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What are the special features that can be identified in content outreach? What differences and similarities exist?
“How often do we hear this phrase and accept it as a banal proverb? However, if one deals with the question of what makes other countries different, the language and culinary specialties may come to mind first. Many think of sun, beach, sea or the mountains and immediately have an illusion of vacation in mind.
There are 23 official languages in Europe. Most Europeans speak English, either as a first or second language, or have at least a basic knowledge of it. Many have an equal knowledge of French or Spanish. The proportion of those who speak more than one language is growing. This is also the case for companies, which are becoming increasingly international. In addition to the most obvious point of language, there are of course also cultural peculiarities. While we Germans are subject to the prejudice of being detail-oriented and punctual, the Spaniards are exactly the opposite from our point of view – they don’t take it very seriously there with either virtue. There are a lot of prejudices against other cultures. But what is ultimately true? The fact is that there are cultural peculiarities. What these are has been shown through many years of experience.
Some cultures are big fans of small talk, while others like to be brief and concise about what they are talking about. To get this right, you always need the right people. Experience abroad, specialized linguistic studies or a connection to the respective culture are indispensable. This is the only way to have the necessary intuition to be able to negotiate properly with the webmasters at the other end of the line. This chapter provides a few of these specifics.
Facts and quick information or rather a detailed conversation?
Probably the biggest difference that is immediately noticeable is the time involved, which is sometimes serious. Some nations love small talk or like to hold a chat. For them, it’s part of the job to have a long conversation, even if you could actually have covered the relevant stuff in a minute.
So it can happen that a phone call with a Swedish or Dutch webmaster lasts half an hour or longer, because they tend to be open people who like to communicate and listen to their counterpart just as much. On the other hand, there are many Spaniards, for example, who prefer to have all the facts and information summarized directly in one minute and answer just as briefly and succinctly.
Of course, this cannot be said across the board. There are people everywhere who are very talkative and others who do not attach great importance to an extended conversation. In a conversation, you can usually tell at the beginning. The popular question about the weather actually offers a good start. If the other person responds by telling you that the sun is shining beautifully, that he or she is going to have an ice cream and that he or she will take the children to the swimming pool in the afternoon and then spend the evening at the barbecue, then he or she is most likely an open and communicative person. If, on the other hand, the person you are talking to answers in a rather restrained and factual manner, it is a good idea not to extend the telephone conversation unnecessarily. One must always adapt to this, because otherwise one runs the risk of not being able to enter into many cooperations, because the other person simply feels misunderstood and possibly not comfortable.
For this reason, it is important to have connoisseurs of the respective cultures on hand who can respond to these special needs. This is the only way to ensure the success of an international content outreach.