilian and Chinese tourism agents to celebrate attractions from both countries

Several key authorities were present, and speeches emphasizing cooperation between Brazil and China marked the evening. “According to recent data from the World Tourism Organization, Chinese tourists’ expenditure abroad reached US$ 257.7 billion, which contributed greatly to tourism and the global economy,” said Zhang Xilong, deputy general director of the Bureau of International Exchange and Cooperation of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China. “We hope to share with the Brazilian tourism industry the opportunities brought by the rapid development of China’s tourism industry”.

Alisson Braga de Andrade, general coordinator of Competitive and Market Intelligence at Embratur (Brazilian Tourism Institute), highlighted Brazil’s efforts to strengthen relations with China and boost tourism flow. Magda Nassar, president of Braztoa and vice president of Abav, emphasized the role of Brazilian operators in this growth, pointing out the commercialization of R$ 12.7 billion in tourism products in 2017. Orlando Lindório de Faria, Municipal Secretary of Tourism and Executive Secretary of the Mayor of São Paulo, emphasized the multiculturality of the city and the receptivity to the businesses and people of China.

The ceremony brought dance and music performances from both countries. China’s entertainment was the Spring Chant, a traditional Chinese fan dance about Spring, and the Girls of Buddha. Brazil boasted an acrobatic demonstration of Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines dance and music, and a pocket show of Bossa Nova classics.

A raffle brought the night to life with typical gifts from each Chinese region including tea, a porcelain set, leather wallets, a traditional silk scarf, and even tickets for a cruise along the Yangtze River. The main prize was a last-generation Macbook Pro.

The event was covered by main trade outlets such as Brasilturis, HotelierNews, Panrotas, and Mercado & Eventos.

All images can be seen here. Credit: Thais Falcão.

CNTO Event - Hosts

CNTO Event - Dancers

CNTO Event - Girls Dancing

CNTO Event- Capoeira

Brasil.São Paulo. Noite do Turismo da China. Data: 19 de outubro de 2018. Local: Sheraton Hotel. Fotógrafa: Thaïs Falcão/Olho do Falcão.

tourism for brazillian

Marketing international tourism to Brazilians: the goldmine of opportunity

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It seems like everyone wants to visit Brazil on holiday, doesn’t it? The endless sandy beaches, the raucous parties of Carnival, the culture oozing from every crevice causes tourists to flock to the country in mind-boggling numbers. But what of Brazilian tourism internationally?

Brazilians seem to be travelling abroad more than ever, with a 14% increase in international trips between 2012-2015 (OECD) even in the midst of political upheaval. Travel seems to remain resolutely on the mindset of the Brazilians, no matter what!

The booming tourism may present a brilliant opening for your company in a strong Brazilian market. Read on as we outline five of the greatest assets that can be drawn upon to promote your business to potential new customers.

  • The vast urban population

Brazil’s metropolitan population should be seen as the jewel in the nation’s crown when assessing the business opportunities in the country, with the metropolis of São Paulo alone having a population of 21.5 million – dwarfing the population of nearly ¾ of the world’s countries alone.

The overall population of 210 million, spread across a vast patchwork of cultures and cities presents a varying range of approaches for success, however, knowledge of this diverse market is key to maximising results.

  • Global Cultural ties

As we touched on briefly before, the number of different cultures can be attributed to its growth from mass immigration. Large-scale historical immigration, especially from Italian and Japanese people (Brazil holds the largest cultural Japanese population outside Japan), provides some pretty neat information to remember when Brazilians are seeking out new and exciting destinations to explore.

  • Spend Spend Spend

A staggering $20 billion was spent by Brazilians on international tourism alone in 2015 (OECD), further proving the burgeoning middle class really love to put money into their dream holidays!

It’s certainly true the economic and political crises of recent years have put a dent in the reputation of the Brazilian economy, however, it has maintained the status of being the 8th largest economy globally and is growing yet again, so the future remains bright.

  • Brazilians adore social media

Social media engagement is particularly high within Brazil – 92% of internet users use at least one social media platform, and crucially spend an average of 3.8 hours daily (!) online.

There’s an appetite to travel internationally, and with the increasing trend travel and tourism ‘influencers’ and photography pages already whetting the appetites of many for exploration, new waves of travellers may be imminent.

  • A receptive market

It goes without saying that breaking into a new market is a challenge for any business, no matter the size or experience they have. This said the Brazilian market is often extremely receptive to foreign goods and services – likely a trickle-down effect of the very tolerant society as a result of the cultural patchwork mentioned previously.

