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Articles / interview / The Interview of Valeriy Kureiko to the Institute of Advertising (Kiev)
22 February 2010
The Interview of Valeriy Kureiko to the Institute of Advertising (Kiev)

1. Not so long time ago you attended the press conference devoted to results of the First Rating of Educational Institutions, which educate students for advertising  industry. You conducted master class at the Institute of Advertising; Publicity Creating is a long-term business partner of the Institute of Advertising, primarily in students' practice. How do you assess rating's results? Are they adequate to the real situation on the market?

VK: The fact that the Ukrainian Ad Coalition conducted such study inspires. First scan of the rating showed that there is some work to do. We believe that the market  actually corresponds to what was said at the press conference - the number of teacher-practitioners in our universities is very small. As for  the adequacy of the rating - each university achieved results that correspond to their occupation. I was encouraged by the occurrence of the Institute of Advertising among leaders..  This was the evidence that it performs the task for which it was created - education of students for  advertising industry.

2. While hiring specialists for the Publicity Creating Company, what  characteristics, professional and personal qualities of candidates are important for you?

VK: There are candidates of two levels of training: with experience of work and without  experience. If there is no experience, we draw attention to personal  qualities of a candidate. It is important to understand how a person is adequate for other company's employees, and is he a workaholic. If a person says that he initiated, sociable,  has implemented some projects... We are interested in his outlook, even his successes in school. The fact of practice - in advertising and PR
females employees always stay longer than males, because  perseverance, diligence and concentration of women is better.
In professional qualities  the most important  is experience or skills in solving specific problems. For example, if the candidate has worked in the industry, it is not enough just to name a company or brand projects. We need to know specific tasks, in which candidate engaged and what specifically he can do.  If a candidate says: "We did", "we have prepared", "our group of 10 people", "we invented in cooperation with... ", it is clear that this is a collective work, while individual  employee contribution is unclear ...
We frequently ask about stages of a press conference (what to start till the end). If a candidate doesn't know this - he will not pass.  Also a very important factor - language proficiency. Of great importance is the ability to work with texts and with information in general. Unfortunately, the humanities are not always set to analytical work, which is important in leadership, as well as in general positions in PR..
The second unit - is personal qualities. Each memeber of t should be  peer and shared values of our company. If not
so - the employee simply will not stay long in the team. The main thing - the team should consist of  people who are willing to develop the client's business. The objectives are determined by us and clients to develop by 30%, 50% or increase in 2 times ... These could be sales number of press releases, the percentage of loyal customers. For such specific and  measurable goals it is important to be ready ..

3. What are the criteria for testing "professional competence"  for future employee?

4. Graduates of what public higher educational institutions are the most appropriate to marketing communications industry?

VK: For general preparation, perhaps, feel better graduates of the Institute of Journalism and the Kiev-Mohylanska Academy;the understanding of marketing is better among students of the Institute of Advertising and the National University of Culture and Art. Graduates of the last two universities understand that a client needs to get certain marketing results afetr his request.

5. What are trends on the job market in PR for the next few years?

VK: I'd like to believe that the crisis has given an adequate understanding of the cost of services salaries, while potential employees will not ask for much more than they correspond to. Often heard the phrase "In PR we do not work for final result, as in marketing, but for the long term." I say "No, we are working on a specific result."  I would like to appear more
appropriate people, we still rely on them. I hope that during crisis, and after the crisis, there will be more such specialists. Students who are at this period graduated, have different opinion about everything - they are more inclined to result: for themselves, for the company, for clients. We always ask the question: "What You can give us? ". About 20% of applicants can answer this.

Your company is already 12 years successfully exists on the Ukrainian market of PR services.
Certainly during this time, there were some positive trends, tell us about them, please.

VK: In 2009, all PR-specialists say to each other "we must stay". It can be noted that for the second quarter of the year PR market "sagged" and was not supported by  business and specialized media. In the fourth quarter PR-companies "fixed" situation in their agencies to trends  of the market ... Leaders are always asked to comment about the PR marketi situation.
If CEOs of 30 leading agencies confirm that the situation becomes better, hence the market as a whole should have been all right. Basically, we have shown 35% decline in the PR-market, appropriate to the situation. We also concluded that during the crisis the market would develop. During this time clients has learned to optimize and reduce costs, reduce bloated budgets, extra employees. Nowdays a lot of companies engage in marketing, advertising, PR -  they feel necessity of marketing communications. Understanding of the role of PR appeared.
Today with using of PR-tools companies seek to strengthen their position; to solve the all-important tasks such as consumers' loyalty and loyalty of target audience.

Concerning PR-companies. During all press conferences, round tables, festivals, exhibitions, we said that public relations are a tools that affects marketing result. The crisis provided an opportunity to develop markets because companies and PR-agencies have found a common language. The fact that PR-companies needed to  explain to the client within 3 to 4 years, explained the crisis for one year.

6. In interviews you repeatedly asked your colleagues to remember that expression of their opinions and comments have an impact on market development. In what can PR-managers to affect the "crisis" situation, to help in the industry recovering and the economy as a whole?

VK: When PR-managers asserted that the amount of PR-market plummeted, clients thought "OK. So I'd better reduce the total cost of PR, or - in general refuse. In this case, the PR-managers harmed themselves. Same happens when they talk about "the effeciency of with zero PR-budgets". Because the zero-budget can not provide efficient work.
For example, a lot of agencies "rushed" to the Internet and assert that this is the only  future technology. Influence of Internet, without a doubt, greatly increased. But I would advise agencies to consider: how many of you can earn in this
direction? Is there real necessity of outsoucing promotion of companies by Internet? Once the crisis is over - PR departments will increase, while information writing and distribution about company and its products by Internet, most likely, will be carried on their own.
Moreover, there is no need to idealize this tool, which is only part large PR-complex, as it is not worth it.
When working with a client, we always ask: "What would you like to be consumers opinion about you and your product?"
Then we compare if this is possible to achieve during thi period of time. We have clients who cooperate with our agency for
three to five years in a row. There are companies which we accompany for more than 10 years. When the crisis started, we visited our clients and planed further activities. We adjusted PR-campaigns, implemented short-term programs, anti crisis
tools. And those clients who cooperated with us were nor affected by the crisis, but they mobilized. They had advantage - these companies communicated, while their competitors were silent. Our clients were active, while their competitors were in chaos and panic. Free of competitors media make communication simplier. Thus, even a crisis can be used as advantage.

7. In the media rankings, including PR-companies, the most frequently mentioned in the press was Publicity Creating Company. What is your recipe of success?

VK: Our company exists for 12 years - we were the first among the national agencies, and today are the TOP of professionalism and fame.
Publicity Creating Company in 2007 and 2009 was the first in media rankings due to our ongoing information activity. There is an information model, and only Publicity Creating provides such services on the market. If you sell drugs, you must first test it. In addition, this model is constantly updating. Long time ago, our clients distributed 2 or 3 press releases a  year, and now - 30-50 per year. Customers simply need help to find information causes, to draw them correctly and then to distribute them widely. If a company tells us, that will send 10 releases in a month - it's too well, we have for such purposes abilities. We have established in the agency system - people write, co-ordinate, distribute and monitor publications. It is more complicated for the client to do such work. The same goes for PR events, whether conferences, forums, or usual press briefings. Articles in the press, participation in exhibitions etc. make effective communication program. The most  important is to affecte the target audiences, had a key messages and  was quite intense. Then a positive result will be achieves without any doubt.

Anastasia Polyakova, press service of the Institute of Advertising