Denmark – A Business-Friendly Frontrunner In Technology, Green Energy And Life Sciences

This week’s blog post is written by our Public Relations Global Network partner, Christina Rytter, Founder of Scandinavian Communications in Copenhagen. Christina provides a detailed insight into the business and communications environment in Denmark and delivers valuable advice to businesses seeking to navigate her home market.

For the original blog post, please visit here.

Business Environment in Denmark

Denmark has earned a position as global leader in innovation due to its different business environment and culture. Today

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Denmark is particularly strong in information technology, renewable energy, sustainability, and life sciences – and also has a vibrant creative industry, encompassing design, fashion, architecture and media. Copenhagen, the capital city, is considered a global hub for green technology, design and innovation, offering numerous opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and businesses. 

So, what drives the high level of innovation in Denmark? 

The Danish business environment is characterized by a very high degree of trust and an easy-going Danish business culture with flat organizational structures. Reducing the levels of management and hierarchy and decentralizing decision-making in Danish companies create an innovative business environment with increased openness, trust, creativity, and faster decision-making. Focus is strong on work-life balance, with quite a high degree of personal freedom for employees. The latest trend coming up in Denmark is “The four-day work week” where leading private companies have demonstrated how to reduce the traditional five-day work week and increase business results at the same time.

Business-friendly ecosystem: 

Along economic stability in Denmark, the country has a shriving startup ecosystem with a network of incubators, accelerators, and venture capital firms, as well as a business-friendly Danish regulatory environment with straightforward procedures for starting a business, enforcing contracts and obtaining permits. The Danish government also has implemented various reforms to reduce bureaucracy and enhance the competitiveness of the Danish business sector as well. Denmark has a high GDP per capita, and high standard of living and is along with other Scandinavian countries often associated with the Nordic Model – which combines free-market capitalism with a strong welfare state and social safety. Danes – along with other Scandinavian nations – have strong purchasing power, which is why many international companies find the Scandinavian markets quite interesting.

Technology and green economy drives business opportunities

Denmark is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and transitioning to a green economy. This creates significant business opportunities within cleantech and the renewable energy sector, including wind, solar and biomass energy. Biotechnology and Life Sciences are other sectors where Denmark has a strong reputation, with a focus on research and development, as well as clinical trials and production. Denmark is home to several world-leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as research institutions and universities.

Communications, media and PR market in Denmark

Denmark has strong traditions in public service broadcasting with DR (the Danish Broadcasting Corporation) being the primary public broadcaster together with partly public service broadcaster TV2. Especially DR offers a wide range of non-commercial television, radio and online content, catering to diverse audience and providing high-quality news, entertainment and educational programming.

Denmark has a very narrow media structure with only a few media in each category. To get through, all communications must be tailored very specifically to the relevant audience and media – and be followed up in person. In Denmark, your strategy should be quality vs. quantity, while establishing thought leadership that works in both traditional and social media is key to create awareness.

While the circulation of newspapers has declined in recent years, print media still plays an important role in the Danish media landscape. Leading newspapers include Berlingske TidendePolitiken and Jyllands-Posten as well as leading daily business paper Børsen, which all provide comprehensive coverage of national and international news, business and culture. Of course, all papers are available in digital format and the Danish media landscape is also evolving fast with content consumption shifting to digital and the ever-growing influence of social media. Businesses looking to establish presence in Denmark should also leverage the diverse media platforms available to reach their target audiences effectively. Don’t expect to get any control over the final content in articles. Danish journalists and media are very independent – it’s just part of their DNA and Danish and Scandinavian culture.

Key expertise of Scandinavian Communications

An award-winning agency, Scandinavian Communications can help companies strengthen communication to leverage business in Scandinavian markets. The agency offers a single point of contact to Scandinavian countries and helps understand Scandinavians and close the gap between different cultures and the target groups in Scandinavian markets. Often, it’s the little differences between each Scandinavian country and culture that will make a business fail or succeed in communications and relations.

Key services:

  • Strategic Communications
  • Management Communications
  • Crisis Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media

Top Advice for Foreign Companies Navigating Danish Media

1. Write real journalistic content

Think through and create a real journalistic story from scratch for the Danish market – and then get your corporate or product messages to fit with a downplayed balance. Always work with a journalistic approach in your PR press kit for Scandinavian media. A marketing approach towards Danish Tier 1 media is a sure dead end – and your press release will easily end up in the garbage can at the newsdesk.

2. Find the Danish angle

Write a story with a local angle for the Danish market. Your PR core story for Scandinavia can be the same – but to really get it right, you then need to work out a local PR angle for Denmark as well. Understanding and acting on the small cultural differences between each Scandinavian market offer you much greater PR results.

Work out a tailored media list with key journalists from Tier 1 media depending on your target group. Pick a broader range of media to get more volume, when you send out your press release. Denmark has a very narrow media structure with only a few titles in each category.

3. Offer exclusivity & follow up

Work with exclusive sell-in of your press release or PR story. This means that you only talk in person with one leading key media at the time. It’s key for most Danish journalists to get their own stories with a unique angle. When you succeed with your PR sell-in, wait for the agreed publication – and then go for a wide distribution of the press release to create a two-wave PR effect. This can be very efficient!

Also consider that different Danish media work with very different timing. If you go for a business daily, you might only need to approach the editor a couple of weeks before you like to see some media coverage. But if it’s a high-end print lifestyle magazine, you might need to talk to the editor three-four months ahead. Follow up with journalists in person over the phone and email to secure the sell-in of the story and final media coverage. In Denmark, this is a very delicate balance between being proactive without being annoying for journalists, who have a very busy and tight work schedule and a lot of people approach them every day.

The most popular social media channels in Denmark

  • Facebook: 3.9 million users (67% of population) 2022
  • YouTube: 2.8 million users (48% of population) 2022
  • Instagram: 2.6 million users (45% of population) 2022
  • LinkedIn: 2.4 million users (41% of population) 2022
  • SnapChat: 1.9 million users (33% of population) 2022
  • X: 1.2 million users (21% of population) 2022
  • TikTok:1.1 million users (19% of population) 2022
  • Pinterest: 0.9 million users (16% of population) 2022
  • Reddit:0.6 million users (10% of population) 2022
  • Twitch: 0.5 million users (9% of population) 2022

Source: Statista 2022