Don’t Let Your Press Releases Get Lost Without Translations

April 14, 2011
by Daniel Blue, Senior Editor, International Desk

Daniel Blue, Senior Editor, International Desk

Daniel Blue, Senior Editor, International Desk

Businesses who want to rush their international releases sometimes ask us to skip translations. Translations take time, and if  English is indeed “the universal language of business,” why not leave out that middle step?

When clients ask this of the International Desk, we suggest they consider the following:

  • Partners in China, Japan, France, Russia, Latin America and Eastern Europe (among others) don’t accept English-only copy at all. In other words, English-only releases won’t be received by several of the largest markets in the world.
  • Agence France-Presse, the French version of the Associated Press, will not send in English to certain areas of the world. AFP is one of the world’s three largest news agencies, and when it doesn’t distribute your news, the lost exposure is significant.
  • If a release isn’t translated, it won’t show up in that language on the Business Wire website. Nor will it be aggregated into newsfeeds by the Chinese, Japanese and other non-English services that scrape our news pages. That’s another huge missed opportunity.

So who does receive releases sent only in English?

A few large markets will accept these, notably, Germany, the Netherlands, Korea, India, Spain, Italy, and Scandinavia.   Also, certain international journalists that have specifically asked for English copy will receive the feed from from Business Wire though our Press Pass program.

But how many people in those countries will actually read the release?

While some viewers will be fluent in English, many will not, and pick-up is bound to be limited by not having the release in the native tongue.

Bottom line: use translations. They’re part of the price, and if you want to look them over beforehand, we’re glad to oblige.  But don’t hobble your coverage by refusing to use them at all.


Talking Turkey and International Media Relations: Pitching Turkish Media

February 14, 2011
by Kai Prager, Media Relations Representative, Business Wire/Frankfurt

Turkey is a country that has seen increasing interest in recent months and we’ve experienced more queries recently on how to pitch Turkish media. Perhaps a more stable government and the “stellar growth” of the Turkish economy accounts for this interest.

The Turkish press is rich and diverse, with about 40 national newspapers selling 4.5 – 5 million copies per day. The most popular include Zaman, Posta, Hürriyet, Sabah, Milliyet, Türkiye, Cumhuriyet and Vatan, and represent the scope of Turkish society from traditional and conservative to liberal and socialist.

About 900 local and weekly papers flourish throughout Turkey, in Kurdish languages, Greek, Armenian, Arab and Hebrew. The big national papers such as Zaman are printed in Turkish but also produce English versions, Daily News and Today’s Zaman.

As the official language, Turkish is the language of choice when pitching local media. We find that most publishing houses employ journalists who speak English, or even German, but releases delivered in the native languages will get more attention. If you don’t send your story in Turkish, make sure you send it to writers that speak your language.

Most newspaper web sites list the staff writers, the articles they’ve written, and ways to contact them. Don’t forget to do your homework and peruse the clips before contacting journalists.  As elsewhere in the world, Turkish media appreciate your familiarity with their work and dislike irrelevant pitches.

We advise a follow-up phone call to make sure a story gets noticed after sending. And, as always, having a relationship with the reporter helps.  Visuals can give you an advantage in capturing attention as well — photos, graphics, logos, anything that makes it easier for time-strapped reporters to assemble a story.  Just like reporters around the world, members of the Turkish media appreciate the entire story package, not just the text.

It’s worth noting that just as in the United States, press freedom is part of the constitution, even though Turkish law allows for some restrictions.   Article 301 of the penal code makes it a punishable offense to “insult Turkishness.”

When the writer and Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk was prosecuted under that Article for a speech given during an awards ceremony in which  he criticized the government, it became an international incident.  Be advised also that insulting the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, is punishable by law and has lead to the blocking of some websites like YouTube.

PR professionals can effectively target Turkish media by familiarizing themselves with journalist preferences, crafting a newsworthy release, including multimedia and following up.  By doing so, your press release is likely to get the attention it deserves.


