Interview with Teona Akhobadze, Marketing and Communications Manager of Global Real Estate company “Colliers International Georgia”
– Why did you decide to enter this field and what opportunities does PR and Marketing offer in terms of career growth?
– Right now I am the marketing and communications manager. Generally, by profession I’m TV-radio journalist. It’s been already years since I’ve been working in this field, constantly linked with communications and media. Strange, but it happened that my first job started with the PR; It was an internship at the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of EU Integration. I worked as a correspondent in various media outlets for years. I spent the most of my time at “Rustavi 2”, six years at the program “Good Morning Georgia” together with a wonderful team. Along with professional growth this job developed my skills to work in a team. At some point I realized that it was time to move forward and I went to the UK where I studied PR and Branding. After that, my career path went into this direction.
Upon returning, I worked at marketing and PR company for some period, and later continued in ‘’Dexus Development’’ as a Marketing Manager. After I moved to the company “GD ALCO”, where I was a brand manager of the famous Spirits Portfolio Moet Hennessy. For more than a year, I am a marketing and communications manager at the global real estate services company “Colliers International Georgia”.
As for career growth possibilities, I think, any sphere allows you to develop, wherever you work.
It depends on your approach.
– What is it necessary to establish a successful communication with public?
– The answer is clear in the question – communication, which easily means relations. Human relationships are the most important and I would say complicated to manage. Considering that we all are different from the perspective of worldview, behavior, emotion, perception and many other aspects. I think it’s important to find the right way to have a natural and at the same time business communication with completely different people, talk to them in a language that is clear and sincere. According to a very rapid development of marketing and PR, and accordingly consumer consciousness as well. Nowadays no one believes in “low prices and high quality”, so frankness is essential. One more to add, the most important thing is to have an ability to listen to the customer and understand their ultimate need.
– What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
– I do not think that I am the one who should give advices, but I think, in any field specialization it’s important to never stop learning, never feel that you are already a professional who doesn’t need an advice from others, don’t feel embarrassed if you don’t know something, especially in the field of communication. PR and marketing is like living object that constantly pulses, develops and changes day by day, we need to try to catch up. Any work gives you an experience that can be useful in the future. And in the end, you should try to be courageous and not be afraid to make mistakes.
– What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
– I’d like to know more foreign languages, I think knowing two languages is not enough nowadays. I regret that I stopped learning French. I think in communcation field this can be very helpful for building strong relashionships with your costumers. I hope, oneday I will find time and continue my studies.
– What is your typical working week?
– There are no typical weeks at my job. Based on the specifics of our company, we have to work on various projects simultaneously, so the working dynamic always differs.
– How would you go about finding relevant contacts and sources?
– Perhaps, a perfect way to gain contacts is face to face communication, but it’s almost impossible because of the accelerated and busy life today. Fortunately, technological development has brought many communication channels that are directly oriented to accumulate contacts.
– How would you prioritize and start your work day?
– My work day starts with coffee as usual. Then the plan of the day is arranged. This habit has been adopted last few years and has helped me very much. Of course, I frequently replace current issues with priorities, but in general I try to follow the plan and not to deviate.
– What skills are important to have as a successful PR Manager?
– My view is that the essential thing is to listen. The rest is about your professional or personal skills. Before communicating, you need to have a precise picture of what your plan looks like, a thoughtful mechanism of the process and the desired outcome. After that you use communication channels, which will help you reach out your costumers.
– What trait do you value the most in your co-workers?
– The feeling of responsibility, there is no trust otherwise, and there is no cooperation without trust. The ability to respect others work, humility. I also appreciate the people who have an ability to see and recognize their mistakes and who are team players.
– What is the best PR practice technology can’t change?
– I think technological development changes the shape of PR and marketing working process, but not the main point. The method of communication has changed, which is brought by digital development. Massive social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) provide target audience specifications, but the starting point is the result we are focused on. As for the unchangeable and the most reliable practice as a way of communication, I think, again, face to face relationship stays on he top.
– What are some of the growing trends in the public relations industry?
– I would like to highlight several trends, one of them is content management that is very important direction for PR and marketing as a new communication tool. It is noteworthy that PR and Marketing are now interlinked in many ways and as if they include one another. Regarding content management, today costumers wait for the story, catchy story, which is spoken in human language. As another trend I would highlight the visual communication, which reaches the new level, narrated or even written information is gradually replaced by the video, which is already available to watch live. And one more topic that is worth of attention is the general growth of communication territory which is connected with the fast development of social media channels.