Just a few years back, business communication was usually discussed in the context of publishing or broadcasting. This was most frequently done by a company producing carefully worded communications that were targeted to a mass audience that usually had only one or two ways to react to the message. In the same manner, the intended consumers usually had limited and no means to interact among themselves, solve problems, raise doubts and offer assistance to other consumers with similar concerns.
In more recent times, an assortment of solutions have been introduced that have successfully worked to improve the business communication. Unlike the way of thinking previously mentioned, this fresh approach that uses a social media style is collaborative, dynamic, conversational, multilingual and culturally sensitive. As translators with The Marketing Analysts Translation Service explain, classic methods of publishing communications using fixed, ordered and primarily one-way channels are becoming extinct.” The intended consumer has stopped being an inactive receiver of information. Instead, the intended consumer is now a dynamic and engaged member in the discussion. In the same way social media represents the latest advancements for the internet, Social Business Communication is a good terms used to describe this new style of business communication.
While the new style of communication might seem to some as a few simple tools (ex. blogs and wikis), the new style is greatly transforming the way business communication is conducted. For instance, previously business messages were carefully worded and tested by advertising agencies and professional writers and the sent to a translation company and then sent to sometimes targeted or untargeted passive audiences. Using the social business communication style, the principles have been radically transformed; no presumptions should be assumed.
Obviously, no organization, regardless of how passionately it adopts the Social Business Communication mentality, will allow itself to operate in a way that gives everyone a voice to be heard. Rather, a business will more likely employ the conventional approach for certain communications (ex. marketing plans, product strategies and other documents) and use the Social Business Communication approach for other types of communications such as instructional and support communications. Throughout the next set of blog entries, we will include a variety of discussions that concern the new style of social business communication and how it influences certified translators, consumers and stakeholders.