Marketing and public relations form the backbone of publicising products and services, and with globalisation and internationalisation gathering pace, more companies are selling more of their wares to different markets. Not only that, but economic power is shifting eastward, making Asian markets evermore important to companies looking to expand. To successfully tap foreign markets, a number of considerations need to be thoroughly thought through and strategised, including how to translate marketing materials and press releases.
However, there are numerous pitfalls to avoid when translating a press release. For example, regulations covering the claims that can be made about a product or service differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and the rules around financial, legal and healthcare content are particularly strict. Any translation should comply with the letter with these rules. Other pitfalls come in the form of conventions, from the date format (is it year, month or date first?), to the currency used and general tone of a release.
Running your press release through machine translation solutions alone just won’t cut it. In fact, it’ll likely be a waste of resources as the mistakes and lack of context in any release that’s processed this way will reflect poorly on the quality of the services or products being publicised.
Read on to discover Into23’s top tips for translating a press release with impact.
What is a press release?
Before running through the top tips that’ll make your press release translation pop, it’s worth thinking about what a release is intended to achieve. This type of content comprises compelling, short news stories, often written by press officers. It’s an official statement from a company, person or other entity that’s sent to the media with a view to conveying key messages. Ensuring that these messages are conveyed optimally for each different market is the optimal approach. For example, in the US, press releases tend to be very short and to the point, whereas in China, releases tend to be longer and contain more background and supplementary information. The goal is to convey the right information in the clearest possible manner.
How best to translate a press release
On paper, appealing to as many people as possible with your press release might seem like the sensible approach, but targeting a release to appeal to the most suitable demographic optimises the return on investment. For example, if you’re announcing the launch of a dog toy, appealing to cat owners and people that don’t have any pets is not an efficient strategy.
Key targeting considerations include the language pair to be translated. For instance, press releases in the US are often issued in Spanish as it is the second most-spoken language in the country. This consideration will help guide your choice of translation services partner, so you can collaborate with the most appropriate agency, whether you’re looking at a release in farsi vs Arabic, or assessing whether to translate from Chinese to Japanese.
Also, tone of voice is important. It will vary according to the type of person you’re targeting, whether investors, communications partners, media or consumers, and the type of message you’re conveying. Do you want your release to resonate with middle-aged investors looking to increase their retirement investments, or is it young parents in newly formed families? If you’re looking to generate media coverage, then the media landscape in each market where the release will be unveiled needs to be thoroughly researched and covered in the release strategy. If you’re publicising a business-to-business service, for example, then targeting the trade press is a common approach. However, the depth and breadth of the trade media vary between markets. As a world financial centre, Hong Kong has a vibrant finance trade press, whereas Vietnam doesn’t.
The above considerations will guide the choice of words used in the translation in terms of cultural appropriateness, which will help maximise engagement.
Pay attention to convention
Dates, currencies and phone number formats are just three examples of how information is conveyed differently in various markets. Another consideration is the release format. European releases tend to be shorter than US or British versions, for example, whereas in Germany, the media is especially keen on data in releases. European readers are also sensitive to anglicisms, so these are best avoided, where possible.
These are nuances that a highly experienced translation agency will be able to expertly navigate.
Draw on industry expertise
Though a press release is usually a short text, the level of precision needed to convey key messages that resonate means that a translator with industry expertise in the target market is the best approach. They’ll understand the nuances and conventions and be able to tailor the messages and content accordingly to achieve maximum impact. You wouldn’t want a translator with no experience of the gaming industry translating news about your latest game update, for instance. Therefore, partnering with a gaming translation services agency would be the best approach to access this particularly creative translation expertise.
Localise, don’t just translate
Translation is the process of reworking a text from a source language into another language, maintaining the original meaning. Meanwhile, localisation is the process of adapting content or a product or service for a specific culture or market, and transcreation, a portmanteau of translate and creation, is a form of translation that preserves the original context, emotion, tone and intent.
Take the boilerplate for example. If a US-headquartered business is issuing a release, the boilerplate, a piece of text that gives info about a company that’s included at the end of releases, will be US-centric. If that’s directly translated, then that’s a missed opportunity. A better approach would be to tailor the boilerplate to convey the company’s experience and relevance in the target market, which is an example of localisation in practice. The best global marketing language strategies include localised content.
Localising is a more sophisticated service, but one that creates a release that is more nuanced and attuned to the specific local conditions were it is being disseminated. Find out more about the importance of marketing localisation in this article LINK blog 14.
Streamline the process
Translating or localising releases can be time-consuming, which is why partnering with an expert agency with a wide network of industry experts and solid track-record of impactful release translations can cut down the turnaround time.
The rewards for getting press release translation and localisation right can be vast: new markets, new clients / consumers, more sales, better brand recognition. Partnering with an expert marketing translation services agency will help you get the most out of your press release.
To discuss your options for getting your press release translated, get in touch with Into23 today.