How does being bilingual benefit PR professionals?
The public relations industry is vast – every business in every country needs public relations. With the lines of business blurring across international boundaries, how do we support clients in their effort to gain the attention and support of audiences abroad? Simple – use their language! I can’t think of an industry better suited for the use of other languages than public relations because it’s our job to connect people.
Obsidian Public Relations houses two bilingual speakers who are prepared to help with any language needs – Addison Walker has a degree in Spanish, and I have a degree in French. Together, we’ve included three reasons why speaking other languages is beneficial to public relations professionals, your company and your clients.
#1 – It makes PR professionals better communicators.
When speaking other languages, you learn to use other avenues of communication to help better understand the gist of the conversation taking place. For example, body language and nonverbal communication play just as big of a role in conversations as words do. When speaking English, we tend to overlook these aspects because we’re so used to them, but when speaking another language, they’re used as key indicators of the conversation’s path. This gives us a leg up when reading into how others are feeling on a subject when they don’t want to express it with words.
#2 – It prepares PR professionals to interact with a variety of people and companies that the PR business brings.
In our field, you never know who you’re going to get for client audiences. Public relations is an international field of work used in all countries of the world. By speaking multiple languages, you’re able to span your reach further than competitors in the industry. This knowledge prepares us to take on any client or audience in any Spanish- or French-speaking countries without having to look elsewhere for help!
#3 – Content can target those audiences that speak another language.
With two languages under our belts, we’re able to create content specifically for Spanish- or French-speaking audiences! We’re located in the Mid-South where there is a huge Spanish-speaking community. Addison is able to utilize her skills to create content catered toward those audiences – without them having to use translating tools! One of our clients is also attending a global forum in France this year! With my French skills, I’ll be able to help create live content, translate any French publication comments and assist in any communication with the French media – not to mention assistance in directions. Paris is an easy place to get lost!
In the end, knowing multiple languages helps us connect with not just our audiences but our clients too. Those bonds are needed in this industry because they help create a thriving, successful work environment and positive results – no matter where you are in the world!