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Featured Article from The ATA Chronicle (May 2007)

Taking the Show on the Road: ATA Expands Public Relations Initiative
By ATA Public Relations Committee

ATA has taken a bold step toward promoting the translation and interpreting professions worldwide. The “PR Roadshow” is designed to present ATA’s public relations strategy to a broad range of groups in the U.S. and abroad—and invite them to join us by launching initiatives of their own.

Win-Win Strategy
The brainchild of ATA PR Committee member Rina Ne’eman, the Roadshow briefly highlights the origin, mission, and message of ATA’s PR movement, showing how outreach to media, business, and schools can raise the profile of the translation and interpreting professions. Just as important, the presentation includes concrete tips to empower any group—or any individual—to put PR principles to work to educate clients, grow their own business, and better their bottom line. It is a win-win approach that benefits both the broader profession and its individual members.

“The response to the Roadshow was exciting,” Ne’eman notes. “The multimedia aspects were an eye-opener for many participants, who never envisaged seeing translators and interpreters featured in leading news venues like CNN, ABC, and National Public Radio. Showing actual television coverage of ATA spokespeople underscores our message that we are critical to national security, public health, and international business.”

Promoting the Profession Within the Profession
Although most of ATA’s PR effort is directed outward, there are good reasons for promoting the profession within the profession:

  • To invite other associations and their members to join us in fighting the downside of globalization by raising the profile of the profession through their own PR initiatives. All of us benefit when clients understand and appreciate what we do, and start looking for quality and value instead of the lowest bidder.

  • To empower translators and interpreters around the world by encouraging them to value their own work and showing them how to use the principles of public relations to improve their status and better their bottom line. As ATA President Marian S. Greenfield notes, “If we specialize, translate into our native language, and charge accordingly, we can all harness the global marketplace to find the best clients.” Once again, however, the shift from price to value is crucial. “We should avoid selling on price and stick to quality,” says Greenfield. “We need to focus on what our services are worth.”

Successful Debut
Ne’eman premiered the Roadshow in early February at the Israel Translators Association conference, where it received an enthusiastic welcome. In April, ATA President-Elect Jiri Stejskal presented the Roadshow at the FIT Asian Forum in Bogor, Indonesia. Later this year, ATA President Marian S. Greenfield will share the Roadshow podium with Ne’eman at the annual conference of the Association of Language Companies in Providence, Rhode Island, in June and at the annual conference of ATA’s Translation Company Division in San Antonio, Texas, in July. Several international venues are pending, and ATA members can look forward to seeing the Roadshow at ATA’s Annual Conference in San Francisco, October 31- November 3.

Raising Awareness
By making our clients, our colleagues—and even our competitors—aware of the vital role that translators and interpreters play in the global economy, ATA is raising the status of our profession and, with it, our prospects and earnings. This is a direct benefit to our members and to the industry as a whole.