Posted: 1 month ago

Sophio Makatsaria: "PR Field is Never Separated, It is Always in a Polyphony of Different Projects "

Sophio Makatsaria: "PR Field is Never Separated, It is Always in a Polyphony of Different Projects "

Interview with Sophio Makatsaria, the Director General of the Communications Agency “Kaleido’’

Tell us about how you got into the field of marketing, and what factors played an important role in choosing this profession?

I am a journalist by profession, and have worked as a journalist for 10 years. Naturally, as with most journalists, I love my profession so much, and I could never imagine working anywhere other than television.

However, one day, there was a moment where I had to move to the other side of the table, and become a person who, along with other target audiences, would talk to the journalists themselves, and look for or think about the keys to their relationship. While working in the press for three years, I was given the opportunity to move, and grow, professionally in the field of  public relations, though the main incentive and the turning point was a program in Japan where I learned about the branding and marketing of agricultural products, and the idea of ​​starting a new business came there. Japan, a country - for all its qualities, is frequently a source of inspiration for many. Upon arrival, my partner Keta Gogitidze and I, who is an extraordinary marketing specialist and, most importantly, a very creative person, created Kaleido.

Our first project was the branding of an agro-product, a wine that spread the message of the Russian occupation of Georgia, and is still very important. It is one of the projects that we are most proud of. Today, there are many praiseworthy projects in Kaleido's portfolio, and several large permanent contractors, which is a great result for only one year, especially when there is such competition in the market, and it is difficult to find a niche that will bring you success. 

What challenges do you face as a leader in marketing, during a time of technological change?

As technology changes, the requirements of our profile companies are changing as well. Often, depending on the content of the order, we have to find new staff who work with us as freelancers. As you know, there is a shortage of professional staff in Georgia, which is why the units that follow modern technology step by step are very expensive, and the balance between demand and supply is broken. I think the main challenge in this area is still vocational education, just like in other business sectors, and I can't say that we don't have professional staff in the market, but they are not enough.

What has changed in the field in the last 5 years, and what changes are expected?

The digitization of the field is one of the major milestones in this field all over the world, and of course Georgia, to this day. This poses a lot of challenges - first of all, traditional mass media is slowly losing its relevance, and we in the field are facing a new reality every day, as the practice of public relations 10 years ago is no longer effective today. The most interesting thing in this area is that there are almost no theorems that are constant. Every project here is a different organism that has its own character and needs its own approach.

What do you think are the most important qualities a marketing manager should have, and what is his or her role in the organization in general?

The PR manager is a person who constantly juggles information, asks questions, but has the most answers. Mentally, or in the team after processing the information, he or she creates a communication language with the outside world. The PR manager shares responsibility for every negative detail and event - not because it's her fault, but because she’s the one to correct it. Being a PR manager is a big responsibility, because you associate with the brand, and you are no longer an isolated individual in the public eye. Therefore, it is important that management link is in active communication with the PR manager, and that all information is shared instantly to make communications management more effective.

What do you do to keep the organization from falling behind on the latest trends, and keep applying innovative approaches to marketing?

Of course, the path to innovation is precisely the continuation of new experiences and knowledge. Accordingly, my partner, Marketing Specialist Keta Gogitidze, always strives to get involved in training programs, attend events in our field in Georgia and in different countries, and not only in our field, but also in the areas where we have projects to do. And there are many - from the medical field to business law. Our field is never separated - it is always in the polyphony of projects and the content of orders.

What is needed for successful communication with the public?

I have to talk about one of the trends that has been particularly relevant in recent years - that is, social responsibility. While social responsibility is often used to improve the reputation of a company, it's still a very positive trend. We need to take care that our sense of social responsibility remains a trend in our field for as long as it is a path that, along with other outcomes, does a great deal of good and, in a step-by-step way, serves to improve public opinion on one or another other issue. This direction seems, to me, inexhaustible, so far as I hope it will remain actual for a long period of time. Also, a key factor in establishing successful communication with the public is personal relationships. Furthermore, it is the largest capital in this field, built on experience and practice. I think, besides the knowledge and experience, that is why customers are choosing our agency.

One word that describes your job.

This is a kaleidoscope. We called our agency "Kaleido” on purpose. The main idea is that any reality, with its constituents, can be arranged so that the image becomes more attractive and appealing to the focus audience. This is like spinning a kaleidoscope, which is why we say we are working on a kaleidoscopic principle.

The most useful advice you’ve ever received in your life.

All new ideas cause euphoria, but an idea is valuable when it causes euphoria in at least 5 out of 10 people, even after 1 week.