Multilingual Business Communication

April 10, 2009

Filed under: crisis communication, Laura Moerman, Uncategorized — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 8:58 am

“I really hate my boss. Working long hours, hardly any breaks, having the feeling it’s never good enough and all that for just a pittance.”
“This hotel fell short of our needs. The service is very bad and the hotel rooms are smaller than our doghouse.”

“I used to be a true fan of this brand. Now their products only disappoint me.”

You don’t have to search too long to find lamentations like these on the Internet. We all know websites like Tripadvisor, Booking and Amazon, where you can give and read ratings for products and services. Apparently, managers and executives of big companies didn’t find their way to these applications yet. As their customers and employees keep on venting their gall on the World Wide Web, companies just don’t react.

According to Leslie Gaines-Ross, expert in reputation management, companies urgently have to surrender to the Internet. Especially those that would like to keep their reputations clean, often underestimate the power of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. In other words: they miss out on a great opportunity by not using Web 2.0 applications. Most of the top executives still work in the Web 1.0 mode and only use the Internet as a traditional search engine. Without even knowing, the reputation of their company could be in danger.web201

Potential job applicants or customers that are in doubt for two products, can easily find online advice. Whether those comments are pertinent or not, doesn’t really matter. Truth, exaggeration or flagrant lie: all news travels fast.

Companies have to interfere to preserve their reputation. If not, they may have to take the painful consequences. Ask Glenn Tilton, former boss of the American United Airlines, whose dismissal was caused by a website voting for his redundancy, especially designed by the United Airlines employees. Protect yourself from disasters like these and use web 2.0. It’s the link to reputation management!

Laura Moerman



  1. I certainly agree with you that many companies still have not fully realised the powers of the internet. However, others have already started to acknowledge the fact that this kind of communication towards customers can be very valuable. Apple for instance, has a very clear service to its customers. On its website, one subdivision, called “talk to us”, handles customers’ practical problems. Another, “community”, offers a platform to customers in which to vend ideas and solutions. We can only hope that soon also other companies will follow the Apple example.

    For more information on Apple‘s services, visit:

    Gerlinde Van Hauwermeiren

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 10, 2009 @ 11:29 am

  2. The fact that American Airlines employees have set up a website to dismiss their boss indicates that something is clearly wrong with employee-employer communication at the company.This is not the only icident that has come up in the media, check out this video fragment!

    Ruth Broekaert

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 10, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: