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Giorgi Kalatozishvili

Georgian PR Remains in Formation Process

Caucasus Business Week offers you interview with Giorgi Kalatozishvili, head of PR management of Delta state military-technical center.

– What are you by profession?

– I am a movie scholar by profession. I studied this profession, when movie sector existed thanks to artificial breathing in the country. Film directors had to spend several years on shooting one film. There were no infrastructure, while a major part of movie theaters were employed as storehouses. Despite these difficulties, my professionalism enabled me to work as a movie critic for various prestigious editions for many years. For 18 years, I published reviews and critical articles in about 25 magazines and newspapers. However, in the course of time I was interested in communications and PR field. I realized I could do much more useful affairs in this field. I wanted to motivate people, instead of demotivation, because criticism frequently discourages people, regretfully.

– Your first job place.

– My first job place in PR field is related to ACT marketing and social research company, where in 2004-2007 I occupied the position of junior advisor and media-monitoring department head (ACT launched operation with 4-member team in 2002 and today we have about 80 employees and the company is represented in three countries: Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan).

As PR specialist, I got major experience here. I first went to ACT in 2004. In that period my elder sister Tinatin Rukhadze was the company director.  I went as a guest. When I opened the door of her study, I could not imagine I was opening the gate into the new world. On the first day I was assigned to manage crisis communications of one of the major international companies. This was huge responsibility, challenge and, naturally, stress. I am grateful to my friend, colleague and the then mentor Nika Javakhishvili, who enabled me to employ my potential in this field.

– Current job place and position.

– Starting November 2016 I am PR office head of Delta state military science-research center. There is very good environment and team here. Main mission of Delta is based on Georgia’s state interests and national defense strategy. Main objective of the center  is  to develop national military industry, designing-production of modern and innovative military technologies, designing of military weapon and armament in compliance with modern world trends. It is very interesting for PR specialist to work in similar  organization, even more so, when you realize improvement of communication with internal and external groups considerably promotes development of national military industry, strengthens its  reputation. Delta manufactures international-standard products that is of better quality compared to products of many developed countries. Our society receives information about our achievements and advancements mainly on the May 26 Independence Day events, when Delta exhibits military equipment of its own production: armored vehicles, guns and so on.

– Your first success.

– People of our profession do not divulge similar facts, do not specify them, but I would say – I have experience in political PR and my client became a municipal council member and then a member of parliament of Georgia.

– Business, project you take pride in even today.

– As PR specialist I have been cooperating with Georgia’s Damage Reduction Network and Open Society – Georgian Foundation in the field of reduction of stigma-discrimination of People infected by Hepatitis C. I am proud of having made my own contribution to this great affair that has changed public attitude to the existing problem and today treatment is much more attainable, and even free for some public and social groups.

– Field where you would never work.

– Before 2012 I thought Interior Ministry was a similar field, but after 2012 I have worked in this structure for 2 years and I have never felt discomfort (in 2012-2014 I was head of Interior Ministry PR and Information Support Management), because I knew I could genuinely change a lot, especially in PR direction. I would not say this if Nino Giorgobiani was not a head of PR department and did not assist us and our team had not supported me in shaping and implementing all important project ideas, particularly Irina Vadachkoria and Roland Esakia.

– What makes a person successful in your field? Besides knowledge what special features are required?

– Earlier I would name creativeness, motivation and so on. But today I would say in different way – we should love People, love and respect the society, love our own profession and job that we can transform into art from ordinary job if we treat it frankly.

– Is it possible today in Georgia to study PR at professional level, or international knowledge and experience is required?

-I was learning PR field by practical work. I have not graduated from university courses in this field and I have not taken efforts for obtaining degrees in this field. I have personally fired a probationer ahead of schedule, because PR specialist educated in university with diploma could not perform elementary tasks, did not own elementary skills, did not have sufficient intuition. Today public offices and commercial organizations offer practical knowledge and experience to young people, but sometimes, we do not have time to “bring up” a professional and have to say goodbye to talented specialists who cannot meet our standards for a specific moment.

Besides academic knowledge, students should perform practical job in permanent regime for various organizations. In this case we will receive prepared and trained professionals, who will manage to get adapted to real requirements after university graduation. As to international experience I believe this experience grows us faster.

– Is PR perceived and understood in Georgia in its classical nature?

– Georgian PR remains in the process of formation. 99% of PR specialists do not have due experience in strategic PR. They mainly perform functions of relation with media and events management. Only a small part of PR specialists are able to provide complex services for employers, but to a certain degree, this is the fault of employers too.

– How simply do you resolve emergency situations and take decisions? Do similar cases affect quality of the working process?

– I am a certified specialist of American PR association PRSA in the field of crisis communications effective management. In crisis situations, most of all, I appreciate the words of Nietzsche – What does not kill me, makes me stronger! That what does not kill us, gives  major lesson and experience to us. There are many classifications of crisis situations, typology, symptoms, dynamics of developments, mechanism for prevention and diagnostics…Therefore, crisis is not a judgement. We just should know how to conduct in emergency situations. Maximal concentration is required in crisis situations, but in 99% of cases we lack for this feature. That’s why in critical situations people forget about everything that they have learned for a long period and they act instinctively. I also had similar cases, when emotions and nervous background dropped my productive capacity and this factor has made considerable influence on performed job.

– Interesting episode from your life that has changed your life.

– My visit to my sister Tika Rukhadze to ACT in 2004.

– If not this profession which field would you work in?

– I work in the field where I have precisely determined myself.

– What benefit do you receive from your employer company? What makes it interesting for you?

– This place combines patriotism and professional and we genuinely do affairs of national importance. I express my gratitude to all persons who have created Delta and contributed to enhancement of security of our country, promoted national production abroad, created system that serves  military and civil and economic purposes.

– What creates major discomfort in the working process?

–  Bureaucracy.

– Where do you see yourself after 20 years?

– Somewhere in the suburb area with my family.