Learn why Bulgarian media rarely asks questions in press conferences, why the latest Heineken beer and Pampers campaigns used Facebook as a main communication channel and why the high acceptance of new communication channels causes problems in the use of the local language in our international PR series featuring Bulgarian PR expert Gergany Vassileva this week.*
* The series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.
1. What is the latest trend (change) in PR you have identified in your region?
Gergana Vassileva: First we need to mention that PR is relatively new in Bulgaria in comparison with the countries from Western Europe and the States. During the communist times there was only propaganda.
When we established the agency some 13 years ago, it was very difficult to explain to the clients what PR was and why they needed it. At the moment PR is like a fashion – everyone knows everything about PR and is doing PR.
PR trends in Bulgaria are no different from the other counties in Europe. Digital PR is getting bigger and bigger. Social media is booming! Interesting fact is that there are 2 million Bulgarians on Facebook! Which is almost 2 times more that the Romanians on Facebook (Note: The population of Romania is 23 million – Bulgarians are only 7 million).
Cause-related campaigns are also increasing and more companies want to get involved in social issues. Green PR also has a potential.
2. How does your agency react / handle / embrace this?
Gergana Vassileva: We have a team specialized in digital PR and we already have several successful campaigns for companies such as Heineken beer or Pampers.
These new media campaigns are also often related to a social or charity topic in which a company initiates a charity project or supports initiatives by organizations such as Unicef or similar institutions as a sponsor and additional communication source.
3. Can you give a recent example from a project?
Gergana Vassileva: One of the latest examples is our Facebook campaign for Pampers. With our Facebook page “The World of Mommy” we have been able to raise awareness for Pampers’ “1 pack = 1 vaccine” campaign which supports UNICEF with funding for the life-saving vaccine supply for less industrialized countries. Where newborn tetanus is still responsible for 5-7% of today’s infant deaths
We successfully invited mums (and dads) to in-store concerts and encouraged interaction and exchanges of tips and ideas between the members. Nearly 6.500 “fans” engaged in lively discussions and interaction with each other and the Pampers social media team.
Read more about regional differences in PR and some unexpected effects caused by the high utilization of new communication channels in part 2 of the interview with PR expert Gergana Vassileva next week.
Gergana Vassileva is Managing Partner of United Partners in Sofia – GlobalCom PR Network Partner Bulgaria. Gergana has worked in the PR industry for 14 years and has a background in Marketing, Management, Communications and International economy.
United Partners was founded in 1996 and belongs to the best established PR specialist in the market which is verified by PR awards including Agency of the Year 2003, 2004 and 2006.
The agency works for clients such as Procter & Gamble, ING, Western Union, BASF, Philips, Coty, IBM, Heineken, Autodesk among many others. United Partners provides a strong expertise in social media, corporate and brand communications, public affairs, crisis communications, events management and BTL campaigns.