Interview with Victoria Zhizhko, head of PR offices of Tskali Margebeli and Marneuli Food Plant.
-Which PR companies inspire you?
-Today there are many successful PR agencies worldwide, but I would emphasize Ketchum with about 100-year history of success and many innovative projects, strong crisis management expressed in multiple cases of cooperation with the USA and Russian Governments. According to my information, this company has won the most number of Cannes Lion awards in 2017.
-Which media outlets do you follow?
-My working regime is based on 24/7 principle and I think Internet is the most optimal variant for me in his situation. It unites television, printing media, social media. All required information may be found in seconds. You remain in the heart of developments every time.
-Talk about the difference between PR and advertising.
-One of the most frequent and legitimate questions in Georgian reality. There is much difference between PR and advertisement. PR is a long-term process for creating positive, sometimes even negative reputation, and you depend on media outlets. In this case I do not mean ordered articles that are advertisements. PR is frequently perceived erroneously. Independent reaction from the society and feedback are is the most important things in this respect. You only assist in shaping opinion. To be short, PR represents planned and continuous efforts for shaping friendly relations between organization and society.
We have opposite picture in case of advertisements. You pay money for media space and time, the target specific segment chosen by you. This is a controlled method for placing news and messages in mass media.
-Describe some affiliate networks you’ve collaborated with and why you chose them.
-I would emphasize two important projects: Festival of Marinades and Jams, a joint project by Marneuli Food Plant and Nabeghlavi, The Festival was held in 13 cities of Georgia in 2014. This two-month festival used to visit in various cities on weekends. The Festival included an entertainment program, various competitions and naturally, tasting and sales of products, a special band was playing live music.
Another project was implemented in education field. In 2013-2014 Tskali Margebeli, Nabeghlavi mineral water bottling company, financed English language courses in for 6 pupils in Guria Region. This project was a part of the company’s social responsibility. Main goal was to incentivize education efficiency of pupils.
-How do you integrate social media with PR?
-Social media is one of the important elements of PR. It is integrated with PR and has everyday contact with it. In Georgia social media is one of the developed fields and consequently, one of the most applied directions for PR activities.
-Describe a time you had to manage negative media attention.
-Similar attacks happen quite frequently. I have heard about war between specific company and media, however, I did not have similar practice in my career. Naturally, there may be little negative reactions, but I think moderate criticism is useful. It should not be excessive and inadequate and full of aggression. In general, it is better to stay cale and substantiate your response in similar situations.
-How have you worked with a team to handle a PR crisis?
-Crisis PR management is to identify and appraise expected crisis situations that may have direct affect on organization, its reputation, relations with consumers and other important factors. Therefore, it is necessary to stay concentrated on all details, preliminarily determine expected feedback and stay ready for constructive criticism. It is an important factor to acknowledge and correct own mistakes, be peaceful and organized to correctly direct your forces for problem resolution.
-What’s interesting about our current PR work? What would you improve?
-PR field brings a plenty of opportunities, permanent novelties, innovations, interesting projects, much brainstorming and creativeness. I would improve awareness about PR field in Georgia. Regretfully, today many citizens cannot differ PR from marketing, advertisement and we have certain problems with awareness. Fortunately, these gaps are narrowed stage by stage and PR is finding its own natural place.