First there were PR agencies, then came Walkie Talkie…

Almost 6 years ago, Andrew, Marie and Valérie met at a Young Scum meeting for like-minded talents. Marie and Valérie already worked for the same PR agency, and things clicked with Andrew right away. Just like Andrew, they felt that the world of communications needed shaking up. They believed that Ghent could use an innovative communications agency. And the seed for Walkie Talkie was sown…

Walkie Talkie now has a solid team of 12 staff. In January, they will be leaving their distinctive premises on the Steendam for a splendid mansion in the Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat, another typical Ghent thoroughfare. Built-in wall cabinets made of solid wood, grand floors, high ceilings… you really can’t accuse them of bad taste.

So much more than mere copywriting 

Walkie Talkie shapes the PR strategy for lifestyle brands, but goes far beyond merely writing and sending out press releases. The company also creates content, sometimes in collaboration with specialist partners for video production, graphic design or event organisation etc. The educational website Playmobil Stories (stories.playmobil.com) is a good example of strongly target-group oriented content in an interactive package. 

ECHO: internal communication the Walkie Talkie way 

Andrew: “Clients were tugging at our sleeve: could you help us with our internal communications too? They wanted to keep their staff better informed, fill them with enthusiasm and turn them into ambassadors. At Walkie Talkie, we could see the advantages of applying external communication strategies to internal communication. Companies benefit from keeping their staff enthusiastic and well informed, so that employees also share content on social media. We recruited Fie Maes for this task. With her solid background in content marketing and press communication, we believe she is the ideal person to help us grow ECHO.” 

Looking for angles 

Andrew: “If you want to appeal to many different target groups, it's best to come up with as many variations on your basic content as possible. This enables you to reach various media on a limited budget. For our client MARIE-STELLA-MARIS (a Dutch lifestyle brand), for example, there is the charity angle: some of its profits go to clean drinking water projects all over the world. That's a great angle. The people behind a company are angles too, and so is an entertaining pop-up campaign such as the Halloween Emergency Candy Store for our client Deliveroo. The more angles and the more variants you have, the more media coverage you can expect and the more target groups you can appeal to.” 

If your grandma gets it, you’ve got it right 

Even though the term PR agency doesn't even come close to describing all the things that Walkie Talkie does, press work still remains their main activity. 

Andrew: “Writing press releases is an art in itself. Personally it's not my strongest point, but luckily I have a group of colleagues who are extremely good at it. Our starting point is that you need to write something that your grandma will understand. It's always a challenge to attract attention in a narrowing (and generally digital) media landscape which is swamped with content.” 

That’s all very exciting. So exciting that we haven't even mentioned working with Blue Lines yet! 

Nonetheless, Andrew is full of praise for Blue Lines: “You've been our regular translation agency from the start. Marie and Valérie also enjoyed working with Blue Lines in their previous job, and rightly so. In the six years we've been working together, we haven't had a single problem. The translations convey the right feeling and are always delivered on time. The project managers are on the ball, honest and helpful. So far, we have mainly needed translations into French. Although we have French native speakers in the firm, we don't want to overburden them with translation work. And bringing in Blue Lines also means that we can act more quickly. Incidentally, translating texts fluently is an art in itself. You need to take all the subtle nuances of meaning into account and you have to be really familiar with the subject matter. It’s no good if the activating content gets lost in translation. Jokes and tongue-in-cheek comments need to work in the target language just as well as they do in the original.” 

So working with Blue Lines was a good decision. Who knows, perhaps we can work together even more intensively in the future. Let's talk about it!

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