Doing business in Brazil does not come without its challenges as with anywhere in the world, although adapting to these challenges can be extremely smooth when guided by those with specific market experience to negotiate certain Brazilian intricacies.

Challenges include a rather extensive amount of red tape to hurdle, coupled with high tax rates and infrastructure which needs improvement. The major political crisis appears to be mostly over at the moment, however, could throw up some unpredicted future events to cause some minor issues – however, Sherlock Communications is always on hand to provide expertise and friendly know-how.

Video Games | Sherlock Communications

When Video Games Become Work

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One of the pleasures and facilities that modern life has brought to us is being able to get home and conquer planets, battle aliens, play football with Cristiano Ronaldo or even compete against with a friend who is on another continent.

All this possible because of video games.

Already considered by many as the ‘tenth art’, the video gaming industry has influenced both the way new generations interact with each other within an education environment, through the gamification of education, and introduced new narratives for the filmmaking industry to utilise as production companies seek to build on the successes of video game franchises. In addition, the video game market is skyrocketing – data released recently by Newzoo show that in 2017, that Brazil had approximately 66.3 million players, with business share moving around something close to R$ 1.3 billion. These numbers make Brazil the 13th in the global ranking of consumption. By 2018, according to the same survey, there will be 75.7 million gamers who are expected to generate R$ 1.5 billion in revenue.

And this gaming market has traditionally been monopolized by established large video games companies such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, however, in recent years, other big technology companies like Apple and Google have been rising in the rankings due to the gains of their respective app stores and games for smartphones.

These games enable game developers to act faster and more frequently because of low development costs. This cost depends on the size of the game, but some mid-sized games cost between U$ 60K and U$ 120 to be created. Not bad, considering Angry Birds alone brought Rovio, its developer, US$201 million revenue in 2017.

Those who cannot afford regular public relations services can now get in touch with social media influencers to advertise their new product, with YouTube and Twitch content creators becoming loudspeakers for game news.

But despite all the opportunities the video gaming sector presents, without a bespoke PR strategy and plan the benefits of advertising may never be realised, due to the vast size of this industry. A specific niche must be targeted to avoid being lost in the void.

So, what would be the most basic information the market should know about your company or game? Below we have a small guide on how to use all the fun, development and modernity of this billion-dollar gaming industry to excel and make the right PR choices.

  1. Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Begin at the start. Know your product. It seems a very logical thing, but this rule is not always followed. It sounds unprofessional if you cannot answer basic questions from gaming journalists because your experiences with the product or service are minimal. The Journalists will most likely lose interest at this point, as with any industry, when not enough publishable material is produced from their questions. This is no different in the video gaming sector.

And remember you do not have to be a hardcore gamer have a great retro collection at home to make a good PR for a gaming company. The cool thing about video games is that they are usually accessible – showing interest in them is easy and more than enough to get along in the area.

  1. Time Crisis

Many in the video gaming industry say embargoed press releases are rarely used, which is unlike many other markets where they may be seen as very normal. This culture has evolved because, over time, gaming news sites have grown with a collective philosophy to deliver news on their sites as fast as possible.

A PR always tries to meet the needs of journalists. But in this industry, time is critical. When certain news items have already been posted on competing for news sites, journalists will not call for your release. But unlike large-budget PR campaigns for console games, for example, the sheer volume of mobile games released worldwide has reduced the time scale, meaning that instead of advertising up to 18 months earlier, when in the early stages developers are not advised to make any announcements until they can demonstrate screenshots and viable demonstrations that the game is almost ready.

Embargoes, in general, can help on both situations. That last-minute release is very urgent and a restriction is out of the question? Maybe deals with specific journalists can be brokered with exclusive content provided, like interviews.

  1. Civilization

The gaming industry, like much of the entertainment area, is known for being relaxed and being open to communication which means there’s no need to be too formal – no sir or madam on your releases. What makes work really a delight is the very nice communication with other professionals in the industry but hold on with the excitement.

The gaming press may find humour in a very exaggerated formal email, but it is not welcome not welcome to appear too informal the first time you contact the media on the first time that you contact the media – you may not be taken seriously. So be friendly but show respect in your communication with the press. Keep it up and, who knows, after a while, you can say “hello my old friend” without it being strange.

