Need English advertising, or copy?
englishtalk is a marketing communications agency, staffed only by native speakers of English. Need English advertising, or copy? Then you’ve come to the right place. Welcome!
… in a nutshell: what do you do?
We help German advertisers and their agencies (called ‘lead agencies’) with English advertising materials and campaigns (brochures, leaflets, websites, posters, TV campaigns, public relations etc).
- lead the entire process (as lead agency), thinking up the concept then abstandcreating the whole package (design, content, production)
- support others (lead agencies) with their advertising materials
- adapt international campaigns, ‘localising’ marketing, finalising content
… what makes you different from other agencies, or freelancers?
We’re the only agency of our kind in Germany that is staffed solely by native speakers of English. Everything is written, designed and checked in-house.
All of us are fully versed in the world of marketing and advertising.
So even if we’re adapting a German campaign into English, the finished product will reflect the uniqueness of englishtalk as an agency.
… who’s behind englishtalk?
We’re a ’micro-business’ – less than 10 employees – and are owned by two associates (’Gesellschafter’).
Both owners, who also write copy for you and coordinate your projects, are native speakers of English, offering you a healthy mix of British and American experience. For our track record, click here.
… what experience do you have as an agency?
Since launching in 2005, we have worked on many high-profile international campaigns – for Top 10 German advertising agencies, leading German companies, and small and medium-sized enterprises.
Our experience before this time goes back over 2 decades – in international marketing (including client-side for major companies advertising throughout Europe), in creative writing and all kinds of marketing communications.
… are you a translation office?
We’re copywriters who happen to speak German as well as English. We would not compare ourselves with translators, who offer ‘text transfer’. So we don’t translate manuals and technical texts.
Flow, style and soft-sell text are best left to a human eye. Sentences are not formulae. You really shouldn’t translate marketing materials and advertising directly.
Our focus when creating English marketing communications is the pivotal message – about carefully conveying key points to a target audience.
So although we do offer translations, we do this from an advertising angle.
englishtalk clients and markets
… what do your clients have to say about you?
Very often, “Finally – just what we’ve been looking for!”
Some of our clients are other agencies (localising an international campaign). They burnt their fingers using a general translator.
Others are exporting companies that have realised their local agency does not have the in-house expertise to localise materials or work on international campaigns.
Click here to view some quotes
… we’re a long way from Stuttgart. Can we still work together?
Of course. We have clients in all corners of the German-speaking world, from Hamburg to Vienna. And one of our owners is also based on the border to Switzerland. Although a lot of day-to-day business is on the phone or via email, it’s always good to meet face to face. So before a major project, we’ll generally like to kick it off at your place of business.
… do you work in all types of markets – eg, legal, medical?
Like many advertising agencies, we are generalists when it comes to subject matter. So we don’t work on contracts, instruction manuals or medical reports. Highly specialist texts are the realm of specialised writers and translators.
But we do write some technical texts for a general audience, often directly into English.
… what’s your favourite type of client?
Our favourite clients understand the role only native speakers can play in fine-tuning marketing materials and advertising. They challenge us, and enjoy being challenged in return. They see us as a communications partner, not just a supplier.
Ogilvy once asked, “Why keep a dog and bark yourself?” We really enjoy doing the barking for our clients, and if you pay out enough leash we devise copy and concepts only native speakers could think of.
englishtalk services/how we work
… I need full service. Do you offer that?
Yes. Not only have we won pitches as a full-service agency, we’ve also helped other lead agencies win their pitches.
We can develop materials from scratch, including advertising strategy, positioning, design, content, copy, and finished materials. The only things we don’t do: certain types of production (eg, TV, radio, merchandising) and
… do you do translations?
Yes and no. To draw an analogy: physiotherapists treat the overall physical condition, and this occasionally includes massage. At englishtalk, we specialise in international advertising and marketing communications, so inevitably this sometimes involves translation.
When we do translate, however, we don’t translate directly. We focus on the underlying message and idea. So to ensure this comes across the way it was intended, all of our work is checked by another in-house copywriter.
… do you offer advertising/marketing materials in international English?
We love it when people ask that!
Our joking response: “Tell us where the native speakers of ‘international English’ grow up, and we’ll provide you with their English.”
On a more serious note: we know all the tricks of the trade and how to avoid upsetting various readers. We have both US and UK speakers of English, so we know all the faux pas, the vocab to avoid, and dangerous double entendres.
Ultimately, however, you have to choose one type of spelling: UK or US.
… do you use freelancers?
Every single project we deliver to customers has been written, checked, and/or cross-checked internally. Only in exceptional circumstances do we call on outside help from long-established experts we know personally, whose work we edit before delivery to the client.
For website support, design and programming we have a tried-and-trusted specialist who supports us on a freelance basis.
… what are the “Four Levels of Adaptation” coined by englishtalk?
We’ve worked out the patterns of behaviour that companies and agencies follow when designing campaigns for export markets. These are usually dictated by the client and how ‘different’ the export campaign is ‘allowed’ to be (compared to the original in the home country).
To capture this, we have a model outlining Four Levels of Adaptation. This allows us to decide how much the text, imagery and positioning should be adapted for campaigns, and why.
If you’d like to hear more, drop us a line.
working with englishtalk
… englishtalk is an agency, so are we. Can we work in partnership?
… englishtalk is an agency, so are we. How do I know you won’t steal my client?
Because we would never bite that hand that feeds us. Stealing clients is unethical. You worked hard to win your clients.
As lead agency, you choose how much contact we have with your client. But please bear in mind that if we cannot contact your client, you act as a liaison. This means you must provide us with a waterproof brief, coordinate the process in detail, and ask the sort of questions we would.
… we already have an agency in Germany with international partners. Why would we want to start working with englishtalk?
‘Partnership’ can mean a lot of things. But as one expert in this field says, network means notwork.
If your agency has international partners, always make sure
- its partners don’t just focus on their own (local) clients
- its partners understand German thinking
- your agency knows how to manage this ‘lead function’!
We’ve seen so many agencies struggle with the complexity and costs of international campaigns. With englishtalk, you sidestep many of these issues.
… we’re still looking for an agency for Germany! Do you do materials in German?
… we already work with a full-service agency.
… why should I work with you rather than a UK/US agency?