Multilingual Business Communication

April 7, 2009

Five laws for internal communication

Filed under: employee communication, Febe Corthals — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 1:06 pm
  1. The myth of internal communications: The most fundamental law of all is that a communication process involves at least two active participants. Too often, companies claim to have communicated, when all they did was simply sent out information, without offering an opportunity for discussion.

  2. Participation: Employees are participants in the communication process, they should not be considered audience. There has to be time for conversation, dialogue and a company also needs to listen to its workforce. Every employee needs to understand the company strategy and if employees know how they fit in and contribute as an individual, productivity will increase.

  3. carevolution_personal_communicationThe water cooler: Managers not only need to make sure their employees understand what they have to do, but they also need to ensure them they can actually do it. In both formal and informal internal communications, a manager plays a critical role in convincing employees they are able to perform their tasks. What’s more, a manager has to support them in every possible way and answer all of their questions, whether it’s in his office, in the elevator or near the water cooler. 

  4.  One size fits all: This does not apply to companies. Every employee has a purpose, needs and a preferred way of receiving and responding to communications. The bottom line is: know what you are trying to achieve and use the appropriate tool to get to that point.

  5. Continuous learning: Every time we communicate, we learn something. We need to apply what we have learned on a continuous basis so as to improve. This means there is no end point and neither is there a perfect communication action

(Febe Corthals)



April 6, 2009

Brand it like Beckham

Filed under: Febe Corthals, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 3:36 pm

david-beckham-armani1Today, many brands hire famous people to promote new products. Actor George Clooney was asked for Nespresso commercials and actress Gwyneth Paltrow worked for Estée Lauder. In 2006, Beckham was asked by Armani to star in their new campaign. Now his wife Victoria is promoting the new Armani underwear too. In total, the couple cashed in 28 million euro for the Armani campaign.

After reading the outcome of a new research on advertisements, I doubt whether it’s necessary to spend all those millions to get celebrities to link their names to products and brands.  The research, conducted by the University of Bath and St. Gallen (Switzerland), proves ads starring celebrities less effective than the ones featuring ordinary people. Researchers questioned students on this matter and the main reason for people to buy brands is keeping up with the Joneses. Students want to be sure their product is considered fashionably and trendy by the people who resemble them, rather than approved by celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson or David Beckham. So maybe celebrities’ fees for promoting brands is one thing to cut back on in this period of economic crisis.

(Febe Corthals)


Recruiting with Rara Avis

Filed under: Febe Corthals, internship — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 2:28 pm

Today, recruiting isn’t about placing stale ads in newspapers anymore. Leading companies are now exploiting the powerful social network sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube to recruit their future workforce. The website “Jobs in Pods” even offers companies Facebook recruiting tips. They advise companies, for example, that they don’t need to spend millions of dollars to get their own company profile page and premium ad space inside Facebook users pages. Jobs in Pods informs these companies that they can already get their jobs exposed inside the network for only 5 dollars.

Do you still prefer to recruit  new people in a more traditional way? Then contact Rara Avis. Rara Avis is a search and selection company that provides cost efficient, high quality HR solutions. This company doesn’t deliver standard services, but offers tailored client solutions. In their view, an external HR partner should not only work fast and deliver quality, but also meet the need for transparency and partnership. They claim this combination is hard to find in today’s world of HR. Hence the name Rara Avis, which means “white raven” or “rarity”.

Within three weeks, I’ll be working at Rara Avis for my internship. The benefit of a small company like Rara Avis is that each assignment is directly managed. In addition, each customer is ensured of high priority at all times and of attention for details. Working in a small company like Rara Avis is interesting for me because I’ll be involved in several projects and will get the chance to work on different tasks. I’m looking forward to being part of their team!

(Febe Corthals)




April 5, 2009

Save more: shop without touching!

Filed under: Febe Corthals, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 10:57 am

A new study to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research revealed a new insight into consumer behaviour. Customers who touch products in the aisles are willing to pay more for them than those who keep their hands off the products. Turns out that the television ad Procter & Gamble ran for its Charmin toilet-paper brand wasn’t that good a marketing message after all. In these television ads, the uptight grocer Mr. Whipple reprimanded his customers for touching the toilet paper. According to the new study, he should have encouraged them to fondle away instead.
Why does touching a product increase the likelihood of purchase? Behavioural economists call this phenomenon the “endowment effect”: consumers value an item more once they own it. So simply touching it may increase the sense of ownership and compel shoppers to buy the product. Suzanne Shu, a marketing professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and also co-author of the new study explains: ‘When you touch something, you instantly feel more of a connection to it. That connection stirs up an emotional reaction_ “Yeah, I like the feel of it. This can be mine.” _ And that emotion can cause you to buy something you never would have bought if you hadn’t touched it.’
Apple already put this advice into practice and openly invites customers to fidget with the gadgets in the store. Once you start playing with an iPhone, it’s very hard to leave the store without buying one. So retailers know what to do: hang up signs that say “Feel me”. Customers on the other hand, if you’re looking to save, you might want to start tying your hands behind your back!

(Febe Corthals)

April 2, 2009

How to convince retailers

Filed under: company, Febe Corthals, Hannelore Blomme, marketing communication, Ruth Broekaert, Trui Lagae, Uncategorized — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 12:22 pm

Supermarkets are being offered new products every day. Each product launch, however, entails risks for retailers. Will customers like it? Won’t other products suffer from cannibalization? And where can the new product find a spot in an already crowded shop?

Preparation is key. In order to convince retailers to start selling your new product, you need a combination of well-conceived arguments and tangible proof that the product will sell.

afbeelding12PIDY, an industrial bakery, often launches new pastry products. While creating a sales letter and sales presentation for their new Spoonette, an edible spoon, we tried to find that perfect combination of arguments and evidence to persuade retailers. Three arguments should convince any critic: the original concept, the good quality and the special packaging. It is no coincidence that we have chosen precisely three arguments: this usually sounds more comprehensible and persuasive. To support these arguments, we put forward that the Spoonette was awarded first prize at the SIAL Food Fair in Paris. This evidence gives sales people more credibility and is therefore of vital importance in convincing retailers.

November 2, 2008

Financial crisis affects second-hand buying

Filed under: crisis communication, Febe Corthals — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 7:12 pm

Websites offering second-hand things have become extremely popular nowadays. Never have these websites had so many visitors. In the last few months, people have put up 30% more wanted ads on internet sites such as and eBay. This is one of the implications of the financial crisis. According to Carolien Chausteur from, people now realise that their old things can still bring in some money. “Especially used clothes, toys and cars are offered”,Chausteur says.

Owners of these second-hand websites have discovered a way to turn the consequences of the financial crisis into a good thing for them. eBay, for example, places advertisements with a direct link to their website on search engines such as Google. Each ad contains a message that cannot be misunderstood: save money by shopping on eBay.

Sales of luxury goods, such as champagne, foie gras and caviar, on the other hand, are less affected by the financial crisis. Some products are even sold more compared to last year. Vranken-Pommery, a champagne producing company in Liège, concludes that families continue spending money if they are not affected by the crisis. Yet, families who do need to tighten the belt buy less luxury articles, but are obviously still willing to pay more for superior quality.

(Febe Corthals)








Create a free website or blog at