Who needs a transcriptionist?

Round table discussion

“Audio typing?” asked a friend, when I mentioned what I do for a living. “Does anyone need that these days?”

Well, yes, they do, thankfully. Transcription has moved on a bit since the days of being plugged into a large beige tape machine with rubber earbud Y-shaped headphones and a large black pedal, typing ‘Dear Sir’ over and over again and although I still do letters, the huge variety of work I get keeps me busy and interested, as no two days are ever the same. Some of the people I work for:

Journalists
I type up interviews, usually intelligent verbatim, but occasionally, if the interviewee has waffled to the point of being semi-incomprehensible, I’ll be asked to do a summary version with any verbatim quotes highlighted. I’ve also done round table discussions with up to five participants plus a moderator, all identified by name.

Market researchers
Ah, the focus group – the backbone of transcription. Companies spend a small fortune on testing the market for new products and that can be anything from children’s toys to credit cards. I once proofread 250 pages of focus groups on porridge. Market research also includes one-to-one interviews, which are usually transcribed intelligent verbatim, but it’s possible to save a large amount of money by getting focus groups done as summaries.

Universities
Lots and lots of possibilities, mostly typing recorded research interviews or discussions for the post-graduate students and research staff, but I’ve also typed up lecture notes for undergraduates.

Entrepreneurs and small/micro-businesses
Some of my clients aren’t yet at the stage where their business can support a full time admin person or secretary. Some simply prefer to work virtually. I do everything from the occasional letter or report right through to handling the bulk of one client’s email, postal correspondence, reports and meeting notes.

That’s just a small cross-section of what I get to do each day. Anything I can help you with?