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Challenges of Public Relations in the 21st Century

Irma Katcharava is a PR specialist with 15 years’ experience in PR, marketing, projects, sales and events organization. Besides the local education, she studied PR, communications, business (Case management and production) in Germany. For almost 10 years she lived in Europe, namely in Germany and Luxembourg, after which she finally decided to return in order to continue same professional activities in her own country. Accordingly, it’s interesting to hear her opinion concerning the existing situation in this field in Georgia.

How developed is the PR direction in Georgia compared to Europe?

This direction became very popular and “trendy” in Georgia during the recent years, everyone has tried himself/herself in this direction, but degree of the applied knowledge and quality is another issue. Unlike Europe, together with the development, business in Georgia already became dependent and it needs to follow this rhythm. Different strategies of awareness and marketing are active in Europe, while in Georgia, first of all, social media and PR activities are of more concern.

What are the problems and challenges that PR have to face in Georgia? Mostly the journalists and famous persons are appointed to the PR manager’s position, how correct is this approach?

PR is not just a “friendship” with media and writing articles . . . In this case, we are not talking only about the journalists – presenters, actors and singers – they all think that they can manage the PR. If everything is so easy and one can combine the PR with any profession, why would anyone need to receive education in this direction?

First of all, only the competent candidates shall be appointed to the said position. Without proper knowledge you cannot plan the correct strategy, you cannot foresee the feedback related to particular words or actions, or things that bring awareness or negative to the company, PR manager needs to be more professional and not just be familiar with everyone in the media. You should also know, whether the segment of the coverage is the one your company needs. You will not see similar cases in Europe, there is nobody’s friend or relative anywhere, but in spite of this, the job is still being done, because the preference is given to the quality and if you are good in PR, the media is your good friend as well.

You manage the PR for quite a lot of the well-known companies, and you organize many events as well, yet you never appear in the media?

This is a question that many people ask me … TV appearance and publicity does not mean that you are a connoisseur. I don’t think that becoming popular and thus proving my knowledge and experience is a principal matter for me. I realize this in my work and my involvement in the company’s success, awareness, sales this is my success and important for me. Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise – this is my motto. Although, I agree with you that the fame works well in Georgia and if you are famous – you are one step ahead in every field.