How to really make sure your French readers won’t find your info…

If you speak a language other than English, it may have happened to you. One day, you get a press release (or PDF flyer) about this incredible event or conference you want to attend. You download the file immediately but you have hard time locating it on your smartphone or computer simply because you can’t remember what the file was called!

You know the text was written in French. When you first opened the file, you read about this fantastic music show with incredible singers. Or you remember reading about this conference showcasing a renowned speaker on such and such a date, at this big venue location.

Was the document just labeled with a date such as « 15 septembre 2021 »?

Was it called « Présentation au Musée des beaux arts »?

Was the PDF named « Conférence sur l’intelligence artificielle »?

You give up. (And possibly miss the event.)

Very often, French-language speakers (in Canada, at least) will receive a press release (or a flyer) whose content is written in French (or other language) but the file title never reflect its subject. Why?

Without really thinking about their intended target, the public relations or communications specialist will often name their file in English, and simply add a little FR or FRE at the end to make it clear – to them – this is the official document in French. Nice try.

The generic example below is very common in Ontario (and presumably in other regions as well):

2 PDF files listed with very generic titles: Event may 2020 Press release - French. Event may 2020 Press Release.

If you want to market a bilingual event properly or wish share information written in a second language, try to fully name your file in the same target language as its content (French).

Have a look at this generic example below:

A French PDF file clearly named Événement mai 2020 - communiqué.pdf Another file called Event May 2020 Press Released.

A clear title that reflects its real subject simply makes more sense.

What do you think? If you have comments or useful tips to share with us, let us know.