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Guest

Being a PR Pro In Bulgaria

By: Guest | February 22, 2011 | 
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Petya GoergievaPetya N. Georgieva is a PR specialist and a blogger who lives and works in Bulgaria. We asked her to blog for us today because we are going to begin exploring the similarities and differences of the communication industry in different countries. Thanks, Petya, for being the first from Bulgaria!

As I am the first Bulgarian PR pro to guest blog at Spin Sucks, I am not entirely sure what you would like to know about the PR industry in my home country of Bulgaria.

I may start with the fact that the profession is a young one and has been getting more popular during the past 10 years.

I may also say that the bigger part of society has the wrong perception on what is is that we do. This is because Bulgarian singers and fashion models pretend they work in the field because they organize parties and cocktails.

I may add that some of the clients that I have worked with have no idea how our industry functions, what its essence is, and how to evaluate success. Hence, I was very often asked the PR pros’ most hated questions, such as: ‘Can you tell the journalist to publish the article about us on the first pages?’.
I may also tell you that I’m still educating our clients mainly on traditional PR. (Not to mention PR 2.0).

On the other hand, I would not like to emphasize all those obstacles that the Bulgarian PR pros are dealing with. The image problems of the profession as well as defining the essence of it are the two biggest issues, which we all face, no matter where we live and work.

That’s why, I would like to tell you that even though the profession is immature, even though we as pros are working with small markets and low budgets, and even though there is still a misconception of our industry, there are still very good PR professionals in my country. They are doing their best to educate the business and the public, to provide quality services, to be creative and effective, ethical and professional.

Slowly but surely the profession is changing its face. As I am part of the younger population of PR pros, I am even more optimistic about the future. I am sure that knowledge, ambition and patience [read also ‘Patience is a PR virtue’] are our strongest assets, which can help us develop and do our job better.

Petya N. Georgieva is a PR specialist and a blogger from Bulgaria. You can check out her communications blog Higher & Higher or follow her on Twitter @pgeorgieva.

9 comments
rachaelseda
rachaelseda

This is why social media is so awesome. It's great to be able to have the opportunity to connect with other PR professionals from around the world and learn from each other's experiences. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I have many friends that I worked with in the state's from Bulgaria that I am still friends with and see whenever I go home (they're still in the states working in my hometown). I have learned a lot from them and love the different perspective we all have to teach each other. I hope to one day visit there, I heard it's beautiful!

jgwhitt
jgwhitt

Nice post. I am an American but doing PR in Western Europe, so it interesting for me to learn about the differences doing PR in various European countries. Thank you for the insight!

bdorman264
bdorman264

@Petya Nice post; very interesting. We have such freedoms in the US almost anything can be said. Knowing that you have to be careful not to be too controversial depending on what the 'political power of the day' will tolerate would be different.

Good luck and hopefully it is a sustainable occupation for you. Just remember 'Spin Sucks'....:)

Petya
Petya

Just want to add: By saying 'free' media (in my reply to HowieSPM) I regarded the ownership of the media outlets. The truth is that in my previous comment I didn't put serious focus on the fact that the political media content in Bulgaria is dependable on the 'political power of the day'. And yes, different media outlets have connections with different political figures, which is bad. But I just did not (want to) go deeper discussing the media freedom in political aspect as it is really an important question, which deserves a separate post. As I said my interrelations as a PR pro with Bulgarian journalists haven't been influenced by political reasons and I am not messing up with political PR.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Hi Petya

Thank you for the nice blog post. I am curious about a few things. Do all the news outlets enjoy full freedom of the press or is there still obstacles to deal with. I know that in Italy Berlusconi the PM controls much of the press there because he owns those companies and would think it might make it harder to get sympathetic PR coverage for a client.

And do most people get their news from print, TV, or online in Bulgaria currently?

Petya
Petya

@rachaelseda Social media really changed everything - it helped us to connect and build networks with people sharing our interests. First, I was blogging in Bulgarian language, but then decided that it will be more interesting and exciting to start in English in order to reach out PR people from all around the world. Six months later, I see that it is just wonderful to have connections in the other end of the world and discuss professional issues :)

You should visit Bulgaria! But don't forget to let me know when you are coming ;) Thanks for the great comment! :)

Petya
Petya

@jgwhitt Thanks for your feedback. I am glad the post was helpful :)

Petya
Petya

@bdorman264
Spin Sucks! We should never forget that!
Thanks for the comment! :)

Petya
Petya

@HowieG Hi, first thanks for your comment :) Good questions!
The media outlets in Bulgaria are free in covering news and presenting points of views. There are different outlets with different political orientation and support, but I think this is not a phenomena. What I notice in political aspect is the fact that the majority of journalists are not so brave enough to ask inconvenient questions. I do not take part in political PR, so I can't speak in detail. But I can tell an interesting thing regarding corporate public relations - TV stations are not allowed to quote corporate names because according to the media law this is considered to be an 'advertisement'. So this is an obstacle. [On the other hand they announce a corporate name if the company is connected with some kind of scandal - not paying salaries or something else].

Regarding news consumption: of course, it's quite different for the different age groups and different locations. In general, I think people are still getting the news from traditional media. As I am based in Sofia - the capital city, which is also the business and the administrative state center - I have noticed that people here are using Internet more actively than the others.

Interesting to add: News consumption via mobile devices as well as online buying are not so developed yet.

I hope this answers your questions :)