ITL #166 Talking fluently: boundaries are not geographic, but idiomatic5 years, 7 months ago
New models are emerging as the internet continues to break down traditional national borders. By Núria Vilanova.
The constant evolution of digital technology means the environment where we interact changes at a frantic pace. This influences day-to-day living, in the professional as well as the personal and social environment.
We live in a world that is increasingly connected and informed. But it is ever more complicated to extract information that realistically contributes value instead of mere noise.
In this context, companies, associations, foundations and other entities are all forced to talk to their different audiences in a natural and fluent way.
These days, digital transformation brings a paradigm shift in the design of new strategies of communication. It hasn’t only modified the form (vehicle, tools and channels through which communication flows) but also the background.
Adios unidirectional comms
The online world has banished the vertical and unidirectional model and has replaced it with a horizontal model in which the company doesn’t have absolute control of the message. The public, users and clients actively interact with the model and also with the image of the brand and leaders (political and business) by generating and sharing content and opinions.
The environment we operate in today has become increasingly more complex, multichannel, multidirectional and without a doubt, more immediate. It is not enough merely to adapt to new channels; we need to implement parameters for an innovative new model.
The development of digital has suggested that, in terms of communication, barriers for companies are no longer geographic. Instead they are idiomatic. My company ATREVIA, communication consultants in Spain and Portugal, is aware of this. Our goal is to lead communications in Spanish and Portuguese.
Active in LatAm
We have established a wide network of offices in Latin America which accompanies our Iberian customers in their internationalization and supports global companies who want to invest and trade in this region of the world. We are already present in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Peru, Guatemala ... and in Washington.
ATREVIA has already partnered with as many Spanish clients as international ones in the last few years and also with companies from diverse markets where we help in their adventure to communicate with Latin America. Therefore, we have worked for BT, Repsol, Allianz and Amrop in Colombia; Comsa Emte in Mexico; Telefonica, Coca-Cola, Enagas and their own Central Bank in Peru; Wincor Nixdorf and Salvat in Brasil. We have collaborated with Pan-American international organisations like Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in projects throughout various countries in the region.
In fact, on the Internet there are no more barriers. Except for languages. A Google search for a brand doesn’t stop at the border of a country but instead at a language. If, for example, we search for a brand linked with the phrase “medio ambiente” [Spanish for environment] this will give us all the information published in Columbia, Argentina, Ecuador, Spain…and in the USA. But if we stopped at that, it would not provide an accurate guide to the size of a crisis. We would need to search for the term “environment” to pick up on what was published in English.
In the United States, big brands are beginning to create different companies for Spanish speakers and for those that speak English. It will soon become a matter of languages and not countries.
This is a revolution, as companies organize their investments based on their income…and languages do not match this criterion. In the United States, investment budgets for communication are now divided by language. How much time is left before multinationals do the same abroad?
As the strength of the internet grows, brands have the possibility to reach much wider audiences and language becomes the limit to operating globally. In this context, Spanish is strong as it is one of the languages most spoken in the world.
The changes that the internet has introduced and also the expansion of social networks have marked a ‘before and after’ in history. The transformation of communication is conditioned by new habits of consuming information, ways of interaction and different profiles of our audience on social networks.
Understanding and knowing in detail how and who is on the network is essential to influence, build partnerships, align our teams (remember that employees also interact with businesses through the digital environment) around common objectives and, in this way, promote an authentic connection between the brand and the public.
Therefore, today the great leaders must be excellent online strategists. If we want to meet the demand of our public, we have the obligation and duty to update our internal processes to the digital network. We must focus on innovation and constant renewal, being where the debate is and active listening.
Only from this knowledge can we discuss, design and implement effective strategies and creative communication, both in their analysis and execution. The digital transformation is underway and there is no alternative to jumping on the bandwagon of communication 3.0.
Núria Vilanova is President of ATREVIA (formerly Inforpress).mail the author
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