Multilingual Business Communication

April 6, 2009

No confusion

Filed under: internship, Marlène Bragard — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 9:53 pm

Does the name of “Médecins du Monde” sound familiar to you? I rather doubt it, because most people haven’t or rather think of the very well-know “Médecins Sans Frontières” when they hear that name.

If the two associations have been founded by the same person and also sound the same, they aim at different things. Whereas Médecins Sans Frontières acts in urgent situations anywhere on the planet when a natural disaster or a war occur, the international medical aid organization Médecins du Monde (present in many European countries and overseas) strongly believes that any person is entitled to basic healthcare, and is therefore also very much active in Belgium. The association provides medical and psychological treatments in more than 60 projects worldwide.

Within three weeks, I will start my internship as a communication assistent at “Médecins du Monde”. I will work on important projects in order to enlarge their popularity and thus receive the necessary funds that will enable them to continue giving medical treatment to every person in need.


subliminal messages in ads

Filed under: business communication, marketing communication, Marlène Bragard — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 8:53 pm

Did you know that subliminal messages are still used as a method of persuasion in advertising? These messages are called that way because they are situated below the threshold of human perception (from the Latin sub “below” + limen “threshold, door). These subliminal images are either symbolic (artistically plainly visible) or embedded (hidden from conscious perception).

A recent “>article points out that researchers have succeeded in demonstrating the effectiveness of subliminal messages on the human brain. These findings face previous scientific assumptions that attention and consciousness always function together.

If I find it easy to believe that our subconscious mind absorbs much more information than we might expect, I think it would me more interesting to push the research further and try to see whether these hidden messages have an effective impact on the consumer’s thoughts, behaviours, etc. Moreover, we should wonder how moral this is to send messages to us, consumers who are aware of their existence but cannot prevent their diffusion and their impact on our brain. This is rather scary, don’t you agree?

April 4, 2009

Alfatechnics: beyond packaging

Filed under: Aagje Verbogen, company, Elisa Van Peteghem, marketing communication, Marlène Bragard — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 12:00 pm

Nearly all the products you buy at your local supermarket are wrapped. Have you ever thought about how this is done? If you were going to set up your own company, you would have. Because in that case, you would be in need of Alfatechnics’ help. This Belgian company namely acts as an intermediary between manufacturers of packaging machines and companies in need of such machines.


Exactly how does Alfatechnics work? Benny Verbist, the manager, first sits down with the customer and helps him or her to determine which kind of machine their company needs. Then he contacts Alfatechnics’ partners who will not only deliver the machine but who will also adjust it to the client’s specific needs. Finally, the machine is integrated into the production line, taking care of the specificities of the production line.

Now why would a company use Alfatechnics’ help instead of ordering a machine themselves? It is because Alfatechnics offers them various benefits that they would have to do without otherwise. First of all, Mr. Verbist has years of experience in the field of packaging. He knows the market and he works closely together with the best producers of packing machines available. Secondly, as Alfatechnics cooperates with several producers, the clients get to choose from a larger number of machines. Finally, Alfatechnics invests in durable relationships with its clients and takes care of MRO.

Alfatechnics definitely goes beyond a regular packaging solution: the focus is on the client and his packaging needs are met in the best possible way.

Aagje Verbogen
Elisa Van Peteghem
Marlène Bragard

March 24, 2009

Business disaster, crisis or just bad news?

Filed under: business communication, crisis communication, Marlène Bragard — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:23 am

According to the article Survive the Unthinkable Through Crisis Planning, a distinction is commonly made between a business disaster or a crisis.

A crisis and a disaster are both negative for the company, but differ greatly. A disaster results in great damage, difficulty, or death (a fire or a flood for example). A crisis occurs when a situation has reached a very difficult or dangerous point. It is not always easy for the company to know whether it’s dealing with a crisis. What is certain is that not succeeding in handling a disaster will often lead to a crisis. When the scandal gets to the heart of the company and hits its credibility, it is clearly facing a crisis. Stock market drop, employee misconduct, product liability claims, manufacturing or design mistakes, accidents, etc., are all well-known examples of a crisis. The difference with bad news is that in the latter case, your company’s mission or ability to continue working on the long term is not affected.

I wonder however why this difference is so relevant when you know that in both cases, having a crisis communication plan is the only key to survival. This plan needs to be developed to cover any emergency your company might be expected to meet. The aim in developing it is to encourage your people to think how that could be handled efficiently. The goal of this communication plan is to be sure your people will be able to use some tools to minimize the damage and have the crisis (or the disaster) under control.

Be prepared!

November 1, 2008

anti-employer blogging

Filed under: employee communication, Marlène Bragard — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 7:58 pm

Did you know that one new blog is created every second on the internet and that the ‘blogosphere’ is 60 times larger than it was 3 years ago? Blogging has been thriving these last ten years. It has become a way for smaller companies to grow, to build their renown, to compete with larger companies, or even to face a financial crisis. The blogging world has become a competitive field for businesses.

However, blogging has its bad sides as well. Companies can become the target of anti-company or anti-employers activists’ blogs. In these anti-employer blogs, an employer is the subject of any kind of judgement or slanderous comments. The ‘rogue bloggers’ remain anonymous to avoid any pursuing, which makes it very hard for employers to protect themselves and trace the offenders. More and more targeted employers feel helpless because the method to identify these disloyal employees is expensive and often inefficient.

These two websites provide you with interesting and accurate information on that very problematic issue:

Marlène Bragard

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