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PR Becomes an Important and Valuable Direction for Business and Society

Eldar Pirmisashvili, is Founder of Peritus Group Strategic Communications Agency and PR Consultant, he has worked for several Georgian companies during his career and has quite extensive experience in public relations field.

– What are you by profession?

– I am a specialist of public relations. I have completed BA, MA and doctoral studies in the field of PR and communications. I have also passed twelve various communication training courses in Barcelona, Turin and Bucharest.

– Your first job place.

– My career started as part of probation probation at  PR department of the global brand Coca-Cola Bottlers Georgia. I was a fourth-year university student, when Coca-Cola announced program – Your Turn to Change the World. The company asked universities to involve successful students into the program. Then I continued my career Prime Europe, Youth Association of Europe. This was a good opportunity  for developing people in PR and communications field. From this organization I visited various cities of Europe and passed very interesting training courses. As part of this organization we received World Bank’s small grant for developing a youth portal.

– Current job and position

– Currently, I work for Peritus Group (peritus.ge) strategic communications agency. I am a founder of this organization and PR consultant. This is not a business-oriented organization. Objective of our organization is to develop PR field  and improve PR services. Since 2008 we have been assisting international and business companies in shaping image and reputation and this is an important aspect of PR. I am also involved in providing PR consultations for various organizations and conducting lectures at universities.

– Your first success.

– My success started at university, where we shaped a very interesting group of enthusiasts. This group continues developing PR field even today. I was 27 when finished doctoral studies and received doctoral degree and status of a professor. Jointly with my friends, I created  PR consulting organization and wrote book «10 Steps for Developing PR Plan». This book continues assisting many organizations and PR specialists in shaping an organization strategy.

– Your business, project that you take pride in even today.

– I have implemented many and very interesting projects and I love almost all of them. I would name three of them: breast cancer prevention campaign, which I joined in 2008 and we carried out many interesting initiatives and campaigns; UN gender equality campaign – it is still continued. My mission was to prepare  campaigns, upgrade awareness and ensure efficient cooperation with media and coverage. Attained goals is the most interesting factors in this process, when you guess that something changes to the positive and you have contributed to this success. This is a very pleasant moment.

I would also name the website www.prweek.ge that was created for PR development in 2006 by MA degree students of PR faculty. We started developing the mentioned website in 2006. In that period our society was not ready for similar information platform, but now the situation has changed and PR is popular and everybody is interested in PR informations. We plan to further develop this direction.

– Field where you would never work.

– I work for a consulting company and we implement projects in various fields, including healthcare, development sector, banking and all of them are very interesting. Therefore, I think there is no field, where I would never work.

– What factors make a person successful in your field? Besides knowledge, what special features are required?

-First of all, we should define what the success is. Some people think that having a good job is a success, others give preference to wealth and social status. Not only knowledge is required, but also professionalism and interesting personal features, ability of personal intercommunication and proper assessment of situations and planning. Finally, without consecutiveness and regularity, it is difficult to attain important results.

– Is it possible today in Georgia to study PR very well or international knowledge and experience is required?

– PR field requires education in various fields. If we compare the current situation to the period 10 years ago, we have made real progress, but this is not sufficient. We need better results. Universities are developed and their programs, interesting training courses are developed to receive fundamental knowledge, but foreign education is also important and valuable. I always say that if you want to work in Georgia, you should know Georgian reality and existing public attitudes.

– Is PR perceived and understood in Georgia in its classic form?

– I think PR is wider established in Georgian reality and it becomes an important and valuable direction for business and public and NGO sectors. In general, PR has negative connotation in wide society, but professional circles understand its importance and influence. In our country a major part of PR is related to relations with media and this practice changes gradually, because PR field is more diverse.

Nobody asks in the world whether PR is necessary. They just analyze how to apply it. Refusing PR technologies may be compared to refusal of food and water, because PR is as important as food and water for life.

– How simply do you manage to settle crisis situations and take decisions?Do you think emergency situations affect working process quality?

– It is a very difficult task to manage crisis and settle emergency situations. It requires huge competence and experience, because communicative crisis situations create threat to company image and reputation mainly. In emergency situations I analyze real grounds of crisis  and I divide them in parts, then involve interested bodies and plan effective communication. Emergency situation may be destructive and on the contrary, useful, because frequently we cannot see problem in advance. Foreseeing problems in advance is an important function of PR in similar situations.

– Interesting episode from your life or business that has changed your life?

– I love my profession very much and my business. When I graduated secondary school, my friend gave me the book by Sam Black – What PR Is. This book changed my life and having read this book I decided to study PR and become a PR specialist.

– Without this profession, which field would you work in? 

– I would be a good journalist, good teacher (I am involved in teaching activities even currently) and a good psychologist.

– What are strong features of you, as a businessman?

-Devotion, competence, analytical skills and positiveness.

-What does your employer company give you? What makes it interesting for you?

– It gives me huge motivation and opportunity for development.

– Where do you see yourself after 20 years?

– I will be involved in larger international projects and consultations, Peritus Group strategic communications agency will be a global and leading company in PR-consulting field. Our communication training center  that we call Bernays PR college, will be an important place for PR education. I will share my experience to all interested bodies and organizations. Supposedly, I will also write several books.