Take a look into the world of The LOTE Agency through the experiences of the owners Geoff Meakin and Peter Horton and General Manager Adrienne Meakin.
Can you tell me a bit about how and when LOTE started?
About 12 months prior to the launch of LOTE, (launched in October of 1998) we identified a hole in the multicultural communication industry, CALD audiences were primarily relying on interpreters to provide them with information.
From there, we had a clear understanding of how this could be improved, so we began to plan the services we wanted to supply. At the time fact sheets, press advertisements and radio announcements were the only sources of information available to people from non-English speaking backgrounds. It was believed that ‘near enough was good enough’ with translation services.
Peter and I come from a background in advertising and multicultural radio management and had a clear direction for the standard that LOTE would be setting and the quality that LOTE would output.
How is LOTE different?
I believe we are different within the translation industry because we consider ourselves a communications and creative agency that specialises in non-English campaigns. With our directors having a strong media and advertising background, our business has been built on foundations.
Describe LOTE’s culture…
Our culture…? I guess has grown dynamically. We employ people who are great at what they do and seek out translators who are proud of their linguistic work. We’re a young team. We’re all accountable for our actions and care about our output. We strive to improve our skills and attend industry conferences, upskill and hold regular team meetings to discuss the best way to undertake our work. We work by a set of values – We strive for Connectivity, Flexibility, Reliability, Integrity & Commitment.
Australia and the marketing industry have changed a great deal since you began, how have you kept up and adapted over time?
Well, gone are the days of translating a brochure and leaving it to the client to distribute to ethnic communities. With the increase in communication channels, it’s no longer a matter of producing a press advertisement and placing it in an ethnic newspaper.
We continue to work with all communities – new and old to determine how they wish to receive information and by gaining this grassroots knowledge we can provide clients with communication concepts that meet the needs of all groups.
Many new arrivals are illiterate and have great difficulty reading their own language whilst many older people have vision problems. Translating brochures and fact sheets is not the most appropriate way to reach them which is why LOTE encourages using audio material.
Where do you see LOTE heading in the future?
I envisage LOTE offering more and more innovative communication solutions for multicultural audiences, making the most of any technology that’s made available for English-only speaking audiences!