  1. Life is Strange

Having a lot of success in a creative industry like games requires constant originality. Without new ideas or an unconventional approach, the market would stagnate. This principle applies to all game developers who need to keep their audiences enthusiastic, while publishers need to create new marketing techniques to make their games stand out in a crowded marketplace. But this should also apply to other participants in this industry; from HR managers to public relations specialists.

So, don’t bother with the3 annoying standard press releases that may have worked with other companies and companies. Take a risk and try ‘thinking outside the box’ for public relations tactics. Talk to a gaming journalist in the chat room of your favourite game, for example, or start a friendly discussion in a gaming forum. And if you do PR for a game developer – play a live stream of the game while answering questions from the press and fans; the possibilities are endless. As with many games, take a chance and you will be rewarded.

  1. World of Warcraft

While the gaming industry is giant, it can seem like a small universe from within where everyone knows everyone. This brings you many opportunities, you can easily extend your network if you know how to use your current contacts effectively. But do not forget that the news spreads very fast, both positively and negatively.

The virtual world is already a reality. And the digital marketing and PR agencies cannot in any way stay out of it. As it is said, the world of adventures awaits us.

Taboola at IAB

Wrong place, wrong time: what all brands should avoid

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The world-famous violinist Joshua Bell stood and played for 45 minutes in a Washington D.C. metro station in the winter of 2007. It was rush hour and thousands of people walked straight past. Only six stopped to listen, and he took home USD32. Two days before, he had sold out a concert at a theatre in Boston where the average ticket was sold for USD100.

“If you are not in the right place at the right time, you won’t succeed,” emphasized Rachel Zalta, the Creative Strategist at Taboola, the leading content discovery platform and a Sherlock Communications client. In her speech at Adtech & Data 2018, organized by IAB Brazil in September, Zalta used the Joshua Bell example to reinforce the importance of context for brands to reach their full potential.

There is a world of difference between playing in a renowned theatre in the city and playing in a subway station. As Joshua demonstrated, in terms of his ability to sell his work, the talent of the musician and quality of the music were secondary. When it comes to reputation, context is everything.

What would have happened if, instead, Joshua Bell had stood in front of the doors to the metro wagon? People would certainly notice him, but in one moment, he would go from a musician whose music you might appreciate, to a guy hindering your passage. That is what he would be remembered for – getting in your way. Nobody likes to feel intruded upon, and the lesson goes for brands as well. Encourage positive associations about what you are offering. And don’t be intrusive.

How human psychology can influence video viewing behaviour

Zalta’s valuable insights filled the ears and opened the eyes of the crowd of marketers present at the IAB event. She shared examples of how human psychology can influence video viewing behaviour. Brands are eagerly jumping on the video bandwagon and the majority increased their efforts in this area in 2018. But traditionally, they embed external videos. With this model, users have to click on the video and wait for the video to load – a small but significant barrier to engagement. Embedding videos may sacrifice the speed and reliability of online video formats, as well as discourage sequential viewing. To stay competitive, brands need to minimise these obstacles and risks.

Taboola’s in-feed video units offer an inherently non-interruptive environment, as they load quickly and are short and powerful. In line with the increasingly dynamic set-up of social networks, this allows users to view several videos as they scroll down the website, significantly improving engagement with brands.

Rachel Zalta also presented new internal data on consumer behaviours, based on information gathered from billions of content recommendations by Taboola in Brazil and the rest of the world.

Influencers in Brazil

Top 5 tips and secrets for working with Influencers in Brazil and Latin America

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Brazilians, like Latin Americans, are heavy users of mobiles and various social media platforms. This presents an ideal opportunity for companies doing business online. Influencers are a great way to promote posts by companies but this is only one aspect of a much larger universe.

Working with influencers has the potential to add a lot to a campaign if you have the right assistance in choosing what to post, how and who to work with. By distributing valuable, relevant and consistent online content, it can attract and retain the target audience, so increasing profit for companies.

To ensure this is achieved, Sherlock Communications, a state of the art Brazilian and Latin American PR and digital marketing agency, have selected 5 tips for working with influencers in Brazil and Latin America.


1 – Know what you are doing

To ensure success, it’s essential to have clearly defined objectives, budget, as well as a strong target influencer profile who matches the client’s brand and objectives.

Also, we set ‘key performance indicators’ (KPI), marketing objectives used to evaluate the campaign. This could include improve content promotion, social media reach, post engagement, and increase followers etc.

Finally, it’s important to identify the most relevant platform (s) best suited for the campaign. This could include the most well-known ones: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.


