The Dire Need for Specialized Translation Services for PR

Public relations and advertising professionals, as well as marketers and business owners who want to expand their reach internationally, may need specialized PR translation services.


Will Pepsi bring your ancestors back from the dead? Will a FARTFULL desk from IKEA improve your working environment?

PR translation blunders happened to many of the top companies in the world. Product launches and advertising campaigns that have not taken into consideration local cultures, have often resulted in negative PR. From General Motor and Parker Pens, to Pepsi and Coca-Cola, there are countless of anecdotes that illustrate what can happen when marketers fail to understand cultural divides, slang and the intent of the message.

These all could have been avoided by employing native certified translators, instead of counting on nonnative interprets and DIY solutions.

DIY is still the main nemesis of businesses all over the world. In many cases, DIY works: it saves a small fortune in the hands of a talented individual. But there are cases when DIY costs a fortune, and it is a pity to count on it when it comes to something as affordable as professional translations.

Is there a reliable translation service for public relations, marketing and branding? Many companies offer language solutions and related business services to the public relations industry, but do they go beyond the interpretation of the press release and press kit?

Sadly, the truth is that very few of them do. Specialized translation services for PR need translators with extensive experience in linguistic screening, capable of conveying concepts, metaphors, technical terms and slang from the source language to a target language, without losing meaning, while ensuring brand integrity and cultural relevance.

Such a service should cover all communications needs, from product brochures, catalogues, and packaging, to press releases, newsletters, news articles and ads. It should also include brand name checks, and creative content translations such as website content and blogs. And finally, the service should be extended to social media, available near to real time for businesses large and small.

There is no comprehensive service to cover all these needs. There are, however, attempts.

Lingo24 has a PR translation service, which covers creative website content, brochures and other marketing materials, as well as brand name checks, market surveys, press releases and financial documents. However, this lacks social media near real time translations, and localization.

tolingo is mainly focused on press releases, but also offers translations for presentations, brochures, catalogues, and market research texts. They too, lack the social media element.

TransPerfect specializes in providing language solutions and related business services to the public relations industry too, and they have stellar clients, like Burson-Marsteller, Porter Novelli and others. Still, there is no clear overview of what they do. One can only guess.

ComTranslations, doesn’t have a PR translations service, but they do have the social media aspect, through SociaLingo, a first-of-its kind in the industry solution, as it provides near real-time translations of social media messages supporting some 140 languages, as well as social media management.

Still, no matter how many translation companies we will list here, none manages to cover all the needs of the modern PR agency in one comprehensive service. This is a clear sign that most translation companies don’t follow, or don’t understand industry trends. They survive because translations are, sooner or later, needed, but very few are focused on innovation. It is time for a change. Let’s see which company goes there first.

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