Shrinking International News Output of UK Papers Creates Opportunity for PR Pros

February 7, 2011
by Michel Rubini, European Media Relations Team

A recent report titled “Shrinking World” published by the Media Standards Trust suggests that the loss of international news coverage by UK newspapers is a gain for public relations pros.

The report, written by Martin Moore and published in November 2010, details how international reporting in UK newspapers has decreased in the last 30 years by nearly 40%. The report compared international reporting output for one week in 1979 with 2009 from four national papers, The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and the Daily Mirror. The conclusion: international news coverage has diminished dramatically.

Counting all the foreign news stories in the four newspapers in the same week over a period of 30 years, the total number decreased from 502 in 1979 to 308 in 2009 (see graph below).

The reasons for the decrease are multiple. Original foreign reporting is expensive. A foreign bureau costs $200-300,000 a year, based on a 2007 analysis by Jill Carroll for the Harvard Shorenstein Center.  As a result, UK newspapers have reduced the number of journalists based abroad, replacing them with freelancers.

The end of the Cold War in 1989 factors into the decrease in foreign reporting as well. The Cold War provided a clear framework and rationale for covering international affairs which a domestic audience relied upon.  Also contributing to the decline is the rise of more specialised media, such as locally based satellite TV, or online local editions of foreign newspapers, and even social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.

In such a setting, it’s no surprise that UK-based correspondents rely on news sources from the country of origin as well as newswire content like that provided by Business Wire to fill in the gaps, turning the loss of foreign correspondents in UK newspapers into a gain for PR professionals and their clients.


Editor’s Corner – January Edition

January 26, 2011

With 31 bureaus around the world and more newsrooms than all of our competitors combined, Business Wire is proud to provide local expertise and superior service, backed by the most accurate editors in the world. In Editor’s Corner, we ask some of our best to chime in on how to get the most out of your press release, based on their years of experience in the industry.

 

by Joe O'Brien, Business Wire Boston

How to Avoid Getting Lost in Translations

If your business is booming in Europe or your CEO is giving the keynote at a conference in Tokyo, you’re probably planning to issue your company’s news internationally. But efforts to identify a target market and choose an appropriate release time can be all for naught if you’re unprepared to communicate in the local language. That’s why it is vital to ensure that your translations are ready when you are. Follow these tips and you’ll never get lost:

Finalize Your Release First

While last-minute edits are sometimes unavoidable, always try to provide the final version of your press release. Implementing changes to in-progress translations can become complex and might potentially result in additional fees. In fact, as a safeguard the Boston newsroom’s standard practice is to begin the translation process only after the English release has been approved for distribution.

Your Translation Takes Time

When planning for translations, a good rule of thumb is to allow at least 24 to 48 hours for completion. Most translations can be returned within this time frame depending on:

  • The type of translation – More commonly requested languages, like French or German, can be processed more quickly than a less commonly requested language, like Russian or Thai.
  • The length of the release – This one is self-explanatory: the longer a release, the more time required to translate it. On a related note, consider the content of your release. A release with multiple instances of technical or product-specific terminology may require some research and more time to properly translate.
  • The timing of the request – Translation turnaround estimates are based on when the vendor receives the order, not when it is sent. Most of our vendors are located overseas and are only open during local business hours. Also, most are closed during the weekend. Keep this in mind for translation requests sent near the end of the business day or at the end of the week.

Take Advantage of Your Translation

If pressed for time, you may be tempted to forgo translations. Resist that temptation! Not only will your release reach fewer readers, but the translation service is included in the cost of many of Business Wire’s international circuits. Take advantage of it.

-Joe O’Brien, Senior Editor, Business Wire Boston

PS: For more tips for issuing releases internationally, don’t forget to check out our white paper on engaging global audiences.


