Tips for a Global PR Campaign with Elliot Polak of Textappeal

With the global marketplace now being accessible to even the smallest retailer, business owners need to become increasingly knowledgeable on the cultural nuances which make their international PR efforts more successful. This week we met with the wonderful Elliot Polak to find out more about his company which helps with the localisation of marketing campaigns and give you some top tips on carrying out global PR campaigns.

Hi Elliot – wonderful to meet you and hear more about your company Textappeal, a cross-cultural marketing consultancy which helps global brands transcreate their campaigns so they work within local cultures.    

Can you explain a little more about what Transcreation is and how it is relevant to our clients?

It’s a little like what you need to do as a person when you travel to different places in the world: be yourself, but don’t forget to dress appropriately for the local climate. Transcreation is creative translation of anything from a press release to an advertising message or social media content to ensure the campaign is on brand and on message in each territory. This isn’t as simple as translation which doesn’t adjust to the nuances of different local cultures, traditions and purchasing behaviours. We only work with senior local copywriter teams, not translators, to make sure our client’s story stands out in each market in the right way.

Transcreation is something typically carried out by large global brands but there are elements of this that any company can do.   There is a whole world of local nuances but what are some of the stronger image / product based considerations our clients may want to consider when they select products for international PR?

Country-specific trends change at the speed of snapchat and hashtags. What’s hot in China may already be forgotten in South Korea. What’s loved in Japan may be cheesy in France. Today the challenge is not just understanding cultural difference and personal preference, but knowing exactly what’s trending in a market – which is usually completely different from one market to the next.

We find the best way to do this today is with the intelligent use of online local language listening tools. You can follow in-market trends and listen in on what people are saying about products and brands on a daily basis. If you know how to make sense of what people are saying, you can actually predict which of your products is most likely to generate the most interest at a given point in time. Personally I think it’s pretty amazing.

What considerations / tools could our clients use when translating their press releases to go out to other countries.
One size rarely fits all. Remember to adjust your tone to the market. For instance, in Germany journalists will want a good deal of facts and specs to report on your story. In the US you might need less specifics but will probably have to turn up the volume and sprinkle in some “wow” to get attention. It takes more time and effort to “speak PR” the way locals do, but it gives you an edge on the competition.

If you have high volumes of press releases, manage translation via a cloud based translation memory system, so you avoid translating the same bit of text twice. It saves money, speeds things up, and increases consistency.

See our detailed guide on how to write a press release here!

Lastly, can you tell me a little more about your company Textappeal and your most recent venture, Newsroom.

Textappeal is a cross-cultural marketing consultancy which makes sure a campaign is appropriate across all cultures and countries, and helps it produce maximum impact through a process of working with carefully selected senior local creative writers and brand specialists.

Newsroom is my latest venture. It is a 24/7 control room that coordinates social media talent in up to 151 languages, to amplify social media marketing campaigns in real-time across markets, languages and cultures.

Both serve large global brands as well as select niche businesses, and have the same goal: to help their clients grow globally.

Elliot Polak talks about his new venture in a short video:

Find out more here: