An External Communication Guide for LA Businesses

February 7, 2024
An external communication guide for LA businesses

This article will discuss the three industries in LA, their current state, and how LA businesses can better improve their external communications. The City of Angels faced a lot of challenges brought by the pandemic. According to the U.S. News, just this July, we had five straight days of more than 1000 new cases of Covid-19. Now more than ever, external communications are vital for business owners due to limited physical contact. Because of this, it saw the rise of e-commerce and companies going digital in their marketing campaigns. But like with any form of communication, misunderstandings and miscommunication can easily occur. If you want to know about how you can improve your external communication, keep on reading!

Why are external communications important to Los Angeles translations?

Before we get started as to why external communications are essential, let's first define. External communication is the transfer of information between a business and another entity or person outside of the company's environment. These entities or people can be customers, prospects, suppliers, shareholders, investors, and society in general.

As you can see, external communications are crucial, especially if you are establishing your company's brand. Miscommunication can happen due to several reasons. Sometimes, it's due to communication styles. Other times, it's because of language barriers and cultural gaps.

If you've ever experienced any of the latter, it's best to find translation services in Los Angeles that could effectively convey your brand and message in multiple languages. Try looking into experts who could help you with external communications and marketing strategies. Because of this, we researched some experts in the language industry about what they have to say about external communications and making them accessible to a diverse audience. Tomedes, a technology-driven language service provider, observed that before any business can start globalizing their brand, they first have to consider the locale they are targeting. "Several studies show that customer retention and responsiveness increase whenever a company makes their customer service and marketing multilingual," said Ofer Tiroh, CEO of Tomedes. His claims are further backed up by the studies of Dr. Donald A. DePalma, CSA Research's Chief Research Officer, about "30% of the 3,002 respondents never buy at English-language sites, and another 29% rarely do." Meanwhile Slator Managing Director, Florian Faes, stated in an article that “[t]he language industry has shown great resilience — 2020 provided conclusive proof that language services are not discretionary spending but essential.”

But before we get started in talking about the external miscommunication, let's discuss three business industries in LA and their current situation.

Entertainment business in LA

You cannot talk about LA without talking about its entertainment industry. The pandemic has dramatically changed the economic production of the American entertainment industry as a whole. This change is due to the state-imposed shutdown on all businesses in LA, which has ordered everyone to stay indoors. Because of this, it has nearly eliminated all traditional Hollywood production and distribution models. This has inadvertently affected major television corporations like Comcast, Disney, AT&T, etc. According to an article entitled, Hollywood survival strategies in the post-COVID 19 era, the pandemic saw the rise of digital on-demand streaming. With Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime already ahead of the above-mentioned major television channels for digital on-demand streaming, many of them are moving from traditional media to a more digital one. External communications through the internet are essential, especially for any entertainment business that wants to expand its audience. An excellent example of this is Netflix's expansion into 190 countries in just seven years by strategically localizing their online streaming services.

Real estate business in LA

Despite the pandemic placing stalling the housing market last 2020, it didn't stop people from buying houses and real estate property in LA. According to the Los Angeles Times article, buying real estate property for house buyers has become a very aggressive market because one property can have multiple offers. This is the first time in thirty years that houses in California have sold faster based on the state's Realtors association. Places in Southern California, like in Ventura County, had a 34% investor sales jump, 25% in the Inland Empire, 13% in Orange County, and 12% in Los Angeles County. Last April, it saw that in areas such as Los Angeles, Orange County, and Ventura countries with a sales tax of up to $1.4 million, which is higher than pre- pandemic years.

In some cases, it showed that some of these homeowners were overseas investors. Often, sellers are more than willing to sell off their real estate properties to these foreign investors because they already have cash in hand. If you haven't thought about it, why not explore the international market the next time you're looking to close a deal.

