Global Marrubium update for March 12, 2009

Spring is around the corner, and soon the horehound will be in bloom! In this post I’d like to update you on everything that’s been going on at Marrubium and with the Web presences I’ve been creating for it. I now have four blogs:
My personal blog. Full of wit and wisdom. Enjoy at your leisure.
This site. The one you know and love. I apologize to those to whom I’ve given my card, which says this site has an explanation of the panels you see in the header. It will soon! I will be adding new pages about my philosophy of writing and good things like that.
My new site, herewith explained:

I am fluent in Japanese and can and do claim, credibly, to be one of the top Japanese-to-English advertising and PR translators in the world. But. When I go out and network, my goal is not to be tagged as “that guy who knows Japanese.” Owing to human psychology, this is a difficult endeavor, since people naturally remember the most unusual or interesting thing about a person. Since I am dull in most other ways, people recall my Japanese ability.

Back in 2000, when I had completed my Purdue MBA, I faced the same dilemma: promote my Japanese ability, which made me stand out from the crowd yet got me pigeonholed me as “that guy who knows Japanese whom perhaps we can use in Japan.” Or not. I wanted to be known as “the marketing expert” and find a job in Indianapolis, my hometown, but, again inevitably, I found myself returning to Japan.

Fate has worked in my favor, however. Back in Yamato, I worked in the drug industry and the semiconductor industry, further augmented my Japanese technical vocabulary, and, most importantly, translated/wrote advertising and PR materials for my final employer. I was then “discovered” by an ad agency that does a lot of work for several Japanese automakers and other major companies, and I have now been working with them for five years. Being a translator for multibillion dollar (or, rather, several hundred billion yen) companies has allowed me to prove myself as a writer for such companies, and now I am truly living my dream.

Contrary to what I have found to be a typical presupposition, about 75% of the work I do for Japanese companies is translation-based, and 25% is direct-to-English. I have also encountered a tendency for people to think that translation-based writing is “just translation.” It’s an understandable thought: people think of dry technical manuals or instruction sheets in which the style of the prose is unimportant. Or treated as unimportant. When I translate advertising and PR materials, however, I must create a translation that satisfies the client as to literalness or accuracy while at the same time creating copy that sounds natural and appealing to a worldwide audience. This task, to say the least, is difficult.

In response, therefore, to the responses my marketing messages have thus far received, I have divided said message in twain: Marrubium Writing will deal with writing, whereas Marrubium Translation will deal with translation. I have created new business cards that list my title as “Writer,” which I am using at my networking events. So far, so good. I am also expecting some SEO benefits from this change.
Previously, I had this site on redirect to Marrubium Writing. Henceforth, I will be using it as a metablog for all of my endeavors. It will contain both my writing and translating marketing messages, and I hope that it will provide an SEO boost as well.

Current situation and goals for 2009
I have been fortunate. Although the auto industry is doing poorly around the world, the companies for which I work still need writing and translation. Lots of it, apparently, so I have been busy.

I welcome advertising and PR translation work, but, in reality I get so much of that right now that I am not actively seeking it. Instead, I am seeking the following:

  1. One-off advertising and PR projects: print ads, website content, press releases, video scripts. I am up for anything and everything for which I feel a resonance.
  2. Ghost blogging.
  3. Newsletters and other periodic pieces.

If you are an ad agency or Web developer, I will be your staunch ally. I am creative, careful, and timely. If you are a company looking for a one-time marketing boost, I am an MBA who will visit you, listen to understand your situation, and create some stellar materials for you. All at a price that you can afford.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you!

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