Interview with World Vision South Caucasus Communications Director Ana Chkhaidze
Why did you decide to enter this field and what opportunities does it give in terms of career growth?
I am a journalist by profession and have been working for several year in this field. I started my career at ‘’World Vision’’ as communications specialist. The work in the field of development has become so interesting that I am still here after working in this organization for 10 years. It has been exciting to be part of the company’s achievements, growth and changes. We have contributed to the improvement of many vulnerable people’s lives ,sharing their stories, problems and successes have been my work for years. Over time, the ways of reaching the audience has changed; Social media has added new dimensions to PR work.
What is it necessary to hold a successful communication with public?
First of all, it is important to know what your goal is, what messages do you want to deliver to the public. After that you search for effective ways to connect with the audience – at this stage creativity and knowledge of company’s audience are very important. Engaging Media is also one of the essential parts of success in this field.
What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
Traditional PR skills like writing and media relations will never fade, and perhaps they’re more important than ever in today’s fractured media market, I would also add Creative Thinking and Social Media skills to this list.
What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
It is a complex topic and I still have a lot of things to learn ahead, there are many things I would like to know more about, for instance visual communications. In my opinion, it is important to have the readiness to constantly develop.
Describe your typical work week.
Depending on how active processes are underway in the organization, my working week is relevant. We are now trying to raise awareness on children working and living in the streets and to change public attitudes towards them. With the campaign #NotMyChoice we want to show the public the problems of these children, Children on the streets all over the world feel misunderstood and mistreated by their local communities. We want to take action together to spread the voices of homeless young people to challenge negative stereotypes. Accordingly, my job right now requires active work on social networks and media involvement.
– How would you go about finding relevant contacts and sources?
Personal relationships are very important, but also social media helps me too, professional groups where we share experience and exchange information.
– How would you prioritize and start your work day?
Each day starts with checking mail and organization’s social page. The next case is prioritization according to the agenda of the organization itself, whether there is an event planned or not, what are the pending needs.
What skill does successful PR Manager need?
In the first place strategic thinking, it is necessary to understand the goals and requirements of the organization. Creativity in this field has always been valued and is still very important. . Despite what we convince to ourselves, we can learn to be more creative.
It is also very important to love the work you do and the topics you work on. For successful implementation of a particular initiative teamwork is essential, also seeing strengths of your members and supporting their professional growth.
– What trait do you value the most in your co-workers?
Dedication towards work and professionalism
–What is the best PR practice technology can’t change?
I would say Technology has changed PR Practice for the better. Interesting stories are what we are constantly looking for, technology helps us to deliver those stories to the audience.
–What are some of the growing trends in the public relations industry?
Over the last few years, it has become apparent that social media has captured the fancy of most people. The extensive use of social media has drastically changed the way people communicate and share information. The Processes have been accelerated; social media offers its rules and requires constant updates. You are in constant interaction with audience, you have the opportunity to observe their reactions, to determine their age group and to provide more efficient information. Demand for survey based information has increased, as well as on visual storytelling.