Interview with Head of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, Poti Sea Port – APM Terminals Poti, Marika Nadaraia.
–How did you start your job and what are the opportunities that PR can give?
–After 12 years at Poti Sea Port, it feels more like home than a full-time job. Working as one of the primary liaisons with the city and key point contact for all press matters my responsibilities transcend Port business and extend deep into the community.
I can easily say that I have enjoyed every single moment of my work – especially having the opportunity to manage all external communications and lead various social initiatives locally. At Poti Sea Port we are engaged in sustainable projects viable for the long-term and in projects that clearly support building the constructive relationship within the community to benefit a wider group and worthy cause. Successful PR connects you to the outside world and gives you a platform to learn more about the communities and the people around you.
-What is important for having a successful communication with public?
-In most cases, businesses tend to talk about themselves how good they are and how good their services are. Unlikely, the question you need to ask yourself is – what do people want to hear from you? How your service or product can influence on them? I think to have an effective and successful communication with the public and the community around you it is crucial to understand and always remember people’s concerns and needs. When you know your audience and customers you choose the most successful communication approach.
– What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
-It is challenging to give valuable advice that could work for everybody. I think it’s all individual and everybody should think through their own situations. However, it is helpful to share some insights from the people who solved a similar problem in the past and whose experience is more relevant. The following is very important to me:
- Always consider people’s concerns and create stories that are relevant both to you and your community.
- Sharpen your skills to be a good listener – the more you listen the more you see people’s stories differently, ask questions and create content from the different angle.
- Believe in yourself, be fast, proactive and passionate for what you do.
-What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
Prioritize the workflow to manage time effectively, have mentor to learn more about the industry and engage in more volunteering opportunities to understand the market trends.
I would like everyone who is currently starting out to know that it is essential to be able to manage your resources properly and invest in yourself to grow and never stop, not even if you are satisfied with the result, and certainly not even when you think that despite of the hard-work, you did not achieve what you had intended.
– How do you start your work day?
-Reading the industry news and media highlights comes first, followed by managing the content and social media, preparing news, stories and communicating with the media. On a weekly basis, I visit different terminals inside the Port and engage with people. We do filming and photo shooting for various stories.
I also manage CSR activities. With a strong commitment to corporate citizenship, we contribute to the progress of local community through supporting projects for youth and children.
– How would you go about finding relevant contacts and sources?
Despite recognizing the importance of online platforms and virtual introductions – think about how different it is to meet people in person – to me, networking events, gatherings and face-to-face meetings are the best opportunities to find relevant contacts and build relations.
-What are important skills for successful PR manager?
PR is a fast-growing industry. Today, unlikely from traditional media social platforms give you a huge opportunity to promote your company and connect with your customers in a quick manner. Being fast and having good storytelling, content development and leadership skills are vital to manage the process effectively.
–What traits do you value the most in your co-workers?
Honesty, commitment and the ability to support others are the most important qualities I value in a workmate. Moreover, it is very important to understand and be in line with the values of your organisation. In APM Terminals Poti we share A.P. Moller – Maersk values which have been an integrated part of the business for more than 110 years.
A distinctive set of our core values are: Constant Care, Humbleness, Uprightness, Our Employees and Our Name.
–What is the best PR practice technology can’t change?
Best PR practice – being honest, open and sincere in dealing with people. Mean what you say and say what you mean.