1- Hello David, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Australia, but grew up in Sheffield, England. I lived and worked in Spain for 10 years, but again returned to Sheffield. After returning from Spain I decided to go to university as a mature student. I graduated with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in Spanish & Latin American Studies, I continued my studies as a postgraduate completing a MA in Hispanic Studies. Both my degrees are from the University of Sheffield. My studies have focused on cultural identity, language, cross-cultural communication, translation and localisation.
With over 18 years’ professional experience in language services, public relations, digital marketing and search engine optimisation I have been involved in a wide range of projects, both in the United Kingdom, Spain and many other countries.
2- What are your focus areas and why?
My work and current research focuses on the development and implementation of multilingual content strategies, content led search engine optimisation, content creation and localisation. I believe that content creation should incorporate both the noun and adjective meanings of the word content; for the target audience to be content with the content.
We are living in an ever more interconnected world, at a time where information overload is a daily occurrence. The validity of information published by supposedly reputable sources is questionable.
I am focused on dissemination of evidence based, high quality, user engaging content.
3- Can you tell us about “Distinctive Media Solutions”?
Distinctive Media Solutions was launched in 2016 to provide competitively priced creative and innovative digital content and marketing solutions which allow companies of all sizes to prevail in the digital era. We now offer a range of multimedia content, search engine optimisation and digital marketing services designed to meet the needs of businesses across the globe.
The DMS team is made up of both in-house and remote workers. It has taken the time to setup our network, the effort is paying off as we have become a recognised provider of content creation and localisation services, search engine optimisation, social media and digital marketing. Our services have helped clients to increase their online presence, search engine rankings and social media exposure.
4- Where do you think you are making an impact?
As an advocate of education and continual professional development, I dedicate a percentage of my time, not only to further my own education but through research and the sharing of knowledge improve the understanding of cross-cultural communication for content creation and digital marketing purposes. I am often approached to provide training and mentoring to help the next generation of digital marketers to forge a career in this fast-moving industry. Most recently I successfully mentored a student through the Edelman Beta application process. I am also developing a new website that will offer online courses.
5- Can you share with us more about your new book?
The title of my new book is – Standing out and fitting in: The need to translate content and localise websites to create/maintain a global online presence in today’s digital era. ISBN: 978-3-330-06378-5
The book is available at https://www.morebooks.de/store/gb/book/qr/isbn/978-3-330-06378-5
The book investigates the importance of translating and localising both the structure and content of a website for companies aiming to create or maintain a global online presence.
Providing online content tailored to suit specific locales, which for larger multinational companies often includes multiple linguistically and culturally distinct locales.
The research has highlighted various issues relating to both the quality of translated/localised website content presented to the target user on high-profile multinational company websites and also how the role of the translator is perceived by the Localisation Industry.
Localisation is the name given to the process of preparing a product or website content, for use in a specific market or ‘Locale’.
The term locale is used to define a specific target user group; this is not necessarily a geographic entity nor is it always a single language or culture. The Spanish language, for example, is not only spoken in Spain but also in many of its former colonies. Even within Spain, there are a number of locales, with their own language and cultural identity, Catalonia is a prime example.
Going further, conclusions are drawn from case studies analysing the websites of a selected sample of multinational companies and a survey of user expectations relating to the linguistic quality of localised content. The book also raises many questions and discusses how the linguistic process can be managed to satisfy the needs of cross-cultural marketing and achieve a balance between target text production and cultural adaptation whilst remaining an economically viable option.
6- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
We have expansion plans for Distinctive Media Solutions which include opening an office in Spain.
I also have a number of other projects that I am working on, I plan to launch my online academy in 2018. The website is close to completion, I still have a lot of work to do designing the courses and preparing course material.
Publishing a new book every year is another one of my goals.
Things can change quickly though, that’s why it’s a good reason not to have all your eggs in one basket, especially with the uncertainty over Brexit… we will have to see what happens.
7- What are some things that most people don’t know about your job as a Writer?
The amount of reading that is necessary to write on a subject. You have to read a lot to establish very little. This is something I learned at university. Research is a vital part of the process, finding relevant and up-to-date sources can take time. As projects can take several months, developing a method for efficiently organising the gathered information so that it can be presented in a logical structure at a later date is something that you have to master.
8- What can you tell young people who are pursuing their dreams?
Education is undoubtedly one of the most important factors. However, many sectors of industry are constantly evolving, especially areas such as language services, web development, marketing, digital media and other creative niches. There is an ongoing debate between industry leaders and those involved in education, with many questioning the adequacy of mainstream education. Employers are voicing concerns that current course curriculums are not equipping students with the necessary skills required for them to compete in today’s marketplace.
Choosing the right course is, therefore, more relevant than ever, seek advice and find out what opportunities are available.
Several companies offer an off range free training courses and certification such as Google and Microsoft, these vocational courses are a good way to acquire knowledge and skills, they also look great on your C.V.
9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
The launch of my first book has been an exciting experience. I have been playing with the idea of publishing a book for some time now. I had looked into self-publishing options, but I was approached by an academic publishing company who were interested in publishing a book based on the research I conducted for my Master’s degree.
I have several research projects on the go at the moment, some of which will be published as articles and some will form part of my next book. I am looking forward to getting my next book published and launching my online academy.
10- The last word or final thoughts?
Always plan for the future and be prepared to make changes so you can keep up with trends.
As Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”