I’m Stephanie Woor, a content strategist. In addition to copywriting duties, I plan the production of multilingual articles, webpages and other internet-based content by the team. I also cast a critical eye over sites and make recommendations about changes and new additions that could increase their effectiveness.
I’m coming up to the end of my fifth year in digital marketing – and cross-border work was kind of unavoidable from the beginning. The UK agency I was at was keen to have a presence abroad and I’d been working with US and Australian clients, as well as seeing the occasional bit of work from non-English speaking clients.
This said, the approach was far from international. Worst case scenario: dropping Polish anchor text pointing at Polish sites into the middle of an English language article about whatever you felt like writing about for the next hour. It wasn’t like anyone but Google’s search bot was going to read it.
Thankfully, digital marketing in general quickly evolved past that point – even if we’re working in our own language, creating work that people want to read, share and interact with is top priority. I joined Oban in June 2014 having worked on a few projects on a freelance basis in the preceding months, and quickly found myself working to commission and quality check non-English content.
We like to talk up the vastness and importance of the internet, but as individuals we actually see very little of it – even the stuff that’s in our own language or made for our own market. Taking a look at the wider web and discovering the shared and divergent expectations of different cultures is a fascinating opportunity.
The B grade I got in GCSE French over a decade ago doesn’t help me read copy in Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Norwegian or any of the other languages we handle (truth be told, it doesn’t really help me read French). Thankfully, we have not only a good team of native speakers to create and analyse this work, but a second set that will ensure quality control and our excellent project management team in between. Still, a good end product is dependent on how thoroughly I approach briefing everyone involved, and how I apply my own knowledge to intermediate drafts.
I think I’m supposed to say “writing a novel” or something equally impressive. I like to think I’d at least be writing something, even if it was just angry letters to the editor (still, there’s always retirement to look forward to for that).
We have a running joke here that I never shut up about the one time I went to Japan – I’m fascinated by Japanese culture and usually end up using it as an example when we’re discussing cultural differences (and similarities – the differences tend to get overemphasised). I went to Osaka, Nagasaki, Fukuoka and Kitakyushu – the food was amazing, and the trip certainly taught me the benefits of holidaying with someone who knows the language (thanks Sean!)
It’s funny, because I’m otherwise actually spectacularly poorly travelled – I’ve spent a few nights in France and Switzerland, and a week in Austria. But then, going to Japan isn’t exactly cheap and I can’t not go again!
I’d be lying if I said anything but “playing video games”. Well, unless I said “collecting video games”.
Brand: I’m a huge fan of Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, and absolutely mortified that they may never make another movie.
Site: Reddit is probably the best and worst of the internet for me – it’s where I usually read about the latest geeky stuff first but there’s definitely a dense layer of unpleasant funk in most of its dankest corners.
Technology: I love my Nintendo Wii U. It’s shonky and backwards-looking in a way that the super-slick, lifestyle accessorising technology market doesn’t really allow anymore.