Tekla Vekua: "Every Business Must Be Able to Keep up with Technological Changes"
Interview with Key Communications, Project Manager Tekla Vekua
Tell us about how you got into the field of communication, and what factors played an important role in choosing this profession?
I have graduated from the Free University School of Management and Social Sciences, which allows you to develop a very versatile personality and try your luck in many areas. As I enjoy communication with people, news, and so on, I got a Master’s Degree in Communications, and I worked for Imedi TV, and then at the National Library, in parallel with developing my own startup. I started working at Key in January 2019, and I was unfamiliar with working at many companies with the same strengths and dedication, but I soon realized that this kind of diversity was always a part of my life, and that was my primary driving force here.
Amidst the current technological changes, what challenges do you face?
Our partners are technological giants like Mastercard and Glovo, which provide key technological innovations to Georgian customers. I think it’s an achievement of these companies that you can pay using Apple Pay today, anywhere, and it’s become a major benchmark for E-commerce flexibility for the business; I think these two companies deserve it.
In general, every business should be able to keep up with the pace of technological change, and change old fashioned approaches, and this is clearly demonstrated by the Coronavirus crisis: Only those who adapt to new market rules survive.
What has changed in the field in the last 5 years, and what changes are expected?
Everything is becoming digital, roles are changing during the stages of brand development. 5 years ago, if a good and well-organized Facebook ad campaign would have worked, today, the same campaign would be a waste of time without the involvement of other digital channels. The role of influencers has increased, influencer marketing has become an increasingly complicated field, consumer behavior has changed, social networks have given everyone the power to openly express their views on a particular product or service, and receive accurate feedback from the company.
What do you think are the most important qualities a PR manager should have, and what is his or her role in the organization in general?
I don't think an organization necessarily needs an inhouse staff for PR. Key Communications serves up to 10 of the biggest, outsourcing companies, and I think very efficiently. When you look at a problem, a task, a goal from the outside, out of the box, you are not embraced by the company’s agenda, it is easy for you to make the right decisions, and run campaigns well.
What do you do to keep the organization from falling behind on the latest trends, and keep applying innovative approaches to the PR field?
We always try to follow global trends, and act accordingly, but we also have to take into account the Georgian context. We use every digital channel, online and classic media, to try to get our voice out there through different influencers, and make campaigns viral. Flexibility is probably our main advantage.
What is necessary for successful communication with the public?
Sincerity. First of all, you have to be honest with yourself, really enjoy what you do, and what you give to PR, and the public will take it with the right attitude.
One word that describes your job.
The most useful advice you’ve ever received in your life.
My beloved Kakha Bendukidze said, sometimes you win, sometimes you learn, this is is maybe the most useful piece of advice for me ; I took it as an example in all the challenges I’ve had in my life that I could not handle properly, I needed to learn this lesson well in order to win, no matter how many tries I give it.
Think of a person who inspires you professionally.
I have always liked President Obama's PR, so I often read about his campaigns and interesting situations handled by Stephanie Cutter, the "One Woman Attack Squad," to this day remains one of the most interesting professionals, as the woman who managed Obama’s image, despite the corporate barriers, and made PR campaigns that were diverse and compelling.