I am still under the strong impression that I carry from PRO.PR 2016, which was held from 8th to 9th of April in Hotel Splendid, in Becici near Budva, Montenegro. The biggest PR conference in South East Europe completely met my expectations. In fact, it was more than that. PRO.PR took my heart!
Two working days of the conference brought more than 200 liders in the field of communications, marketing and public relations who had an opportunity to hear 21 top speakers from all over the world.
There were different topics in the field of public relations – from PR in the local government, future of PR, event management, creating campaigns and relations between media and PR, to communications in beauty industry, tourism and other fields. During the first day, the program also included four workshops held by leading communication experts from Great Britain, Turkey and Russia. For every passionate lover of communications as I am, these two days were a pure enjoyment.
Daniel Koletic, the president of the Organizing Committee, has opened the conference with an emotional speech and even tears. He was also the moderator of the conference who was keeping us in a good mood, in his own way. Well done Daniel, I really enjoyed listening how you cared about everyone in the conference room. Special part of moderating was dedicated to the sponsors of the conference, and now I can tell you that investment in this kind of promotion such as PRO.PR conference is a right decision.
Among different lectures and presentations, we had an opportunity to hear very inspirational stories and find out many interesting facts. Natalija Milic, Corporate Affairs and International Communications Manager at Trebjesa Brewery Montenegro, talked about CSR strategy of her company.
„Today’s CSR is about building trust. Trust in the brand, trust in performance of the product, trust in the company to “do the right thing”, trust in you as an employer. CSR is no longer an option. It’s a “must”. It is a never-ending process and continuous struggle to make this world a better place”, she concluded. I completely agree.
Mrs Zeynep Dereli, Managing Director of APCO Worldwide, explained what the key elements of a good business diplomacy are – corporate communications, public affairs, public relations, government relations and government affairs. If every element is done well, the art of good business diplomacy grows.
According to her words public relations can make an important contribution to business diplomacy by helping to form an organization’s ideas about what it is, what it should do and what it’s public wants and expects from it. Good PR is telling clients what they need to hear, instead of what they want to hear”.
“The Art and Science of Great Campaigns” was presented by Mr Cormac Smith, National Chairman at UK Local Government Communications. As an example of good campaign he mentioned the campaign “You Wouldn’t Do This at Home“ which had the aim to motivate all citizens to take care of cleanliness on the streets of Kensington. This campaign also has a deep message to all of us to take care of the environment we are living in, and not to do the things we would never do in our own home.
Mrs Yanina Duboykovskaya, WCF Davos Founder and Content Director, President of the WCFA Association and CEO of Top Communications had a very interesting presentation.
She talked about the process in wich communications should turn from service to a mission. There are 6 ways:
- become a driver of a global culture
- create new currency
- global agenda: verification and formulation
- formation of a new professional identity of post economic and post political position
- not war as a rule. “not a zero sum” game
- tell aliens about human kind and humanity
Mr Gábor Hegyi, Co – chairman of the World Communication Forum Davos, presented us some key points from the World Communication Forum in Davos. What is the future of PR and communications? For sure, communication is not a service anymore. It is a mission! Try not to be loud, be amazing. And remember, facebook is the word’s number one nation!
The part of his presentation was also a very inspirational interview with Paul Holms speaking to WCF media partner Case TV:
I would accentuate the part where Paul Holms said that the best PR professionals should learn everything from any field plus to learn and educate themselves in the field of communication.
Very motivating presentation for me was “The Power of Stars” by Martin Korosec, CEO of Marketing Agency Oranza. I could feel the love and the commitment to work in this creative agency, from Martin’s outfit (he was wearing an orange tie) to very inspirational quotes in the presentation:
Congrats Martin, great job!
Mr Sergey Sokolov from Ukraine presented Ukraine as a tourist destination with the motto ‘’Open For You’’. We also saw a promo video of this tourist destination, which surprised me positively, because I have never been in Ukraine and didn’t have an opportunity to explore this country on the Internet. I realized that video is an excellent way to promote your business. There are many PR tools for promotion of a tourist destination, but Sergey featured a blog as one of the best. As he said, some researches show that people trust bloggers more than media. I agree with it!
The first time on PRO.PR, there was a speaker from Qatar. Mrs Noof Al – Ghathani, founder of New Line for Media (advertising and digital printing company), talked about the impact of social media on PR, social listening platforms which help solving client’s challenges and about preventing crisis and crisis management. We also could hear from her under which specific conditions bussiness is being developed in that country.
Networking in motion
Pauses between lectures were reserved for networking in motion. The beautiful ambient of the Hotel Splendid was a perfect place for chatting, talking, laughing, exchanging business cards, ideas, business offers. I met great people from Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Russia, Qatar, Ukraine, but also kept in touch with my colleagues from Montenegro.
The crown of the two amazing conference days was a gala ceremony of prestigious PRO.PR Awards. It is the only awards program in the field of communication management, which is awarded to individuals who, through their work with professionalism and love, are loyal to communication processes, which makes them good candidates for winners of this award.
Recognition is intended for individuals who, in a special way, with their knowledge, experience and dedication, left a noticeable mark on the development of the profession of public relations.
The title of Vision City went to town of Kotor. The award “Vision Manager” was given to the manager of the host country of the conference – Mr. Esad Zaimović, the CEO of Hipotekarna Bank AD Podgorica.
This year’s winners are: Zeljka Bajramović, Natasa Aleksic and Selma Ridjanovic Kenovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Olga Pejovic and Petra Juvancic from Slovenia, Dragana Roter, Milica Djokic and Jelena Sarenac from Serbia, Martina Sokac Saraga, Goran Pivarski and Diana Djerdj from Croatia, Danilo Kalezic, Marija Jovovic and Radoje Cerovic from Montenegro and Violeta Cvetkovska from Macedonia. Among the winners are prominent European experts: Charles Skinner and Sukhjit Grewal from UK, Luisa Piazza from Italy and Peter N. Thier from Austria.
I take this opportunity to congratulate all the award winners, especially to my colleagues from Montenegro: Marija, Radoje and Danilo!
After the formal award ceremony, it was finally time to celebrate the successful end of the 14th PRO.PR conference. With the music of the band “Senkina Djeca”, in a cheerfull atmosphere, PR-s were singing and dancing all night long. The part of the atmopshere you can watch in this video clip 🙂
At the end, I would like to congratulate the whole PRO.PR team for the excellent organization and commitment to every single participant, as well as speaker. You are doing your job with love, and we could feel it. It was a real honor to be a part of the 14th PRO.PR conference.
15th anniversary of PRO.PR will be held from 6th to 8th April 2017 in Terme Tuhelj (Croatian Zagorje) under the motto “Networking in Motion”. See you there!