Fortunes Crown: Maxim Behar - An Incredible Man Who Overcame Adversity With Creativity, Ethics, And Responsibilities

Self-confidence, knowledge, quick decisions and... a little luck are the ingredients of the recipe, M3 Communications Group, Inc. CEO says in exclusive interview for the prestigious American magazine Fortunes Crown. He was recognized as one of "The 10 Most Influential Media Leaders of 2021" and his influential story made it to the cover.  

The whole business world including the communication business is currently witnessing the total change of everything – from sales to communications to industrial production. For a couple of years, we have been observing a very dynamic and fast merging of the three main elements of the public communications business – advertising, public relations, and digital. It is so obvious that they will unify and work as a new business soon but for now, there is a constant dispute for leadership.

The advertising industry claims to be the winner as they own media shops and creators, and so the digital experts as their leadership abilities allow them to create applications, tabs, and software. However, the CEO & Founder of M3 Communications Group, Inc., Maxim Behar strongly feels that Public Relations experts and managers will be the leader of the future big, merged business. The thought that supports this concrete belief is quite simple, they are the “Kings of Content.” They are the masters of words and visions and in the modern world, wisdom comes from social media content.

The Visionary CEO

Maxim Behar has done graduation in the Executive Program on Leadership Decision Making from Harvard Kennedy School and now, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Global Public Relations Changes at Sofia University. His first graduation was from Prague University on International Economic Relations. As learning was/is his passion, he collected many degrees from Universities across the world including The Pacific Institute in Seattle, USA. At his initial stage, he started working as a machinery worker in a plant that was based in Sofia. After graduation, he worked as a journalist for 15 years and then launched one of the first private daily newspapers in Bulgaria – Standard News. Even with so much success, he decided to resign from the post of Managing Editor remembering what Sir Winston Churchill said, “you can achieve a lot with the journalism, but you should know exactly when to quit.”

When Maxim was in high school, he ever since wanted to be a brilliant journalist. Even when he decided to quit this job the next logical step that came into his conscious was to upgrade his journalistic knowledge. Although jumped into Public Relations, he did not realize that it’s nothing but pure unique business surrounded by creativity, ethics, and responsibilities.

About 27 years ago, Maxim from proudly launching a one-man-show company in a one-room rented apartment of a friend to owning a leading Public Relations and Social Media company, is streaming like water; partnered with one of the largest international US-based PR corporations, Hill+Knowlton Strategies with hundreds of clients from all over the world. With great projects come great challenges every single day, and that’s what Maxim loves to invest his life for.

A Trusted Service Provider

M3 Communications Group, Inc. was established in 1994. After 6 years Maxim Behar met the Executive Vice President of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, late Terence Billing, who turned out to be his teacher, mentor, partner, and of course, best friend. Through the journey, they witnessed failures and successes, and last but not least they emerged as a modern and successful corporation – a leading PR company in Central and Eastern Europe.

Today, we provide the full range of public communications services – public, governmental and media relations, social media management, event and conventions, graphic design, web creations, and project management. We create a unique package for each of our clients ensuring the top-notch quality of our services. We also provide services such as social media development, content management, creating visuals, and more which keeps updating every week. With 35 clients on a retainer fee and at least double the number per project, we are available 24/7 for our clients that makes us ideal for crisis management, employers branding, and corporate communications.

We serve what customers deserve i.e; increasing sales, better branding, and media presence. We believe in transparency that gives us the confidence to deliver exact reports back to the clients. Also, social media in addition to providing information targets messages properly. The most important aspect that affects us is ‘outcomes’ and to match those we focus on being creative, innovative, proactive, and knowledgeable. In the process, we pull out preparation for every post. We ensure every word, every picture should be catchy and effective on social media.

Achievements To Appreciate

Maxim Behar was twice awarded the Best PR Consultant in the world by Stevie Awards. Recently, PR Week announced him the Best Global PR Consultant. With more than 100 international business and leadership awards and books that top on Amazon, Maxim is proudly elected as an Advisory Board Member of one of the largest European Universities –, Germany. It is a privilege for him to be on the Board of the World PR Museum in New York City. In 2017, he was inducted into the Global PR Hall of Fame in London as the first-ever East European expert. The greatest achievement in life is his children, family, and the excellent M3 Communications Group family.

