Multilingual Business Communication

April 10, 2009

The newest evolution in the gingerbread tradition: Belgian Ginger Bread

lalorAt the moment, a true gingerbread revival is taking place in Belgium and in The Netherlands. Both countries have had a long, much cherished tradition with gingerbread cookies or “speculaas”. The overwhelming success of the launch of gingerbread paste in 2008 however, caused the popularity of the gingerbread taste to reach unknown heights.

Following the cookies and the paste, La Lorraine, the largest Belgian-based producer and distributor of bakery and pastry products, has taken the next step in the evolution of gingerbread products: “Belgian Ginger Bread” (also known as “speculaasbrood”).

What is “Belgian Ginger Bread” exactly? Well, it’s a bread that already has gingerbread dough mixed into it. This way, consumers no longer have to make the effort to apply extra spread, they can immediately dig in!

To achieve this unique recipe, La Lorraine worked together with a traditional bakery from Hasselt. This bakery specialises in producing gingerbread cookies which assures the excellent ginger taste of the Belgian Ginger Bread.

This post probably already makes your mouth water! Well, then we’ll have to ask you to muster patience a little longer. The Belgian Ginger Bread will be available in supermarkets yearly from 15 October to 31 December.

(Vanessa Vanleene, Gerlinde Van Hauwermeiren, Liesbeth Van Den Mosselaer, Sander Laridon)



April 9, 2009

‘Vlaamse Opera’, an anti-Israeli organization?

Filed under: crisis communication, Sander Laridon, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 3:05 pm

opera_135782The Jewish community in Belgium is offended once more. This time, the ‘Vlaamse Opera‘ is the culprit. The periodical ‘Joods Actueel‘ objects in advance to the opening performance of the opera ‘Samson and Delilah’ on April 28 in Antwerp.

In the last edition of ‘Joods Actueel’, Guido Joris opposes the opera’s staging because of the possible interpretation of the two directors Amir Nizar-Zuabi and Omri Nitzan. The directors previously suggested that the biblical story serves as a model for the current conflict in the Middle East. Because of this reason, debates and film showings are organized around the stagings.

Mr. Joris holds the opinion that these films are anti-Israeli. As a consequence, he demurs to these film showings. Moreover, he fears the worst for the opera’s settings and costumes.

The ‘Vlaamse Opera’ reacted surprised to the severe criticism. They refute thevlaamseopera1 assertion that the ‘Vlaamse Opera’ is an anti-Israeli organization and are indignant because of the premature criticism.

The conflict between ‘Joods Actueel’ and the ‘Vlaamse Opera’ is the most recent one in a row of clashes with the Jewish organization.  Earlier, there were multiple conflicts with the VRT because of programmes that were experienced as offending.

The Jewish organization seems to be a little bit touchy lately. Will this succession of conflicts send the image and credibility of ‘Joods Actueel’ to the bottom?  And what about the public opinion towards the Jewish organization?


(Sander Laridon)

April 7, 2009

The Best Beer Company in a Better World

Filed under: internship, Sander Laridon — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 4:39 pm

ab-inbev_logo_detailAnheuser-Busch InBev is the leading global brewer and one of the world’s top five consumer products companies. With a dream to become The Best Beer Company in a Better World, the company has a strong, balanced portfolio. With four of the top ten selling beers in the world, Anheuser-Busch InBev holds the number one or number two position in over 20 key markets. It has a key presence in both developed and developing markets.

Anheuser-Busch InBev manages a portfolio of nearly 300 brands that includes three global flagship brands: Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s, fast growing multi-country brands like Leffe and Hoegaarden, and strong ‘local jewels’ such as Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, Quilmes, Michelob, Harbin, Sedrin, Cass, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigivske and Jupiler.

Headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, Anheuser-Busch InBev employs Belgium InBev Anheuser Buschapproximately 120 000 people in over 30 countries worldwide. The company works through six operational Zones: North America, Latin America North, Latin America South, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, and Asia Pacific.

My internship starts at the end of April and continues until August 17. I wil be part of the department ‘Internal Communication Western Europe’. My exact job responsibilities are not settled yet but can vary from an employee satisfaction survey to the organization of meetings.

Sander Laridon

November 1, 2008

Boss, embrace Facebook!

Filed under: employee communication, Sander Laridon — Tags: , , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 5:51 pm

Companies should not dismiss employees who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo at work as merely time-wasters, a Demos study suggests. Far from it! According to Peter Bradwell, a Demos researcher, Facebook and the like “are part of the way in which people communicate which they find intuitive”. Therefore, Facebook can’t be banned and could even boost productivity, innovation and create a more democratic working environment.

More work-specific social networks, such as LinkedIn, have already conquered their place in companies. But there is also a place for the likes of Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, said Peter Bradwell. According to Mr Turrel, chief executive of Imaginatik, which develops networking software, “being able to see a photo of colleagues, or knowing what they are up to, can be incredibly useful for businesses, especially if a firm employs thousands of people.”

Mobile phone and broadband firm Orange, which commissioned the research, is currently building its own in-house social networking platform. “The profile and significance of social networking is increasing now, because of the proliferation of new technologies that enable us to connect to each other in our personal and professional lives,” says Robert Ainger, Corporate Director of Orange.

Still, this doesn’t mean that employees and employers should use social networks without limits. The authors of the Demos study say that clear guidelines need to be set out about appropriate use of social networking. Robert Ainger suggests that “it is also good for companies to be aware of the tensions and look at deploying practical guidelines which will protect the positive impact of networks, not hamper it.”

For further information, see and

(Sander Laridon)

Coco Chanel or Credit Crunch?

Filed under: marketing communication, Sander Laridon — Tags: , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:41 am

Due to the financial crisis, the luxury bubble has burst and the luxury-goods industry faces a big challenge. In the opinion of Maureen Chiquet, Chanel’s global chief executive, people want to see beautiful and inspirational things, even in though times.

Ms Chiquet states that the exclusivity of the brand is one of Chanel’s biggest assets. In January 2007, she set herself two main tasks: to “upgrade” and to “modernise”. Concerning the first, she works to make Chanel’s brand even more exclusive and appealing to “ultra-wealthy” consumers by expanding Chanel’s Luxe collection of elite offerings. At the same time, Ms Chiquet aims to modernise the brand through renovating Chanel’s boutiques and choosing Keira Knightley as the face for the advertisements for Chanel’s new perfume. Ms Chiquet compared Chanel’s image with an apple: “beautiful underneath, but it needed to be dusted off a little bit”.

People may want to see beautiful and exclusive things, but the question is whether they will still buy them or not. If not, the pair of entwined “Cs” of Chanel’s logo could easily stand for “Credit Crunch” instead of the initials of Coco Chanel, the company’s founder.

For further information on Chanel’s current course, see .

(Sander Laridon)



Create a free website or blog at