/ interview / V. Kureiko: "Well done job in PR is the one about what knows only a satisfied customer"
5 August 2011
V. Kureiko: "Well done job in PR is the one about what knows only a satisfied customer"

In the first half of 2011 positive trends emerged in the Ukrainian market of commercial PR. The budgets allocated to PR are gradually rising in the Ukrainian business environment. PR is perceived more often as one of the most important tools of marketing communications. The situation in the PR-market could be further intensified in the fall business season, and in 2012.

Next year in Ukraine will pass with the mark of holding EURO 2012, while many experts say about the possibility of a new financial crisis. What does await Ukrainian PR market in six months or a year? What tools will be more in demand? About this and many other things said Valery Kureiko, the CEO of Publicity Creating, during an Internet conference on the website Publicity answering questions from Internet users.

About the Ukrainian PR market and its prospects for 2012

Estimate the PR-market of Ukraine. Is it at all?
V. Kureiko: Market endured difficult "zero" years, and especially 2008-2010. But all this time, it was still developing, deep stagnation didn’t have place to be. Now there are 20-30 agencies in Ukraine, the total number of their clients - 200-250 (medium and large), with a budget of 30-150 thousand dollars. In general market has kept its structure. There are non-governmental organizations, events and competitions in any sector.

Will the Ukrainian Advertising Coalition conduct ratings of PR-agencies of Ukraine in the next year or two?
V. Kureiko
: Ratings conducting is a task of relevant public organizations, such as the same Ukrainian Advertising Coalition. Another thing, would these organizations be able to involve in the ranking, not only its members but also other operators, to show them their objectivity. Rating should cover at least 40-50% of market players.

It was said earlier that a network agency is more professional than local. What about now?
V. Kureiko:
Maybe before it was in such a way. Our agency works for 14 years, it has the promotion practice of companies in the pharmaceutical, construction, IT, agriculture and many other markets, and that’s dozens of clients, hundreds of projects. We accompany and develop companies for 5-10 years or more. This confirms the quality of our service, creativity of proposals, strategic thinking of our team. So the "local" Ukrainian agency may not be less, and perhaps more professional, than the PR of network organization.

What Ukrainian cases deserve special attention - as an example of a well done job over the last few years?
V. Kureiko:
The well done job in PR is the one about what knows only a satisfied customer. But in general - useful cases can be found in any experienced agency – check out the websites of leading agencies and you will find what you're looking for. But don’t forget that your task is individual and can be solved in another way.

Does it make sense to invite to the tender only Ukrainian PR-agencies or only overseas? Your advice?
V. Kureiko:
Invite to the tender only professional agencies of the same level. Ukrainian agencies that have experience and reputation and offer more affordable prices for the same services. Pay attention to the practices of the agency, customer testimonials, experience of the agency including the past 2-3 years.

How do you think a size of the agency is important for the client? How many people work with a client?
V. Kureiko:
The important thing for the client is a group which works just with him. I can say with example of Publicity Creating - for each client is created a customer-service team (3-5 professionals), for the work in social networks and Internet a virtual team also is made (2-4 people). At major events such as opening the plant can operate dozens of employees.
For the customer, a regular contact with its account-manager is important. In the case of its absence (business trip, vacation) an account-manager of another group working with him. So the agency should have enough specialists to provide quality service to the client, to implement the project effectively and achieve its objectives. This is important. The average agency today has 15-30 people.

Whom do you consider to be your main competitors in the market? How much money should be invested initially to establish an agency in 2012? Whether the market is crowded now?
V. Kureiko:
Ukrainian PR-market is not strongly competitive. The main thing is to find own direction and attract customers. If we look at the office, staff salaries, equipment, you can count on 80-150 thousand UAH per month investment. In 2007, more than 120 PR agencies worked in the market, now 20-30.

What does PR-manager need to do to hold the classic PR-campaign (free) without implication of financial incentives (journalists, editors)?
V. Kureiko:
Work, efforts are never free. With editorial media professional relationships are necessary to be built. This work takes from one to three years. Classic PR-campaign is only in textbooks and in educational institutions. Practice is always more rigid and not so unequivocal.

Will change the marketing strategy of the Ukrainian companies in 2012 in connection with EURO 2012? What place will occupy PR in it?
V. Kureiko
: Yes, the strategy will have changed. Active companies have experienced crisis situations during the last 2-3 years, have attracted active managers and are developing new approaches and individual promotion programs. Definitely 2012 will be a year of new discoveries and opportunities. Working structures are beginning a new stage of development. This situation reminds the weather in early spring. It may stay colder, it may be snowing, ice can appear, but as soon as trees will be in blossom the process couldn’t be stopped.

