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No one can mislead consumers anymore

BoriseLave - Apr 04, 2019

The Represent System, a communications group, finally brings London School of Public Relations to the market of our country after many years. While the new generation of participants is in the process of applying, the founder and CEO of the Represent System, Borislav Miljanović, talks about content and digital marketing in our region in an interview for Klix.ba.

This group consists of PR agencies in Belgrade, Podgorica, Skopje and Banja Luka and, as of October 2018, in Sarajevo.

Last year, Represent Communications won the title of the best PR agency in Serbia. Miljanović tells us how his entire team deserves credits for this title, owing to their dedicated work.

“The years of experience have taught me one thing – you can have everything, you can design, invest, but if you don’t have the right people, you’ll accomplish nothing. Last year was one of best in agency Represent Communications’ history. In addition to the title of the best PR agency, we also won new accounts such as Apatinska pivara, Schneider Electric, VIP, Asseco, Wizz Air, with the latter entrusting with managing communications in the entire region, had great results at pitches, produced a TV show, opened an office in Sarajevo, won the “100 Best Micro Business” Award in Montenegro, and the office in Skopje grew and recorded profit at the end of the year. Furthermore, we launched a new product, Element, the software we developed for two years, for measuring online sentiment, our business portal Bizlife became one of the most popular portals in the country. A team of hard-working, committed and creative people is behind all these ventures. At the end of last year, I appointed my female associates for running my largest businesses independently, and perhaps that’s the best answer to the question how we have become the best PR agency in Serbia,” said the reputable communications expert from Serbia.

Continuous education

In order to be successful in the PR profession today, you need to be continuously educated in the area of new communications technologies, agrees Miljanović. He and his team have created a protocol for exchanging literature, interesting surveys, webinars and other materials, and as of this year, they will launch institutionalised internal education.

“At the System level, we also have the Education Sector, which develops schools, training courses and conferences, where we are increasingly striving to keep pace with new tendencies as well. We travel a lot and exchange experiences. This year, I’m planning to visit our headquarters in London and attend the largest conference on content in Ohio, USA. My associates are also planning to travel to Bucharest, Lisbon and Berlin, searching for meeting points of European and global experts. I always support that and I have actually tasked them with finding, attending and gaining a maximum from such events education-wise,” says Miljanović, who closely monitors operations of public relations agencies in developed countries.

The Represent System will soon launch a new website of their entire system. According to Miljanović, they’ve analysed hundreds of sites so far and become huge fans of what agencies Contently, Hello Monday, Twentysix, Crafted and Huemor do.

The communications expert from Serbia notes that he’s proud of London School of Public Relations’ comeback to Sarajevo. The school starts on March 16 in the Marriot Hotel and lasts five Saturdays.

“How eager Bosnia is for such a school is best confirmed by the fact that one month after the announcement in November, we already had a half of the total number of participants enrolled. The next things we’ll do are the Content Academy in Sarajevo and LSPR in Skopje in the autumn. In Belgrade, we’re already drafting an agenda for 2020, as we’ve already devised the entire program for this year, with the second Web Content Creator in February and the 27th LSPR course in Serbia in March,” reveals Miljanović.

The Represent System CEO also comments on changes in the advertising sector throughout the region in recent years. According to him, some people have completely turned to new technologies, while others are still “enslaved” by the old advertising systems.

“In order to fully exercise the overall content philosophy, which primarily revolves around consumers’ experience, emotions and a system of values, you need to have a market ready for it. Customers have become highly sophisticated, informed, sensitive – an average customer in Macedonia or Serbia is no different from a customer in Western Europe. The next stage is turning our clients and the market to it. Pioneer ventures start from the biggest ones, who usually monitor what their headquarters do, but there are also local firms that realise that three billboards are no longer enough because their customers are on some digital platform. However, it is important to say that it doesn’t mean that billboards are not a good solution on some occasions. The answer is in integration, and the most successful communications models, or content marketing models, today are those that cross borders of marketing and PR and integrate all the disciplines,” says Miljanović.

Better days are coming

Last year’s introduction of the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has somewhat shaken the communications industry. Although this regulation doesn’t apply to the market where local PR agencies, including the Represent System, operate, Miljanović says that they are aware of the importance of the GDPR as the countries striving to the European Union integration.

“We monitor, adjust and are mindful of the manner of collecting and managing personal data, because now’s the time to focus on that, leveraging all the new services and tools we offer to our users, as our local regulations are changing to comply with the GDPR,” says Miljanović.

On the occasion of opening the office in Sarajevo, this communications expert from Serbia recorded a video as a message to the peers from the media. As a journalist with many years of experience, Miljanović highlights in the video that better days are coming for disappointed journalists, adding that the renaissance begins for those who have switched from the media to marketing.

“When I tell my peers from the media that there’s a bright future ahead, they don’t believe me, but I really believe in it. All of you who know how to create a good story or a good video will have an opportunity to do it, not only for the media, but also for large companies and their channels. People will spend more and more time with content of relevance for them, and we will create that content, together with our peers from the media. Newspapers and TV will not be the main source of information for much longer,” says Miljanović.

In regard to a correlation between social media and public relations, the Represent System CEO underlines that it’s most important to change a way of thinking and perceiving marketing and communications.

“Consumers have changed, therefore we have to change, too. This is the era of content and adjustment to this philosophy, but it won’t last forever. We are already encountering new challenges, such as artificial intelligence, but a focus will always be on a consumer, customer, client to whom we offer something, and as long as we keep pace with their habits, wishes, needs, challenges and fears, we’re on the right track,” says Miljanović.

In addition to monitoring work of successful PR agencies from developed countries, Miljanović also regularly monitors operations of PR agencies from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He says that the market in our country is changing much faster.

“The changes that have taken five to ten years in Serbia are happening three times faster in Bosnia. We have two offices, in Sarajevo and Banja Luka each, which we opened with an idea of establishing them as PR agencies offering digital as well. What happened was that after six months we were looking for a content specialist and a digital manager in Sarajevo, whereas in Banja Luka we generated the highest revenue from providing digital communication services,” adds Miljanović.

At the end of the interview, the communications expert from Serbia has invited once again all interested parties to apply for London School of Public Relations, starting in Sarajevo in March. This school was established in 1992 and was active at the territory of BiH since 2001 until 2007. Thanks to the Represent System, this high-quality and unique educational program is available again.

Author

Borislav Miljanović

CEO (Represent System)

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