News / participation in events / Round table "Information Space and Reputation of Ukrainian Companies in the light of Cooperation with the EU: Risks and Opportunities" was held in the agency "Ukrinform".
11 November 2013

Experts say companies should change strategies due to the integration of Ukraine into the EU

Sooner or later, the signing of an Association Agreement with the European Union will take place, and it is very important that our Ukrainian companies are ready for it. To stay in the market, they will need to develop the concept of behavior during and after the signing of the agreement. This will require at least the update of their marketing strategy, consider issues of possible repositioning and effective crisis response in terms of expected growth of competition from the part of foreign companies and brands.

At the moment top managers of the majority of Ukrainian companies do not have the will and desire to engage in purposeful information policy, to develop public relations strategies and information models. The problem also exists in the implementation of the concept: it is postponed indefinitely, and this, eventually, impacts the incomes and leads to the loss of customers. There is a big problem with the lack of speakers - representatives of the companies such as owners, managers or top managers, who can convincingly present the official position of the company to the journalists and the public. There are not so many speakers as Petr Poroshenko who can really protect the reputation of their brand and convince a wider audience.

It should be considered that international companies usually come to Ukraine with ready concepts, qualified speakers and are open to communication with the media.

To create their own concepts Ukrainians should follow a clear plan. It usually contains a certain story about what the company is, what ways and channels will be used to share information, there is also a section dedicated to speakers. Also there should be a separate section on trainings because you need to prepare specialists who could competently represent the company based on an analysis of what is going on.

Communication platform and information model should be included in the PR strategy where key messages are outlined and then are used in releases, articles and events, etc.

Goals and objectives the company aspires to achieve during the next six months, year and five years should be clearly stated as well as step-by-step plan how to bring it into action. Phasing is required here - we clearly need to know what we are doing in this quarter, this half-year, and what results to expect at the end of the year.

The concept of European market is more difficult than doing business in Ukraine, therefore it is important to create in advance a list of countries in which the company plans to operate. Another complication is that you need to carefully examine the legislation of the country where we plan to conduct business, to understand the situation with the media, to figure out who are the opinion-leaders there, etc.

In order to introduce the company to the European market an average budget of $50-$100 thousand per country is considered, depending on the nature of the state, its proximity to Ukraine. But if we take, for example, Germany or the UK, then most likely, the sum will grow significantly.

If the company manages to make it to the European market, it will not be enough to simply maintain the image. It will need to be actively developed - to lead a journalist, consumer, customer, partner , who will point out any mistakes and hint at opportunities. What company has done and what it has achieved, how it manages to be successful and of course how it maintains corporate social responsibility - audience should always be informed about it.

For small and medium business concept should be slightly different. First you need to develop your business in all regions of Ukraine. Only then can you start entering new markets – usually it’s Moldova, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Georgia and other states. After that you can expand further.

Quality product is not enough in order to survive on the foreign markets. We creativity and innovation it will be hard to progress - customers, media, and the public always want to try something new and fashionable .

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