A Closer Look at the BRIC Countries: China

September 23, 2010

by Neil Hershberg, Senior Vice President, Global Media, Business Wire New York

BRIC Country FlagsThis is the final installation of Business Wire’s series on the “BRIC countries“– Brazil, Russia, India and China, emerging economic powerhouses that are widely anticipated to drive global growth in the 21st century. The BRICS, an acronynm coined by former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill nine years ago, are responsible for almost half of the global growth since the financial crisis began in 2007, according to recent published reports.

The series thus far has examined Business Wire’s distribution capabilities in each dynamic market, focusing on its  exclusive partnerships that effectively reach the news media, portals, business-to-business sector, and the local investment community. China is certainly no exception in terms of Business Wire’s unique ability to penetrate challenging and complex international markets.

While most major economies are still struggling to regain their financial footing in the wake of the meltdown, China’s stupendous growth has continued largely unabated. It recently became the world’s second largest economy, fueling an international acquisitions program of historic propositions, primarily in the realm of natural resources.

China’s unbridled growth shows no signs of slowing down. Surging domestic demand (the country surpassed the United States as the world’s largest passenger car market), and a government-backed clean energy push provide strong momentum for sustained economic acceleration.

Business Wire’s distribution partner in this pivotal market is Interfax China, the country’s largest foreign news gathering organization.

Covering the length and breadth of China’s out-sized geography is no mean feat. Most foreign news organizations content themselves with a scalpel approach, slicing off bits of digestible information and feeding it to a general readership. Not Interfax China. In terms of sheer information gathering capabilities, no other foreign news outfit in China has the reach, access and market intelligence enjoyed by this respected international information agency’s over 30 experienced journalists and analysts, and a team of senior overseas editors operating out of bureaus in Beijing and Shanghai.

Interfax China is an agile and energetic information-gathering service, mobile enough to provide probative sector-specific daily and weekly reports from the western-most reaches of Xingjiang Autonomous Region to the sprawling megalopolis of Chongqing and the ministries of the nation’s capital. Founded in 2000, Interfax China has chronicled this amazing growth story, following the progress and missteps of emerging privately-held tech firms and state-owned energy Leviathans alike. And, in the process, the agency has gained an insider’s knowledge of Mainland China – knowledge it shares with the world.

Read the rest of this entry »


A Closer Look at the BRIC Countries: India

July 16, 2010

by Neil Hershberg, Senior Vice President, Global Media, Business Wire New York

BRIC Country FlagsBrazil, Russia, India and China, collectively referred to as the “BRIC” countries, are widely seen as the pistons powering the 21st century global economy.

Previously, we’ve profiled Business Wire’s powerful partnerships in Brazil and Russia, key markets where our unique strategic relationships provide Business Wire members with privileged access to the financial, government, corporate and media sectors. Agencia Estado in Brazil and Interfax in Russia are the most prominent business and financial news services in their respective markets, whose influence extends far beyond the investment industry.

This month’s spotlight is cast on India, whose economic growth in the past quarter-century has been nothing short of explosive. It is clearly a market that is on everyone’s ‘short-list’ in terms of potential  business development opportunities. Creating a brand identity and reaching business decision-makers in India has become a top priority for companies seeking to stake a claim in today’s Southeast Asia gold rush.

Once again, Business Wire has captured the high ground by offering the most comprehensive distribution platform available.

Business Wire India [BWI], a licensed affiliate with offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, has established itself as the country’s leading corporate news service. Many of India’s best-known multinational companies are clients, using BWI for both their domestic and international distribution needs.

Read the rest of this entry »


Business Wire White Papers Now Available

June 15, 2010

– by Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist

Recently, Business Wire launched a series of white papers on a variety of public relations- and investor relations-related topics. The first two in the series are now available:  Engaging Global Audiences – Public Relations and Bridging Borders by Neil Hershberg (Senior Vice President, Global Media) and The State of XBRL – Rules, Regulations and Best Practices by Michael Becker (Senior Vice President, Financial Product Strategy).

To download these valuable information pieces, visit http://GloMoSoMe.BusinessWire.com.


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