PR’s Absolute Best

Customer preferences are like seasons, they keep changing. Of course, this affects how clients emphasize themselves on social media and the reason is quite clear – these interactive technologies are fully measurable ever since the very beginning of the Guttenberg Press Machine. Social media is exponentially succeeding against traditional media only because clients can optimize their messages to certain target groups, and in minutes can analyze too. Clients have become sensitive and quick towards creative involvement and decision-making. This practice brings a big boost to our business – one who can take fast decisions and can communicate successfully will win, the others will be out of the business.

We cannot deny the fact that customer feedback is crucial, however, we try to prove our point of view that our experts are devoted only to making their experience rich. “Zoom lockdown times” made our life a bit convenient which we appreciate through meeting clients and discussing tons of ideas. But also, we do not celebrate our self-esteem instead we delve into convincing clients that sooner or later their success with us will speak.

Opinion About Media Bribery

In my opinion, the concept of media bribery almost disappeared a decade ago. Nowadays, the world worries less and less. Social media is glorifying modern business and fading out the traditional media day by day. Since the very beginning of M3 Communications Group, Inc. we adopted the values of professionalism and integrity. Our experts are sensitive towards clients and their needs, which kept us reliable and relevant for a long period. However, the way social media is expanding may bring risks of fake news and unwanted disturbing elements that can create skepticism among readers. We are confident that these worries are repulsive to our business as we are completely transparent to our clients. Everything transparent is ethical!

Looking Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost all businesses over the world. Home-based offices brought a somewhat alienated business environment, leadership rules, and management styles. We did not have any expectations that everything we had before 2020 will be changed and should not expect to be back in the same position. The crisis has tested our endurance and we molded according to the required environment. This sudden change for sure made us stronger and much better PR experts. We have learned lessons for good that made us help many clients to accommodate better and faster in the new business environment. We had arranged successful conversations among their teams and stakeholders which resulted in them taking their decisions properly and on time. As we had already mastered crisis management for decades, we had the advantage to tackle the challenges with ease. It just took us a week or two to organize ourselves and analyze the scenario. Soon we were able to take the right management decisions and start consulting clients.

The more the market is developed, the more corporations develop their marketing and PR needs, hence responsibilities will be much bigger. For instance, in my latest book ‘The Morning After,’ written during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have described the dramatic changes that happened in the management style and obligations of the CEOs. In my opinion, a CEO should be more of a leader than a manager. Nowadays, people involve themselves as a leader in their working environment, hoping for a horizontal structure where employees, experts, and consultants can understand their responsibilities.

Decades ago, Late Konrad Hilton was asked, what is important for a hotel to be successful?, to which he answered, “Just three important things: location, location, location…” If I am asked, what is important for a business project or corporation to be successful? I will answer in the same style: communications, communications, communications. For instance, 5G for sure will bring a sea of opportunities from developing not only faster communications but also witnessing changes that have never been seen before. From the Internet of Things (IoT) to mobile services, humanity will evolve and so will the business world.

The Success Mantra For Entrepreneurs

The business of Public Relations is so vast that the services themselves will develop into another name. We will try to remain trustworthy by providing services in real-time, live, immediate, transparent, and exact. What we are currently involved in is the preparation for our evolution in business – the Era or Real-time Video Communications on all possible levels. It will require us to increase skilled and updated teams who will be prepared with better knowledge.

The success mantra that works for every industry is 3S: Speed, Simplicity, Self-Confidence. By following just these three words can create magic for the people doing business. Speed is significant – taking decisions quickly but effectively. Either it is answering emails, learning new things, keeping deadlines, talking sense to the right people, raising salaries or firing people who do not fit the team, or motivating people. Simplicity is delightful – making priorities for business or personal life, what are the important things, what to read, what rules to follow, or what are the to-do lists. Self Confidence – a person cannot be successful unless he/she has self-confidence. Not being brave and not ready to take risks invites unpleasant circumstances that can push your life into misery.

And be sure that crisis periods are the best time to cook your success as you can easily overcome obstacles which you will never have during other times. These obstacles are making us stronger and more successful.

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