Maxim Behar for "Manager" Magazine: You Can Be Infinitely Brave, But You Must Have Knowledge
After being announced as "Best PR Professional in Europe" at this year's official ceremony of PR Week, the Bulgarian PR expert spoke to "Manager" Magazine about the changes that have taken place in business since the pandemic and what lessons we have learned since then.
- What will be the sustainable changes in the field of communications after the outbreak of the pandemic?
- Changes in our business are already happening at the speed of light. That is why I would be quite cautious with the word "sustainable". The changes are certainly aimed at even more professional reactions in crisis management, as well as having creative ideas for the preservation and development of brands. And this is logical. The pandemic has caused many unknown crises in a large number of companies - declining consumption, telecommuting, an even greater boom in online commerce and communications. But if we talk about sustainable elements in communications, I am sure that there will always be three that will be more important than anything else in the world - ethics, honesty and full transparency.
- What are the communication lessons that COVID-19 helped us learn?
- Five or six years ago, at a congress of the World PR Organization ICCO, I predicted that about 30% of the business of public communications will be able to be done remotely. But now going back to these days, I actually remember that I didn't believe in that prediction too much. Well, it happened faster. And this is the first important change - the business is exported remotely. It can be from the kitchen at home or from Starbucks, it doesn't matter, it's important to have a good and fast mobile connection and to feel at ease. The second big lesson is that what we used to call "event business" will disappear in its current form and in a year or two much of it will also be online.
- Is it time for new messages? Is there room for more courage in the field?
- Our business has always required a lot of creativity, exceptional preparation and quick solutions. There is room for boundless courage, but it must be backed up by perfect and constant preparation. Every day early in the morning or late in the evening I read at least 2-3 articles with information about what happened in the world and every day I find something new and unique. In the PR business, you can be infinitely brave, but you must have knowledge.
- You have received exceptional recognition for your work from PRWeek. What motivates and inspires you lately in a professional context?
- I am motivated by the fact that I have a wonderful professional team, people with ideas, knowledgeable, dedicated. I have been in this business for over 25 years, I have probably received all possible world awards, but I know that what happened today will not be relevant tomorrow. That's it, every day you have to be different, innovative and, as you say, inspired.