Whether in a legal document, a political manifesto, academic treatise or our everyday conversations, words have meaning. Our understanding and the integrity of our communications is based on what we say and what others say to us.
How often do we suffer through public denials…or apologies…as spokespersons try to “clarify” original intent? Words ensure accountability and promote clear expression of ideas and policies.
Transcription is the means to that accountability and clarity.
Sure, you may have an audio file or a video, a YouTube clip or a DVR recording of a discussion, speech, press conference, interview or symposium. In many cases, you’ll still want a transcription. Professionals need accurate communication. Here’s why:
- Transcripts make it easy to convey an accurate record to those unable to attend your event, to receive the information you want them to get.
- Transcripts are an important reference tool for follow-on projects, enabling analysis and the insertion of links and other reference materials — and facilitating editing and broadcast production.
- Transcriptions are a time-saver for busy professionals — reading is faster than listening — and a manpower multiplier enabling a limited number of professionals to “attend” far more events in different locations.
- Transcripts are the preferred media for those who like to read rather than watch or listen, but also for those using mobile devices and those with impaired hearing.
- Learning styles vary and many people process information better when they can read it rather than hear it; they can review transcripts readily to confirm what they thought they heard.
- Transcripts are preferred by PR pros to increase visibility for their clients — or head off adverse stories based on a journalist’s or the public’s misunderstanding of the client’s actual words.
- Transcripts are searchable. Unlike audio and video recordings, important passages and quotations can be identified quickly from written transcripts.
- Further, since Internet search engines like Google, cannot reference audio and video, a transcript enables Search Engine Optimization and website navigation, helping those searching for your message to find it readily.
- Transcripts help non-native English speakers extract an accurate understanding of what was said. Sometimes accents and pronunciations in English can be confusing; many words that have the same or similar sounds have very different meanings. A transcript helps immensely.
- While most professionals have speedy and stable Internet connections, many in their target audiences don’t. They have slow, balky connections unable to receive streaming or downloading audio and video. A transcript gives them what they need, quickly and reliably.
- Transcripts don’t leave out key words. “Verbatim” is Latin for “in the same words.” Verbatim transcripts preserve important information such as names or quick exchanges, enabling the reader to understand who is asking a question, nuances in characterizations and the like. In contrast, a non-verbatim “transcript” is akin to taking extensive notes.
- Transcripts aid broadcasters’ production by providing time stamps for easy reference, an important tool for editors in pre-production work and for end users or analysts trying to isolate relevant portions of a program for further review.