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Keti Berikashvili: Communication with Public Becomes More Tradable

Interview with Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission (GNERC) press speaker Keti Berikashvili.

Why did you decide to enter this field, and what opportunities does public relations give in terms of career growth?

I work at GNERC for 10 years. I am a reporter by profession, currently I’m doing Public Politics Master degree at GIPA university.

It’s a very interesting field and quite difficult at the same time. It’s very specific and has a huge potential of development. Regulatory Commission is always oriented people to have continuous and reliable supply, high quality service; It offers investors novelties, makes sector more attractive, thus, it supports success of the field. GNERC introduces new regulations, projects that are unprecedented in the sector. Communication with public has a huge importance there, as people are interested in business implemented by GNERC. PR definitely gives career growth opportunities, like I think every profession, where you are being a professional. Although, it’s significantly important to work on yourself constantly in PR field.

What is it necessary to hold a successful communication with public?

Being open, transparency, constant connection. Always being ready for a sincere relationship. You should be familiar with the area where you work. The Commission often provides unpopular, but necessary decisions regarding tariffs. There is a lot of criticism and aggression from the public, because in most cases one doesn’t about the reasons why they have increased tariffs,they do not like the consequences of increased tariffs. In this case, we always try to provide interested people with detailed information and be very open in communication. Therefore, I think that in any situation transparent relations are important.

What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

Be always oriented to develop your skills, receive more knowledge, do as much as you can, and be passionate about what you do.

 What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

At any stage of career development  I will have an unchanged desire and an action plan -to be focused on innovation, development,  and open in communication.

Describe your typical work week.

My every weekday is a very busy with meetings, project planning, implementation, etc. GNERC starts a lot of interesting projects and we will share it to the public within a current year. I spend hours at GIPA because I am studying the program of public policy.

 How would you go about finding relevant contacts and sources?

Mostly, personal contacts. I think having contacts is one of the most important task in PR field.

How would you prioritize and start your work day?

The first thing I do is to get information published in media outlets, we have morning meetings where we exchange the information and make corrections in agenda based on the latest news that we plan on the previous day.

What are the skills Public Relations Specialist need?

Many things, however, this is the short list: to be able to write well, speak up, be organized, manage time, objective assessment of events, find fault and recognition, accurate information, crisis management, ability to make quick decisions, activeness, responsibility, quality orientation, etc.

 What trait do you value the most in your co-workers?

I appreciate professionalism, diligence, decision-making, responsibility, development orientedness, teamwork, loyalty to the case, frank and open relationships. I am very lucky that I’m working with above described team at GNERC.

What is the best PR practice technology can’t change?

Sincere relationships and constant work to achieve the best results. I think that when you do a particular job, it is necessary to be a fan of this case and do not carry out the project just for the calendar to be noted as the executed project. You have to put your part in the work.

What are some of the growing trends in the public relations industry?

Public relations are becoming increasingly important in the development of the organization, and in everyday life the field becomes a strategic direction. During any activity of the organization it is necessary to define communication strategy and to establish other activities accordingly. For example, just 10-15 years ago, the majority of organizations and companies paid less attention. Crisis situation management became part of PR with the organization’s CEO. It is very nice that communication with public becomes more tradable.