Multilingual Business Communication

April 10, 2009

Print Media: The struggle for survival

Filed under: business communication, crisis communication, Vanessa Vanleene — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:31 am

The global financial crisis has made several new victims by pushing print media to the verge of extinction. These last couple of months, the already volatile sector of newspapers wearily noticed the erosion of circulation and advertising. The threat of heavy debt has forced several newspapers to file for bankruptcy or, in a final attempt to save themselves, to take extreme measures in cutting costs.


In December 2008, the Belgian publisher of several large Flemish newspapers, Corelio announced 60 layoffs. Luckily, by March 2009, the dismissals at De Morgen were limited to 15 instead of 26 employees. Corelio was also heavily criticised by the National Committee of Professional Photographers when the publisher stated they would no longer require the photographers’ services. To escape bankruptcy, Corelio’s journalists were now required to come up with their own photos for publication. The publisher is clearly giving it all in order to overcome the hardships of the economic crisis.


The question remains however whether there will be a future for print media at all. There are those who believe that the business model of newspapers is simply not up to par, especially when compared to the possibilities of the world wide web. Indeed, we are a generation who reads the news online, continuously updated all throughout the day. Maybe, the financial crisis is only pointing out the obvious, when the weakest companies have to close shop.



Vanessa Vanleene


“Gedrukt dagblad wordt een dinosaurus”, NRC Handelsblad, 12 December 2008, p. 15


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

MasterCard: The heart of Commerce

Filed under: business communication, internship, Vanessa Vanleene — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:15 am

MasterCard Worldwide is the critical link between financial institutions, businesses and customers all over the world. This international company stimulates economies by promoting the advantages of electronic payment and accelerating the exchange of funds. MasterCard Europe then, with its headquarters in Waterloo, covers 51 European countries with the fast, secure and smart method of payment.


The three circles in their well-known logo represent the threefold business model: MasterCard as franchisor, processor and advisor. As MasterCard is committed to strengthening their customers’ businesses, the company develops appropriate business plans for all its customers with a focus on their specific needs. The European division even consists of three customer areas: North, Central and South. This enables customers to do business in their own language according to their own customs.


I have obtained an internship of two months in the division of the Business Development Team. My tasks will be foremost in the field of external communication, possibly aiding to develop account plans for targeted customers. MasterCard Europe has given me the opportunity to be part of The Heart of Commerce.



Vanessa Vanleene

Belgacom goes Ping Ping

Filed under: business communication, marketing communication, Vanessa Vanleene — Tags: , , , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 10:06 am

Get ready for the next and logical step in the ever evolving world of consumerism.


Belgacom, one of the major Belgian providers of integrated telecommunication services, will be offering a new service called Ping Ping. The company intends to present the possibility to use your cell phone as an electronic wallet for small amounts of money.


Belgacom bought Tunz, a small Belgian company specialised in payments via phone. With the new investment, Belgacom took quite a bold step given the fact that up until now merely 3000 users were interested in Tunz’ services. Tunz’ customers could use their phone to make payments from 6 to 150 euro. Only 2.500 shop owners are registered for now, but new deals have been made with Delhaize and Coca Cola.

Belgacom fittingly believes the future is bright as they intend to offer wireless transactions with transportation companies, fast food restaurants and vending machines.


Previously, great successes were booked when Belgacom bought Mobile-for, which offered the practical possibility to pay for parking tickets and de Lijn’s transportation services via text message.




Vanessa Vanleene





“Belgacom mikt op mobiele betaalmarkt” De Standaard, 18 march 2009, p. E12

“Uw gsm dient ook als portemonnee” De Standaard, 24 march 2009, p. E12


November 2, 2008

Like a little risk? Lie on your CV

Filed under: employee communication, Vanessa Vanleene — Tags: , , , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 5:50 pm




A survey by consultancy firm The Risk Advisory Group (TRAG) discovered that 1 in 5 CVs contains lies.



Applicants for a job try to get ahead on the highly competitive job market by adding mistruths to their CV. This trend has lead to employers checking each detail more thoroughly. Indeed, a research by has found out that almost fifty percent of employers discovered misrepresentations in applicants’ forms. Applicants are especially creative when it comes to reporting on their academic qualifications, previous experiences, job titles and salaries.



The price for this lying turns out to be very high, as half of the alert employers interviewed by, immediately dismissed the untruthful candidate. Another forty percent postponed the decision before realizing the relapsing in lies was too great a risk. In the end, a meagre ten percent did recruit the job applicant who was found guilty of ‘cosmetic CV writing’.


It seems that on the job market, you can gain ground on your competitors by simply telling the truth. It suffices to take care that editing your CV to offer the most relevant information, does not turn into unflinchingly inflating your past experiences.



Vanessa Vanleene




(“cv’s staan vol leugens” Jobat 31 October 2008, p. 13)

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