Writing for a global audience? Here’s our list of what to do and avoid.

global writing

It’s easier than ever to access news from around the world.

From social media platforms to news channels like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News — which all report from other regions and countries — it’s safe to say that reaching a global audience is crucial.

As a journalist, you know how important it is to write to viewers within your region.

But it’s also critical to make your articles or site viewable to a wider audience.

With more companies expanding internationally, it’s imperative to adapt your writing to these new audiences. This will result in an increase in international traffic, as well as overall traffic.

Here’s how to make this happen.

What to do

  • Internationalize your article or site. Consider hiring skilled translators or multilingual speakers. This tends to work better rather than using an automated translator.
  • Research and know your target audience. This sounds obvious, but you want to make sure to clear up anything that may be confusing to a different culture. You should try to adapt your format to the traditional writing of the specific country. Re-read your content several times to make sure that there are no idioms or content that might require additional explanation or context.
  • Include interactive elements. Ideally, you’d like to receive feedback. So, including things like surveys, polls, newsletter subscription requests, or questionnaires about the site’s quality will allow for visitor engagement. This will add appeal to your audience.

Stay away from this

  • Don’t use slang, clusters of meaningless and confusing words, redundancy, abbreviations, or idioms. Try not to utilize expressions that you use in everyday discussion. Remember, avoiding jargon and writing naturally is key.
  • Don’t use text on graphics. This is especially important since text can’t be translated on images. You would never want your viewers to be offended or confused about an image or the message it’s trying to convey.
  • Stay away from these types of references: Seasonal, monetary, date differences, or complex units of measure. Try to be as transparent as possible. (An example: “The restaurant is two miles (3.21km) from the hotel.”)

The face of journalism is changing.

It’s important to stay up with the times and acknowledge all audiences around the world. These Dos and Don’ts will give you a good foundation with regard to writing for your viewers.

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Imani Jasmin is a Public Relations Product Intern at Cision, as well as a senior in college. Imani enjoys reading, travelling, and restaurant hopping around New York City.


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