Are you a polyglot? The benefits of international PR and marketing
Written by Michał Ratyński
In today’s globalised economy, very few communications professionals only serve domestic clients. Probably, every day you make international calls with clients whose first language isn’t English. You quickly realise that, although your client relations skills are spot-on, there are some nuances that prevent the communications from being as slick as you’d like.
Speaking your client’s language is super beneficial in avoiding misunderstandings. It opens up unprecedented opportunities to learn specific cultural codes which are otherwise often lost in translation. Some basic things, such as ways of addressing people, vary enormously between different languages and often even the closest translation doesn’t do justice to the speaker’s original meaning. An example of a complex system can be found in the Japanese language which is far more formal than English when it comes to hierarchy or what is considered to be good manners.
At Aspectus, we aim to create a multicultural, integrated agency because an international workforce helps expand our horizons. Though English is often the lingua franca for B2B PR and marketing, multilingual teams make our communications easier and help expand the geographies we work in.
We are very proud that roughly 20 per cent of our workforce hail from beyond the UK and US. We have a bunch of Europeans (French, Finnish and Polish), Australians, a South African, an Israeli and a Zimbabwean in our offices. As a Pole I’m one of the international people who recently joined Aspectus. We recognise what our global workforce offers and work hard to support them with visas. And we want to become even more international as we keep growing.
Focus on European markets is another priority for Aspectus as it should be for any B2B communications agency. Regardless of the final outcome of Brexit, we will make sure to keep the closest links with Europe and recruit the best talent, wherever they are from. Why? Because having native speakers really helps to elevate business to foreign media outlets. A good example of successful pitching in a national language was our work for the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) in French-speaking Swiss media. We secured coverage in Le Temps and L’Agefi. Having direct contact with journalists can not only save on translation costs but also helps our agency to understand a wider picture of communications in Europe.
So, what are the advantages of the international people working for a PR and marketing agency? Communications is one of the most dynamic professions, which increasingly needs a global touch. Although the command of foreign language isn’t a necessary requirement for jobs in the sector, there needs to be a wider recognition that recruiting international people can really help boost business and bring the invaluable cultural knowledge to your company.
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