Can you name the PR-instruments, PR-services that will benefit from strong demand during this autumn business season, and - in the medium term - next year?
V. Kureiko:
The first place will take the development of strategic documents, programs, concepts, information models, then PR of first person, speakers training, consulting of the first person of the company, increasing the competence of organization PR-departments (for instance by training).
The most actual activities are those that enhance the loyalty of key community groups (primarily customers, partners and employees): equipment and new products presentations, seminars, trainings. The interest to news events was restored (but in the new format), and of course, the penetration of the Internet and social networks.
Typical customers questions that come to PR-agencies are usually related to the development of chain messages, content supporting in social networks, for example: What we need to say and what to write? When to do it: today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow? All these activities require the development of information model for writing texts, thought-out technical tasks for photo and video.

What PR-strategies will be demanded in the B2B and B2C companies in 2012?
V. Kureiko:
The main theme of promotion programs in the near year will be EURO 2012. Tasks of the agencies - to connect brands and programs of the clients to the championship. Perhaps some brave would try such "extreme" as "apocalypse" that supposedly is coming: "it’s time to try, enjoy, buy, be fully prepared to meet, etc". In general - every company must set its own goals also in the field of marketing and public relations. On the other hand, before 2012 many customers should come back to the PR-programs planning for a year or two. For implementing this tasks a care of specialized structures will be need. Thus, the share of outsourcing will rise on 10-15% (currently the share is 35-40%).

In 2012 many Ukrainian companies wouldn’t depend on the fact of EURO 2012. Should they cut their PR-budget? If not - why?
V. Kureiko:
The fact of the championship in our country must be used. This is an individual customer's question to its agency. In our agency we have found the answers for our customers.

What place will take Digital PR, Internet-PR in promoting national companies? Will this direction displace the offline format by the end of the year?
V. Kureiko:
We hope that next year the ratio between involving off-line and online forms will be 50/50. The most important issue is to prepare qualified professionals. Experts with 2-3 years experience are needed, with implemented projects. A position of Internet PR-manager is still supposed as a great exotics. Between «Digital» and «PR» you can not equate. Digital is still mechanics and technique, but PR means content and meanings, it is always more globally.


On the interaction of clients and agencies, and other issues

What requirements must comply the staff of PR-agency?
V. Kureiko:
Now, for example, we opened three vacancies. Applicant must have knowledge and practical skills in the field of PR and marketing, the desire to work in Publicity Creating, be prepared to work for 3 years or more in one agency. We are at a stage of development where we can meet both material and career needs an employee. But demand from him - loyalty and a full commitment.

Do you have an experience of promoting a physical person, TOP-manager?
V. Kureiko:
Yes, this experience is, as in the promotion of the company (PR of the first person), and on individual needs. In the promotion of individuals is almost always a 100% of confidentiality.

What is your attitude to tenders? Are you often invited, do you take part in it?
V. Kureiko:
We are often invited. Practically we participate in all of them. Our involvement may be free or paid. The percentage of won tenders is fairly high. In general, I’m ok with tenders if only they are carried out transparently and clearly and honestly in relation to the participating agencies.

Do you have a strategy in the agency: the man who directs the company, is looking for trends, thinking one step ahead?
V. Kureiko:
Heads are engaged with strategy of the agency, partly Top-managers.You participated in the creation of social organizations, often performed at fairs, conducted market research. In 2011, all this activities have ceased. Why is that?

What projects are you going to?
V. Kureiko:
We concluded that the best example of the market is good workmanship for a specific customer order, customer satisfaction. Earlier in the year, we spent more than 40 presentations at conferences and exhibitions. In 2011, we will spend more than 40-50 high-quality presentations for new clients. All the attention we give to customers, solving tasks. We have adopted the programs "Client 2010", "Client 2011", are preparing a program "Client 2012".

What information resources do you read on the specialty and from where ideas can be draw? What will be important in 2012, and are you willing to apply these technologies?
V. Kureiko:
Regularly I read Ukrainian and Russian marketing/advertising/PR portals. Here is the site Publicity - a perfect example of the thematic profile resource. You should read it daily too.
Ideas always come into your head, I don’t advise you to copy. We are always cautious approach to new technologies. Firstly we check on your agency and after offering to customers.

How tools for promoting your B2B customers are different from B2C? What's new for these client groups will bring the new year?
V. Kureiko:
This question is extensive. I'll tell you one thing - the difference is, of course. Interesting, by the way, the fact that, from what the company operates in the market B2C, it does not cease to be the subject of B2B (producer, partner, operator of the industry) - so each B2C campaign usually has a presence a part of B2B.

Don’t you consider the option of merging with some larger agency?
V. Kureiko
: No. We consider the issue of investment.

Learn more.
Internet-conference "Apocalypse or EURO-Level: what to do in PR in 2012?" was held on the 3rd of August 2011 on the website
www.publicity.kiev.ua. The page of the conference was attended by over 700 readers of the site, as it has been joined more than 200 Facebook users and more than 2,500 users of Twitter, where they were organized on-line reporting. Thus, the total audience of the event amounted to more than 3,400 Internet users. Totally during the preparation and conducting Internet-conference the speaker was asked 35 questions, including questions from users of Facebook.


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