Caucasus Business week offers you an interview with Comshi PR Agency Director Lela Tsikhiseli.
Who are you by profession?
I am a marketing and PR specialist, but my primary profession in philology. I am a specialist of Georgian language and literature.
Your first job place.
I have been working in this business for 23 years. I took first steps in 1992-93. I found my first job place at Kedi TV advertising company. In that period advertising business was an innovative field in the country. Therefore, this field was interesting from the very beginning, despite in that period education was not a priority direction. Consequently, initially I found job place and later I started additional studies of all directions of advertising business. I was taking part in all innovative projects and new directions. This field turned out very interesting for me and I started advancement in my career with much enthusiasm and pleasure. It found out that after many years this business became very important for me.
Current job and position.
Comshi PR agency founder and director. By the way, we are frequently asked: why Comshi (Quince)? – company name is a main representation component and our business implies circulation around communication issues. Consequently, company name in Georgian interpretation sounds as Com-Shi (In Com). And this name has justified as a special creative name of the organization.
Your first success, business, project that you are proud of even today.
When I graduated PR school, I decided to make a students project. In that period, the issue of traffic lights, crossroads and traffic regulations were not relevant. Therefore, I choose the theme – Stop for Life. According to this project, halting vehicle at red light was to become necessary condition for safe road traffic. Despite this was first and students project, it turned out very successful. I did not expect such success, but many media agencies were interested in that project. Even traffic safety ministry also reacted to our undertaking. This was the first successful project. However, my main successful project is Comshi PR-communication agency, because if you want to make customer’s project successful, you must make your own project successful, first of all.
What makes a person successful in your field? Besides knowledge, what special features are required?
Knowledge is necessary, naturally, but you should love your business and make it a part of your nature if you want to attain real success. You should grasp essence of all themes. In this case success will come. You should work for not money, but you should treat business in interesting and enthusiastic way and success will come only in this case.
I follow this principle all my life. You should treat all orders like your personal business. And naturally, experience and deep knowledge of your business is also very important.
Is it possible today in Georgia to study PR very well or international knowledge and experience are necessary?
Currently, international knowledge and experience are very important. These directions are less developed in Georgia and these standards are not satisfactory for PR. I hope this factor will be improved in the course of time and PR field in Georgia will reach highest standards.
Is PR perceived and understood in Georgia in its classical nature?
I would not dramatize the reality, but PR concept is a little diminished in our country and PR is considered to be a simple field. However, PR requires reception, analysis of huge information, going into details. Graduation of certain courses and PR positions at this or that organization does not mean perfect knowledge of this field.
PR cannot be studied at once. Superficial knowledge is useless in this profession. It requires much time and energy in the form investments, on our personal level, first of all. Comprehensive working process and tireless learning process are required in this field. Therefore, I see necessity of my PR agency, because it is impossible for one person to grasp all details, not because he/she is not professional, but if an organization wants to have a good PR, this implies a whole team that will work on details of all directions that a specific project needs.
What makes major discomfort in working process?
It takes much time and energy to correctly plan the very first minutes of working process, to analyze customer’s directions. Frequently, customer wants one specific direction, but another issue is what is necessary for them, in reality. But this process cannot be called discomfort. On the contrary, this is comfort, when you explain all these factors to customers and they follow you. At the same time, unhealthy competitive environment makes major discomfort. Therefore, I adhere to one simple rule: working on the projects, where both I and customers are sure we need each other.
What benefit do you receive from your company? What makes it interesting?
First of all, I am interested that the company be strong and just. Any company consists of people. The more professionals work in a company, the higher their interest in making a company more qualified and professional, the more successful and distinguished the company is. Therefore, degree of company success is in direct relation with quality of company staff professionalism.
If not this profession, which field would you work in?
Writing is my hobby. Therefore I would take efforts in literature. At the same time, from current positions, this business is so diverse, important and interesting that I am where I should be….
Field where you would never work.
I would not work in the business that contradicts moral principles me and my company.
Interesting episode from your life (business) that has changed your life.
It was important when I decided to occupy the existing niche on the market and to have my own agency. This was very interesting for me and I thought I was to take my efforts in this field. Therefore, this step was very important for me. Collected knowledge has persuaded me to more comprehensively and scrupulously do my favorite business. At the same time, I think this is only commencement.
Where do you see yourself after 20-30 years?
In the same place where I am today, but in wider and more successful business, much more qualified and healthier environment.