Maxim Behar for 24 Daily Newspaper: Politicians Tend to Underestimate their PR Consultants’ Experience Globally

The communication expert Maxim Behar was among the five professionals invited by the Bulgarian newspaper 24 Daily to share their views and describe how a political product is created and preserved. In the newspaper digital article "PR: The Hidden Weakness and Strength Behind the (Un)successful" commented also Sevdelina Arnaudova, Elena Valcheva, Nidal Algafari, and Tsvetelina Uzunova.

Here is the opinion of Maxim Behar:

Like the rest of the world, both communications and political marketing are literally changing at the speed of light. There are two reasons. First, everyone already has at least one media in their hands and can manage it and send messages to voters or supporters. And the second is that the political systems themselves are now totally outdated and no one can formulate how they can be modernized or changed.

It is a global trend for politicians to think that they know more than their PR consultants and to try to impose their own opinion, but in Bulgaria this trend is even stronger. I continue to argue that politics needs honesty, transparency, fulfilling promises and charisma. And certainly, even in this already damaged political system, these qualities have a place and must be constantly leading in every campaign.

At this stage, the current presidential candidates Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev rely on the fact that they are still active and show up in the media, and that they are interesting. From what I observe from the side, I do not believe that there is a professional PR consulting them, as their messages are often scattered and, I would say, a little naive. Ultimately, however, the new project is an interesting phenomenon for our latitudes and I think it will be a success, and the trend will be focused on educated and intelligent people who have proven themselves outside politics to determine the future of countries. Just as it was in the past.

Otherwise, the new political PR has nothing to do with what it was only ten years ago. First, every politician or candidate-politician now has social media profiles and can freely send his messages, regardless of publishers or editors. However, this fact hides its risks and this manifested itself very strongly in both the Former Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov and the leader of the second-largest party in Bulgarian Parliament - Slavi Trifonov. Communication on social media is one-way, while voters prefer a direct debate of ideas and concepts, of people and emotions, in order to make their choice. And secondly, the voters themselves already have much more access to information than before. And third: fewer and fewer communication agencies want to engage in political marketing, because their creativity is often reduced to zero, and politicians themselves can rarely be defined as a good "product."

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