Multilingual Business Communication

June 13, 2009

Each day is a holiday

Filed under: internship, Karen Decabooter — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 10:05 pm

Since April 27, I am working as a trainee at Thomas Cook Belgium (TCB). In Belgium, Jetair and TCB are the leading, well matched,  tour operators. However, most people don’t know that Thomas Cook Belgium does not only represent the brand Thomas Cook. In fact, TCB unites three famous brands: Neckermann, Thomas Cook and Pegase. Bekijk de afbeelding op ware grootte   


  You could describe the marketing strategies of the three brands in a nutshell by stating that Thomas Cook wants to be ‘Delhaize’ among the Belgian tour operators, Pegase compares itself to ‘Rob market’ and Neckermann wants to be ‘Colruyt’ in the Belgian tour operator market. On the one hand, these brands have to join forces in order to beat their common competitor Jetair. On the other hand, you can feel that there is also some interbrand competition within the TCB group. 

I am working at the marketing and communication department of Neckermann, where I get the opportunity to make advertisements and competition forms, to attend meetings, to organize sponsor events such as Q Beach House and to work on research projects, etc. I enjoy working in the touristic sector because you are working together with people who all share the same passion, namely travelling. Moreover, Neckermann is working together with interesting companies such as VRT, Q Music, Sanoma Magazines (Humo), Concentra,etc. Although there are many deadlines, working at Thomas Cook Belgium brings you in a holiday mood every day…

(Karen Decabooter)


April 10, 2009

New harbour, new home port?

Filed under: internship — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 5:11 pm

My internship will take place at the local government of the city of Ghent. I will function as a project communication assistant. The project concerned is called “Revitalisering Oude Industriehavens” or “Revitalising Old Industrial Harbours”. Together with seven other cities in Belgium and the Netherlands, including Antwerp, Hasselt, Leuven, Oostende, Roermond, Tilburg and Vlissingen, Ghent will start turning the old harbour into a new lively environment to work and live in. They will also create a book and a dvd on how the old quays are developing. Everything will be recorded on tape before, during and after the changes. This project is just a small part of Ghent’s bigger mission, namely “Mission 2020”. This mission deals with ideas on what the city should look like in 2020 according to governments and according to the inhabitants of the city themselves. Getting everyone involved is of major importance, so I think Ghent is doing a wonderful job being socially responsible!

BRXL BRAVO: not just open day

Filed under: Frauke De Graeve, internship — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 3:11 pm



brxl-bravo-goed1Brxl Bravo  (say: Brussel Bravo) is a non-profit organisation that organises an arts festival in Brussels, from 2 to 4 October 2009. 150 organisations take part in it, both Dutch- and French-speaking. The festival lays stress on the cooperation, exchange of ideas and on diversity – in languages, cultures and artistic disciplines.

This year the third edition takes place. The previous editions were in 2005 and 2007 and they were a huge success.


Brxl Bravo is much more than just open day in the art galleries and concert halls. It is a socio-cultural event, that wants to reach all ranks of society, like children and underprivileged people. It is not only for the typical culture-loving public. On the programme, there are dancing and music performances, but also work shops and interactive sessions for drama and music.


I am charged to write the brochure for the festival, in which all the art projects will be presented. Further, I will prepare a press conference and I will be responsible for the communication with the different projects. I also get the opportunity to work with the different authorities in Brussels. We will work closely together with amongst others Bozar and KVS, and maybe the Swedish community in Brussels, which I would like very much.


Frauke De Graeve

Talking with (not to) your employees about diversity

Filed under: employee communication, internship, Ruth Broekaert, Uncategorized — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 3:11 pm

A couple of years ago only a few had heard of the term ‘diversity’. More and more managers have come to realize the importance and the benefits of a diverse workforce. Today diversity has truly become a hot topic for internal communication.

But internal communication is often not more than a one way stream of information. A lot of companies are telling their employees not to discriminate, to tolerate differences and so on. This of course is a good thing. But more effective internal communication leaves room for dialogue, and allows top-down and bottom-up communication to complement each other.

The city of Ghent recognizes that internal communication is in fact a two way street. To put this belief into practice the city’s program for diversity and equal opportunities has made a brochure that gives word to the employees. During workshops employees exchanged their experiences with diversity at the workplace. These stories were bundled into a brochure that has been distributed to all city departments. The success of the internal diversity campaign was acknowledged by Federal Minister of Work and Equal Opportunities Joëlle Milquet 1as she rewarded Ghent with the Label Diversity Equality.


Ruth Broekaert

Homophobia in sports? Not in Ghent

Filed under: internship, marketing communication, Ruth Broekaert — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 12:52 pm

City marketing is now booming. More and more cities are explicitly positioning themselves amongst their competitors by emphasizing their points of difference. An essential part of city marketing is to clearly state the city’s core values. Even before the city marketing boom, Ghent has always been known for its leading role among others Flemish cities in promoting equal opportunities and diversity. Now, they want to do even more and take it a step further.

That is why the city of Ghent has teamed up with the Holebi Federation to organize the very first Belgian ‘Holebi sportdag’, a sports day for bi-, homo- and heterosexuals. A lot of prominent people from in and around Ghent will be present to sign a charter against homophobia in sports. Why you ask? Of course because doing sports is fun for all! But this is also Ghent’s way of sharing its core values. This sports day is an ideal way to show everyone that there is no need for discrimination or homophobia in the macho world of sports, or anywhere else for that matter.

