/ pr-market / Interactively about the prospects of Ukrainian PR-market
20 Juny 2011
Interactively about the prospects of Ukrainian PR-market

       As for the media, Internet as the principal ‘reformer’ played a key role in this area. The rapid development of Internet communications and especially social networks has led to emerging of new public relations tools. Moreover, PR communications become more complex and more diverse, much more operative and interactive. At the same time, traditional media began to lose its popularity and influence - most of them were seriously crippled by the crisis, especially the print media. In fact, after 3 years of the crisis only TV remains to be in the former positions of the influential advertising and ‘PR-supporter’. It shouldn’t be forgotten that at the same time, the crisis has affected almost all PR agencies. Reduced budgets, short-term one-off planning and other factors hit agencies and led to the downsizing and even closure of a number of agencies. However, the PR-service customers have become much more demanding of the effectiveness of public relations, its predictability, and connection with marketing results. Few public relations structures were able to adapt themselves to new realities and to offer new approaches - efficient, flexible, targeted, and optimized by the price...
        Not surprisingly that at the roundtable ‘Ukrainian market of commercial PR: out of the crisis in 2011?’ that was held on the 16th of June in Kiev a lot of attention was paid to new forms of PR-promotion - in social networks, blogosphere, Internet in whole. Speakers emphasized on the need to integrate online and offline forms, a more professional approach to public relations on the Internet, encourage customers to operate in these areas now, so as not to miss the actual market trends and show themselves worthy and attractive on the web.
        It’s interesting that during the round table discussion repeatedly returned to such ‘eternal questions’ as a systematic approach, planning and creation of the content - in fact in the era of the Internet, these things have become even more necessary than ever before, and their absence – is notable immediately. Thus, not updated page in Facebook, old news in Twitter, negative users responding to news are the worst ‘anti-advertising’ steps, than it ever was. And one-off ‘splashes’ of activity can’t help in a right way, constant and at the same time professional work is necessary. 

Also at the roundtable were sounded a lot of interesting facts and figures. For example, Valery Kureyko, CEO of Publicity Creating, said that the share of PR in the marketing budgets of Ukrainian companies in 2012 will increase to 20%, that is - on average 2-fold, compared to current rates. He also voiced the average size of budgets for PR - in the opinion of an expert, it reaches 150-300 thousand dollars per year for B2C companies and 50-150 thousand dollars per year for B2B companies. Valery Kureyko not excludes the possibility that next year there will be budgets to $ 1 million (it is clear that the number of companies that are able to distinguish such pr-budget reaches to a maximum of 10).
      A notable feature of the event was participation of bloggers-practitioners. Bohdan Logvinenko, Nikolay Maluha and Svetlana Taranenko are well known in the Ukrainian blogosphere, and the number of their followers reaches thousands of users. Experts have told many interesting things about the specifics of the blogosphere and social media. For example, Nikolay Maluha advises companies not make a try to ‘buy’ bloggers, so companies should offer them something that is within the scope of their interests and can engage them. And then bloggers will write on their own, absolutely for free.
       Svetlana Taranenko focused audience attention on the need for a serious approach to content on corporate blogs and pages in social networks. Of course, for conducting such sites a define a skill level is needed and, therefore, companies that decided to carry out such activity on their own should think about the selection of suitable personnel. (Or professional structure from outside should be involved). In any case, information should be updated regularly and even planned in advance (it is better to make a ‘plan of posts’ in advance).
        Bloggers gave some advices for the successful competition in social networks. According to Nikolay Maluha Bohdan Logvinenko the scheme – ‘leave your like - take part in the drawing’ - is becoming obsolete, since it is rather primitive. Much better it would be to engage the audience and base the competition on some creative idea which involves the user. This ‘tightens’ the audience and creates real brand loyalty.
        Answering the question from the audience ‘What are the difference between a blogger and a journalist and is he a journalist in the classic sense’ experts opinion was divided. So, if we understand the journalist as a person who creates the news, many bloggers are the real journalists. As Svetlana Taranenko noted, the blog posts today are often the main sources of news for traditional media. On the other hand, blogging is a specific occupation, and if journalist works on the editorial board, blogger works directly for his audience, trust of which he cherishes.
          Elena Melon, PR-manager of the informational agency ‘Ukrainian News’ noted that the separation on the "new" and "traditional" media is temporarily, as in few years all this will merge into some sort of integrated communication, for instance, a social networking with opportunities of television and news agencies. Discussing the issue of negativity on the Internet, Elena Melon advised companies to monitor the information on their reputation very car efully, and don’t rush to remove "bad" comments or posts of users. It’s better to give a proper respond to them clarifying and explaining the situation directly with the authors.
          Responding to questions from Facebook users about proportion between offline and online forms in the PR-programs, Valery Kureyko said that now it correlates as 70 to 30, and the next year or in two years will change into the direction of online, and reaches 50:50. Experts believe that the majority of the Ukrainian companies will head the integration of offline and online. For example, press conferences and other PR activities will be widely advertised and publicized online, go with the use of various interactive, and text materials will give way to video content.
           It should be noted the open and positive atmosphere of the event. Such tone was set by the moderator (Ruslana Plis was involved to play that role as a manager of IAC Publicity and chief editor of website www.publicity.kiev.ua). 
           Opening the event, she said the following: ‘Good afternoon, the theme of our event is determined by voting, which took place in 10 countries. The event is been observing by more than 200 thousand internet users all over the world. Direct inclusion from Australia and Norway is planned. Translation is carried out through two cross-compressed satellite in ten languages. Images of the speakers that you see around me - as always, a holograms’... The dumb scene was replaced with laugh and after the phrase ‘Perhaps most press events will start in a such way in a few years’ everything came back into its place.
           Actually speakers were joking a lot and pretty smart. So, in response to the example given by one of the speakers that it can be made a tour for bloggers somewhere in the mountains, Ruslana Plis, specified ‘these mountains - I hope the Alps?’ And to remark of another expert on the development of Internet communications in the area of political public relations, she read a quote: ‘Today we can conclude that the elections in 2012 will be holding in the virtual space and social networks. We must exploit this reality in their struggle’. The statement belongs to ... Communist leader Petro Symonenko.
           In general, according to information from organizers, the event was followed by a few thousand of people. Not surprisingly, as soon as a roundtable was announced widely, including social networks, and the theme was very important itself.
          The way of the discussion couldn’t fail to attract the attention of the audience. The lighting in real time was not only through the online broadcast, but also by highlighting on the pages of Publicity in the Facebook and Twitter. By the way, the most interesting remarks of speakers you can read here and now (positions from 16.06. and tweets on the wall hashtag # prkiev, respectively).
         More than 20 questions were sent to the speakers of the roundtable, most of them had been answered directly during the events. Some speakers used a chance to go online and communicate directly with users of Facebook during the event.
        Returning to the question posed in the title theme of the roundtable, it is worth to none: most experts believe that the Ukrainian PR market will finally overcome the crisis till the end of this year and the new PR tools, especially interactive tools, will be in a high demand.  

 Igor Iholnikov for Publicity

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