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What’s New about “The Global PR Revolution” on BNT1

Sources: Interview of Anna Angelova for the broadcast “Culture BG” on BNT1

 

Anna Angelova:

Maxim Behar who will present his latest book “The Global PR Revolution” is already here. Good morning and welcome!

 

Maxim Behar:

Good morning and be healthy!

 

Anna Angelova:

Same to you! Thank you for participating in the broadcast. Your book was first released in the USA market. Why?

 

Maxim Behar:

The book was written for an American publishing house and it was ordered by an American publishing house. Since this is an overview of the PR business worldwide, there are opinions of 100 people from 65 countries inside. It was quite logical to present it first in America as America is the homeland of our PR business. However, immediately after that, the publishing house "Enthusiast" published it in Bulgaria and I am very happy that Bulgaria is the second country after America. That was the most logical thing, of course. It is currently being translated in 7 languages for their countries. This whole situation, of course, will slightly delay the issue. It is translated in Israel, in Greece, in Poland, in Brazil, in Vietnam.

 

Anna Angelova:

Which is great! Congratulations! You said there are a lot of collected opinions of professionals on this issue. What do they say about the world of PR and the changes that are taking place in it? How do they see it in the future?

 

Maxim Behar:

Revolution, in a single word “revolution".

 

Anna Angelova:

Revolution or coup?

 

Maxim Behar:

No, no - a revolution and it is caused mainly by the change of media ownership. You know, only 10 years ago, the media was in the hands of televisions, television owners, countries, public television in general, newspapers, radios, newspaper owners, radio owners. The media is now in the hands of billions of people. Everyone has media in their hands. Everyone has an account on any social media - on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram. This is an extremely big revolutionary change because it has a terribly strong impact on our business. Only 10 years ago, we in the PR business were intermediaries between our clients and the media.

 

Anna Angelova:

And now?

 

Maxim Behar:

We are now intermediaries between our clients and their clients. If someone wants to sell a good product and wants that we brand and promote this product in the best way, they turn to us to manage their media. Every company ultimately has its own media. This medium, among other things, is very easy to be measured. You can very easily see how many people have logged in, how many people have bought the product from your, for example, Facebook profile or your Instagram profile. You can see who how is commenting because this media is interactive. That is, all this change in the media has led to a change in our business. By the way, it led to change and revolution in our entire lives. For these nearly 2 months of quarantine, we see how… Imagine that we were locked inside without the Internet, without interactive connections, without the ability to communicate with other people. And this happened in the history of the world. That would be a great horror.

 

Anna Angelova:

Lots of work for psychologists.

 

Maxim Behar:

I was the president of the World PR Organization - ICCO for several years, and as such, I travelled a lot around the world. I visited 47 or 48 countries. I met with my business colleagues, talked to their forums, and then I decided to write the book so that I could take a look at, in fact, how this business has changed in different countries around the world. I allowed myself to made predictions in several places, which, fortunately, or unfortunately, most of them came true in these 2 months, in which we live in a completely different way.

 

Anna Angelova:

Which of your predictions came true?

 

Maxim Behar:

The unification, for example, of the three main units in the public communications business, is happening very quickly. These are advertising, PR, and digital media. Anyway, one day, and this is one of the chapters in the book, these 3 businesses will merge into one - the advertising business, the PR business, and the digital business. For the last 2 months, I have seen a very fast merger, because customers abruptly withdrew from the advertising business and have come to us with much larger projects, because there is nothing to advertise given that their goods are not being sold or available in stores, which are closed. The other big change is the demise of the event business. An event that cost tens of thousands of dollars, euros or levas, took a lot of time and logistics. Now it can be done on the Internet in Zoom or in any other software or platform literally in a few hours with a much larger success, much more pragmatic and much more effective. Life is different. I am very pleased that this book came out, thank God, before all this chaos in the world, because many more people are reading at home now. Sales, as I follow on Amazon, have skyrocketed for the last two months.

 

Anna Angelova:

Certainly, yes. Our lives have changed. You say that now many of the events are organized online, but don't you think that after the end of the state of emergency not only in Bulgaria but all over the world, there will be a hunger for live events. Then we will have a PR revolution again.

 

Maxim Behar:

I'm talking about business events. I don't believe there is such a hunger for live business events. Concerts, of course, theaters, cinemas, of course. There will be a lot of hunger, especially for concerts. People will want to see live groups, to participate in such events.

 

Anna Angelova:

Isn't personal contact necessary even in business?