Retail business in LA

The pandemic also saw the rise of order meals and grocery delivery apps skyrocketing. Customers now have a reason to use these apps. According to the Los Angeles Times, Uber witnessed an increase of 166% in delivery bookings from 2020 up to the first quarter of 2021. Despite signs showing that it has peaked and is now waning, many companies such as DoorDash, a restaurant delivery form, believe that it wouldn't be

much of a concern as it is expected despite the drop. It will go down due to the loosening of the state restrictions. Bloomberg's Second Measure, an analytics company, analyzed that April 2021 grocery delivery went down by 21%. However, it was still 300% higher than before pre-pandemic sales. Store owners are finding innovative ways to make a profit while complying with Covid-19 protocols. Part of the marketing strategy was turning walk-in business models into e-commerce, where external communications play a crucial role.

Miscommunication in external communication

A lot can go wrong when it comes to communication in general. I've listed some reasons why external miscommunication happens:

  • Not having an excellent internal communication system - all your employees should clearly understand your company's goals and expectations for them. If your employees don't have a clear idea of what your company is about, that could cause some PR problems in the future.
  • Language gaps and barriers - Sometimes, due to a lack of understanding of a language and their cultural backgrounds, companies have failed to localize their marketing campaigns for the multicultural communities in their areas and the international market. It has led to many embarrassing situations and PR disasters.
  • No clear context - The context is crucial. People need to understand where you're coming from. Without setting up a clear explanation and then expecting everyone to understand, it can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications.
  • Being vague - Let me tell you a secret. People, in general, hate ambiguity. So when you're not clear about your message about what you're promoting or giving mixed messages of your brand, this can cause external miscommunication.
  • Incorrect choice of medium - What works on Facebook might now work on Instagram or Twitter even though they're all social media platforms.

Preventable issues due to lacking cultural context and language gaps We've all heard about the infamous Yellow Pages' marketing failure in Toronto, where they posted billboards with signs saying "Find out if Bi Bim Bap tastes as good as it sounds" with image chopsticks underneath a bowl of noodles. Bibimbap is a rice dish and not noodles. Many people did not receive Yellow Pages' marketing campaign, and it offended a lot of people both locally and globally. The lesson here is that if you want to attract a multicultural community in your area or go global, you have to research. Look what happened to TikTok's recent issue wherein they failed to properly localize their

terms and conditions in the Netherlands, leading to a €750,000 fine from the Dutch watchdog.

Market research is 101. If you have to get experts to translate or localize your marketing campaign or services, do it! Because poor preparation can be expensive and damage your reputation as a business, it's better to buckle down in research and have a budget for Los Angeles translation than end up with backlash or, worse, a lawsuit.

How to improve your external communication

  • Train your employees and have clear communication - All your employees should know your company goals and objectives. If you plan to have any changes or have a marketing campaign, they should hear it from the company and not from a third party. Train your employees to have updated skill sets while knowing more about your company values and goals.
  • Bridge the language gaps - If you ever want to attract a wider audience locally and internationally, you need to localize your marketing. If you can look into translation services in Los Angeles because it's better to spend money on market research, feasibility studies, and good translation services than ending up as an example of marketing campaigns gone wrong on the internet.
  • Building up context - If you're looking to connect with your target audience, slowly build a context with them. Know your audience and what they want. Don't assume you know everything.
  • Have a clear, marketable brand - This is important for both your employees and customers. Once you can convey what your company is all about in a few sentences, that's when you know you have a clear brand image.
  • Taking advantage of the internet - Wendy's and Netflix took advantage of their Twitter platform to fully engage with their customers while building up their brand. But this is only possible if you have a clear idea of your brand. What are your customers' demographics? Conduct market research if you're not sure about your brand image and potential customers.

Final Thoughts

A lot has happened since the pandemic started. Some industries in Las Angeles while others are excelling through innovative ways. We've just listed some reasons why external miscommunication occurs and how you can prevent them from happening so you can potentially attract more customers both locally and internationally.

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