We do say ‘potential’, because it took a lot more than a shared belief in the importance of sustainability to win Gert over. He told us straight up he was allergic to slick sales pitches and would expect Blue Lines to prove itself. Fast forward to six years later, however, and our partnership is going from strength to strength. High time to zoom in on this close relationship!
A burning passion for ‘smart topics’ like IoT, AI, digital transformation and mobility, nearly 30 years of experience in PR and communication, a clear perspective on complex issues and a natural flair for smart content. These are just a few of Outsource Communications’ assets, which is why they’re the ideal communication agency for the tech sector.
Leen Van Parys, a communications expert and partner at Outsource Communications, tells us about the agency’s early days: “Outsource was founded 27 years ago as a PR agency for the IT sector. When the digital transformation took off, quite a few businesses that initially had little to do with tech morphed into full-blown tech companies over the years. Because of that, we now work in a wide range of industries, from mobility and HR to logistics and supply chains, healthcare and Industry 4.0. We’ve also branched out from public relations into internal communication, marketing, HR communication, corporate communication and crisis communication.”
Pressinars and hybrid events to connect in new ways
Leen: “While companies were undergoing a general digital transformation, we also noticed smaller changes, such as the way organisations connected with their stakeholders. Because of Covid-19, for example, both we and our customers are increasingly working from home. Together, we’ve brainstormed about new ways to stay in touch with colleagues, customers and the media. This has led to a rise in the popularity of ‘pressinars’ (online press events) and ‘hybrid events’ (partly livestreamed and partly with a limited live audience).”
English tech terms: to translate or not to translate?
Leen: “Our biggest challenge is explaining complex technological processes and services in a way that is easy to understand for both out-and-out tech geeks and people who aren’t as familiar with certain technologies. It’s very important for us at Outsource to make sure we understand our customers and the technology they work with. We have to, if we want to get their message across properly. People who translate or write copy for our press releases, cases, blogs or websites need to be able to wrap their heads around complex subjects quickly. That entails reading up on these subjects and learning about the latest developments on a daily basis. The tech world also tends to use a very specific jargon, a lingo riddled with English terms. So you constantly need to decide whether to translate certain terms and, if so, what the best Dutch or French equivalent would be.”
Successful translations into Polish, Spanish and Romanian: mission accomplished
Leen: “Apart from our ordinary translations from or into French and English, we’ve also needed high-quality translations into less common languages such as Polish, Spanish and Romanian. When we went looking for a good translation agency back in 2014, we stumbled across Blue Lines. Both my colleagues and I have nothing but good things to say about our collaboration. Blue Lines doesn’t just deliver translations, you deliver texts that are actually a pleasant read. Some of the translators we previously worked with sent us word-for-word translations that were a bit wonky. That’s never happened with Blue Lines. I usually read through translations one last time before sending them to our customers (if I understand the language, that is). But if it’s a Blue Lines translation – and if I’m terribly busy – I sometimes forward a text without even looking at it. I’ve never had cause to regret that.”
Customer feedback keeps our finger on the pulse
Leen: “To evaluate the quality of translations into languages we don’t speak ourselves, we always ask our customers for feedback. One of our customers was in desperate need of easy-to-read technical translations into Norwegian, for example. The Norwegian translation agency they normally used didn’t meet their expectations, while our customer has been perfectly satisfied with Blue Lines’ work from day one. I also like the way Blue Lines actively provides input. Every company uses its own specific vocabulary and technological expressions. If we provide a list of those, Blue Lines automatically includes them in future translations. For me, that’s a real bonus.”