Don’t get lost in translation, use a multilingual PR agency
August 2, 2013
Any companies that have sought to extend their reach across multiple regions will have encountered communication difficulties caused by language barriers. After all, in the EU alone there are 23 official languages, making it a veritable PR minefield.
One of the most challenging elements of delivering marketing materials across different geographic regions is how best to overcome this obstacle? Yes, using a translation agency is an option, albeit an expensive one. On the other hand, it’s not just the words that matter, it’s the tone, the approach, and the culture that materials need to be infused with that the translator must truly understand and consider. In order to be successful at customer engagement, it’s vital to speak the same language in every sense!
With multi-language campaigns across different markets, there is always the risk that your communications messaging could get lost in translation. As a result, selecting a PR agency with in-house multilingual skills is a smart move. This is particularly true when performing multi-lingual search marketing or when managing online communities, such as those on LinkedIn and Twitter.
More than 70% of the world’s online population does not search in English when using search engines to find products or services. Therefore, engaging with multiple business cultures in their native language can deliver impressive commercial dividends. Although many Europeans will have an understanding of English, social media for business enterprises demands connecting with potential customers on a personal level, and using their mother tongue is the perfect way to facilitate this.
Although message consistency is important, posts, blogs or tweets in different languages should not be straightforward translated duplicates. Adding a personal mark to each one will provide rewards, although this of course can only really be achieved using a native speaker.
It’s well known how the Internet has changed the way we communicate forever but with it now being a truly polylingual system, the importance of multilingual online public relations cannot be overlooked. So unless you are experienced in the nuances of communicating online in different languages, you are heading for a fall.
Please feel free to share your experiences of online communications in foreign languages by posting a comment.
Nevena is an Account Director at Pinnacle Marketing Communications. She has extensive experience in PR, marketing and advertising with a wide international exposure to the Italian, UK, Bosnian and German cultures working in several communication roles and encompassing institutional, cultural and technology fields. She is a passionate cook and traveller but always finds time to read a good book.