 

Maxim Behar:

It is needed less and less so far as life has made us more pragmatic. Personal contact is important, but it is far more important to see a person, to do a job, to make a deal, to understand his case, to be able to help and consult him. This is much more important. I will give you an example. I am now the President of the World Communication Forum in Davos and we were due to have our annual meeting in mid-April. Of course, there was no way this thing could happen. We did it 10 days ago online in Zoom. People from 41 countries took part. For 3 hours we said what we had to say to each other. Everyone made their presentation. We recorded them. We put them online. They had tens of thousands of views. This would not have happened if we had done it in Switzerland. First - time to travel. Secondly - it is very expensive because hotels and transport are expensive and to go to Davos you have to go to Zurich, to go from Sofia to Zurich there is no direct flight and you have to go through Vienna. This means that you lose 2 days travelling, 3 days there and probably 10-15 thousand euros spent. In fact, we did it for 3 hours online with an incredibly greater effect. Many international media have quoted us and there will probably be some symbiosis between online and real events in the future. Finally, we saw that what was happening online had a big effect.

 

Anna Angelova:

And great potential.

 

Maxim Behar:

Yes. So it will be the same in the future.

 

Anna Angelova:

Let's pay attention to the subtitle in your book: How Thought Leaders Succeed in the Transformed World of PR? We are constantly talking about a crisis of leaders, a crisis of chiefs, a crisis of authorities. Who the leaders are today? And who are the smart leaders?

 

Maxim Behar:

Leaders are the ones who can create teams. In my opinion, leaders can create teams. Smart leaders are the ones who create new leaders. This is, it seems, the characteristic or assessment that can be given to a leader. I don't know a person who runs a company and manages it successfully, not being able to create a good team in it. A team that is very well synchronized, as I say in my company - like a clock. All gears must fit. There must be a moving gear, just like in the clock, to wind the spring and that is the leader. And all the other gears so that they fit so that the clock gives the exact time. And smart leaders really need to create new leaders and they need to have smarter people around them. I really feel very uncomfortable when I go somewhere and I have the feeling, probably not always, I know more than others. I want to go to a place where everyone knows more than I do so that we can fit in that and I can learn something and participate in the conversation.

 

Anna Angelova:

How often in Bulgaria do you see an example of leaders and smart leaders after we have already made the distinction?

 

Maxim Behar:

There are many leaders in business. There is none one in politics. This is a global trend. There are no leaders in politics because the political system does not work.

 

Anna Angelova:

And why doesn't it work?

 

Maxim Behar:

Because the world has changed and one of the reasons for this change is the social media and online communication. There can be no elections every 4 years provided that the control is daily. Any politician who does something wrong can be immediately evaluated on the Internet or on social media - to be assessed negatively or to be corrected. This politician can make a series of mistakes but still remain in power for the next 4 years. This is not possible in the business. If the chairman of the board of directors of a large company makes a mistake, to be more concrete a big mistake, the next day is out. This system must be changed in such a way that there can be an instantaneous change of political leaders so that the system can work. However, it seems to me that political systems must already be dependent on e-government. I give you a very simple example. A politician promises that there will be a budget deficit of 3 percent. He is chosen, of course, because he is the biggest in promises. Next week the budget deficit is 7 percent. A little fictional story, but very close to reality. If he had e-government no one would permit him to make any decision other than what he had promised. This is a very long topic, of course, but now during these 2 months, during which we were in quarantine and will probably be for another 2-3 months, it seems to me that the most important change in leadership is that those who do not have a lot of money will succeed not those who are rich and have great resources. Those who can quickly adapt and turn the helm of the business so that it fits the needs that society currently has will succeed. These are successful leaders today. Those who can quickly adapt to new conditions. Nobody knows how they will develop.

 

Anna Angelova:

At the end of this conversation - Why should people read your book and how will it be useful for those who do not work in the PR field?

 

Maxim Behar:

This is a book for everyone. For anyone who even has a small shop. For anyone who has something in business. Moreover, now my publishing house "Enthusiast" offers all books with a 30 percent discount. Anyone can buy it online. It can be bought for Kindle, it can be bought for Apple, for all possible platforms. But the most important thing, in my opinion, is that everyone can learn, even from one page, what to put in their business so that they become more successful.

 

Anna Angelova:

Thank you for participating in the broadcast today. Maxim Behar and his new book "The Global PR Revolution". Read it, because as I think you understood from our conversation - there is a good reason to do it.

 

 

Watch the full video here:  https://www.bnt.bg/bg/a/knigata-svetovnata-pr-revolyutsiya-ot-maksim-bekhar?fbclid=IwAR32FNHMHIeWVd-qDCuvY_eE5kzaqm-QhXW4ntmeHtS-kBcLHcPvZYVbjl0

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