So sign up for one or more sports activities, from beach mix to highland games, or just come and cheer for the soccer match between the Pink Devils (a gay soccer team) and the soccer team of the Ghent police department. Queer or straight, don’t be square and be there at the Blaarmeersen on the 9th of march!

Ruth Broekaert

The ‘corporate affairs’ approach

Filed under: internship, Laura Moerman — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 9:40 am

Companies don’t stand alone. They’re interrelated with many different stakeholders: their employees, customers and shareholders, the media, authorities, their competitors and the political, social and academic world. To build up a good relationship with all of them, that’s no sinecure!

Whyte Corporate Affairs, a communications consultancy based in Brussels, provides its clients with communications advice, in support of their reputation, interests and business objectives. Clients can be both companies as institutions.


Whyte’s specific approach is to focus on that difficult relationship with various stakeholders. To realize good communication, the consultants often opt for an integrated application of different disciplines. Their so-called ‘corporate affairs’ approach consists of corporate communications, public affairs and crisis and issues management. Just the perfect blend to create a good reputation.

Starting from the end of this month till the end of May, I will work as an intern for Whyte Corporate Affairs. My job will partially consist of dealing with ongoing projects. By working on different projects for specific clients, I hope to discover the true nature of the ‘corporate affairs’ approach.

Laura Moerman

Abimo, where fantasy and reality meet

Filed under: Gerlinde Van Hauwermeiren, internship — Tags: , , , , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 1:57 am

abimo-logo1As a publishing house concentrating on books for children, Abimo Uitgeverij has two main interests. The first is to deliver educational material for teachers and parents. Abimo Uitgeverij in this respect exceeds the offers of average publishing houses: namely, it not only sells books, but also entire educational concepts. What can be understood by this exactly? Well, this particular service for instance includes what are called “techniek torens”, colourful towers which contain ready prepared courses for teachers, and which moreover include the materials needed to teach the classes. Other offers in this domain are “piramide” and “taaltrapeze.”


Of course, on the other hand Abimo Uitgeverij also publishes literary books for children. Contrary to what might be expected of such a young company, it has already been successful in attracting many renowned writers. Authors such as Dirk Bracke, Karel Verleyen, Maria Heylen, Marc De Bel, Guy Didelez and Patrick Bernauw have had books published by Abimo Uitgeverij.


During my internship at this company, I will get the chance to work on many challenging projects. I will not only be active in the area of external communication, but I will also help establish partnerships and promote new books, edit texts and translate books.



Gerlinde Van Hauwermeiren

April 9, 2009

“Visibly Yours”

Filed under: Charlotte De Ruytter, internship — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 3:57 pm

This is the revealing slogan of Barco, the company that offers display and visualization solutions for several professional markets. Barco produces projectors, displays and digital lightings for markets such as transport, medical imaging, broadcasting, events etcetera.

With such a range of products and markets, Research and Development is one of the core activities of Barco. No need to say that the knowledge that circulates in this company needs to be transparent and under control. That’s why the Human Resources department sets up a project for knowledge management. The purpose of this project is to design a knowledge management framework that builds intellectual capital for sustainable development, draws insight for innovation practive and makes it possible to retain, leverage and share expertise across divisions. I will be making part of this project team, together with 3 other internship students, specialised in other disciplines (electronic engineering and management information systems), from the 4th of May to the 10th of July.

(charlotte de ruytter)

Think BBDO, helping to build brands

Filed under: internship, Nina Vermaesen — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 2:50 pm


BBDO Belgium is the largest employer in the Belgian advertising branch. The group consists of nine divisions that each take the lead within their own area of expertise.

The advertising agency VVL BBDO is part of the worldwide advertising network of BBDO.  Proximity BBDO creates active engagement between brands and consumers. Pleon is in charge of the PR and corporate communication consultancy of BBDO Europe. Change BBDO offers communication support to organisations during changes, internal branding, re-branding and employer branding. Darwin BBDO creates impactful and compelling brand messages. OMD is responsible for overall communication and media strategies based on consumer, brand and market insights. Navajo is active in experience marketing, community marketing and brand activation. N’Lil is the brand activation agency of BBDO Belgium. And, finally, Think BBDO is the so-called think tank of BBDO Belgium, responsible for building brands.

From April 27th up to July 24th I will have the honour to be an intern at the strategic brand consultancy agency Think BBDO. During these three months I will be able follow the entire process of advertising up close and personal. My tasks will include desk research, communication analysis of big brands and the preparation of workshops. I am looking forward to being part of this small, but effective and hard-working team.


The power of endorsements

Filed under: Elisa Van Peteghem, internship — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 2:08 pm


For my internship at the city of Ghent, I will have to work as a communication assistant in the build-up to the annual Accenta fair, which takes place at Flanders Expo in September. At the fair, all sorts of leisure activities will be displayed. The city of Ghent, a partner of this event, has chosen the Turkish region Izmir as the fair’s central theme. Zeynep Sever, current Miss Belgium with Turkish roots, will promote the fair and more specifically the area of Izmir.

Organisations and companies are frequently tempted to engage in million dollar deals in order to let a celebrity promote their products. This approach is often succesful, as media campaigns using a well-known face receive a lot of attention. However, de Standaard recently published the results of a Mediaedge research which proved that the testimonials of famous people are not always effective. Three key rules should be remembered:

1. the celebrity should be trustworthy;

2. the celebrity should be likeable;

3. there has to be a connection between the imago of the celebrity and the product he or she is promoting.

I personally think that Zeynep Sever meets all three requirements but of course, we will have to wait until September to see whether the cooperation with Miss Belgium has paid off.

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