2 – Think all possible content format

When it comes to content, social media posts on individual ‘personalities’ accounts is only one option when considering how to work with influencers in Brazil and Latin America.

In addition to the well-known platforms, there are others that should be considered: listicles, photo stories, Facebook Live broadcasts, radio and TV interviews, reviews, gifting guest posts, giveaways, events, affiliate markets –  and media partnerships.


3 – Followers are not everything!

When it comes to who to work with, looking at those with the most followers is limiting as many followers don’t respond and engage as people initially think. Other accounts with fewer followers can achieve the same objectives. Sherlock Communications has developed a search method to find the most suitable accounts through hashtag searches and a number of influencer search tools to determine engagement.


4 – Having a relationship can and will facilitate things

Sherlock Communications has an established list of trustful and professional influencers who cover key lifestyle segments. This list is wide-ranging but including fashion and style; family; art; sport and activities; honeymoons; beauty; gastronomy; travel; design; and photography. These influencers are looking to cultivate long-term relationships with related brands. Where suitable  Sherlock Communications has used influencers as press spokespeople for our clients.


5 – Posting is only half the job

Monitoring and evaluating the campaign, using the set KPIs, is paramount as shows the campaigns key achievements and successes plus areas to learn and improve on. Sherlock Communications wants to exceed the objectives hence we also use incentive bonuses for exceeding goals. We monitor and evaluate results, and optimizing our strategy to increase the impact and better achieve objectives. This can be done by analysing other channels and the expected results.


This kind of influencer expertise ensures the money invested generates the highest reach and engagement possible. Companies and brands need to show these results in any campaign work. Sherlock Communications is here to offer this know-how.


If you would like to learn more about our PR Agency in Brazil and Latin America to find out how Sherlock Communications can help you meet your objectives on Doing Business in Brazil, do drop us a line at

Fake News in Brazil

Online Order for Brazil’s progress

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Event of the year

2018 may have been the year of the World Cup, but for Brazilians, the event that will be far more wide-reaching is the upcoming presidential elections. In October, more than 140 million voters will not only decide who will be the president of Brazil for the next four years, but also governors, senators and state and federal deputies.

For the first time in the history of the country, traditional media outlets (television, radio, newspapers and magazines) no longer hold power over political discussion in Brazilian society. Social media has been and will continue to be key in shaping opinion.

The power of social media in Brazil

With its great potential to encourage public debate, allowing the direct participation of voters, social media has also the potential to generate political polarization. This is mainly due to the way in which we access information and news through social platforms. Algorithms connect us with the content that most interests us and to people who have beliefs and opinions similar to ours, dividing society into contradictory points of view. This system also reinforces the phenomenon of post-truth, in which hard facts are losing importance in the political debate. People want to read something that reaffirms their point of view, whether it be falsehood or truth.

Amid the growing worldwide debate over the spread of fake news and its consequences to democracy, Brazil’s electoral court is in constant discussion with the press and major social media companies on how to tackle the problem that has also affected other countries such as the case of the United States elections, and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.

Fake news influence and how to combat it

On the one hand, the president of the Supreme Electoral Court, minister Luiz Fux, has already stated that the election may be cancelled if the result has been influenced by fake news. For the minister, the propagation of fake news “destroys candidacies and attacks democracy”.

On the other hand, Facebook launched its news verification program in Brazil earlier this year, in partnership with the checking platforms Aos Fatos and Agência Lupa. Both companies are made up of groups of independent journalists and have been chosen because they are part of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). After the United States, Brazil will also be the second country to adopt the Facebook tool that identifies political content ads. The registration process for the candidates, parties and coalitions that will take part in the elections began on Thursday 16th. From now on, there will be an indication that any political ad in the news feed is “Electoral Propaganda”, accompanied by the ID number of the advertiser.

One of the most popular platforms used by Brazilians, WhatsApp also decided to limit the forwarding of messages to 20 groups at a time, as a way to reduce the possibility of proliferation of fake news. The focus of Twitter will be checking and combating what the company calls “malicious automated accounts and/or that disseminate spam”, fake profiles or bots.

The debate on how to combat fake news is far from over and is not just a Brazilian problem – several countries are discussing updating their laws on the subject. The only certainty is that the Internet and social media have transformed the exercise of democracy and citizenship itself. There is no way back. Now, the question remains: how can we order this mess of information and educate a society towards progress?


If you would like to learn more about our PR Agency in Brazil and Latin America to find out how Sherlock Communications can help you meet your objectives, do drop us a line at

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