Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Andrey Barannikov is the CEO of SPN Communications, Russia’s leading communications agency. Founded in 1990. It has 4 main offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar and Almaty, as well as divisions in 20 major cities of Russia. The agency cooperates with FIFA, the Faberge Museum, Russian Olympic Committee, Moscow Stock Market, etc. SPN Integrated Communications Factory is engaged in projects in the areas of event management, PR, advertising, digital influence, analytics and monitoring. One of the largest and strongest agencies in Eastern Europe. Since 2020, it has been included in the TOP 5 of the National Rating of Communication Companies. The first Russian winner of the IPRA Golden World Awards, 20-time winner of the SABRE Awards, 26-time winner of the IABC Gold Quill Awards.
Andrey Barannikov heads the organizing committee of the Baltic Weekend International Communications Forum. He is the Deputy Chairman of the organizing committee of the Public Relations award PROBA ICO Global PR Awards. Member of the jury and expert councils of numerous industry competitions. In his 28-year long career, Mr. Barannikov has won numerous awards: IABC Gold Quill Awards, SABRE Awards, Global SABRE Awards, Cannes Corporate TV& Media Awards, IPRA Golden World Awards, Silver Archer. In 2018 for the six time, he entered the Top-100 Russian managers and top-10 best General Managers in Russia in the field of Professional services. He is also the winner of the PRO. PR Globe Awards in 2014. This year he returns to the PRO. PR Conference as a lecturer. He will talk about the digital business strategy.
Media Marketing: What is the position of PR in Russia? Is it being appreciated as a professional field (both financially but also from the aspect of the management of companies) and how much experts are working in that field?
Andrey Barannikov: To begin with, it is very difficult to imagine a large company that does not have public relations departments or individual specialists in this field.
The role of PR in Russia is changing and becoming more strategically important both for brands and communication agencies. In-house departments for corporate communications, GR and sustainable development are being strengthened.
Over the years, trends in the field of PR technologies and brand promotion have changed, but the goals that companies pursue remain the same — reaching a new audience, increasing brand awareness. The trends of 2021 are based on how to move forward in the era of the pandemic and “quarantine” world are gaining momentum.
Now the amount of “players” in market has decreased by an order of magnitude. The media didn’t write much about it, but for the past year, one or more PR&comms agencies left the market almost every week.
In the latest National rating of communication companies (НР2К), its only 75. However, firstly, not all of them can be called PR agencies. Moreover, secondly, revenue (not profit!) many “players” do not exceed 6 million rubles a year-about the level of earnings of a cool single freelancer. SPN Communications is at the top of the rating for a reason – our experience in market is known to almost every brand in Russia.
Media Marketing: What should companies, which want to hire agencies, consultants in PR, know if they want to enter the Russian market? From your experience, how much should a brand financially invest if they want to cover the whole Russian market?
Andrey Barannikov: Each country has its own peculiarities in the mentality of population and PR of foreign brands or companies, of course, must adapt to the technologies for unique impact on the audience while maintaining all necessary messages.
The question “which agency to choose” is at the discretion of the company\brand. It is worth being acquainted with the agency’s cases, with the creative presentation, and then choose based on the stated communication messages, how much everything that you have considered corresponds to you.
For example, I’ll tell you a little about the influencers. Russian advertisers and agencies should adopt some of the foreign experience in order to work with bloggers more effectively and get more returns from advertising. We have our own specifics in Russia, this is a fact. The cases with influencers is still developing in Russia and there are no templates here. Content is created every day and its messages are improved day by day.
I can’t answer your question about financial coverage unequivocally. The specifics of the PR industry is a point-by-point gradual impact on the audience and immediately capture the entire Russian market just will not work. If this is a unique brand that does not exist in Russia, then the primary task of the company is to convey the values to audience in order to inspire confidence. There are many brands both in the Russian and foreign markets. You need to highlight the uniqueness, demonstrate deep insights, and then the question of financial profit will be obvious. It’s about goals – what a particular company or brand needs.
Media Marketing: You are the founder and CEO of the first Russian platform for education and gathering of experts in the field of PR – the Baltic Week, which is being organized to this very day. You took part in organizing international events such as the Football World Cup, Eurovision, etc. How do you see PR and what is the function of PR in comparison to the media? Is the space in the media being charged (promo PR)? What are the standards and values that are appreciated?
Andrey Barannikov: Today, PR is defined as “one of the options for management activities aimed at improving the effectiveness of the organization and improving its strategic prospects, as well as interacting with the people who are necessary to perform these objectives.” In essence, functions focused on organizing two-way communication and increasing the benefits of the relationship between the organization and society. Building effective public relations is about delivering messages that reflect the goals of the organization, and are aimed at increasing profits, but also meet the needs of the audience.
Effective PR involves communication with the media. In their absence (impossibility, unwillingness to contact directly), an artificial situation is created, which itself leads journalists to sensationalize. You can “feed” press releases and other types of PR texts to the mass media — television, newspapers, online publications-give comments and interviews, hold special events where journalists, editors, and owners of publications will be invited guests.
Working with media is the main direction of a PR specialist. PR and Media complement each other. There is no comparison here. To increase the awareness of the company, to highlight an event or other activity, PR specialists attract the media and then you already control the opinion in one way or another. The media themselves can write anything and be independent of PR.
Interaction with the media is possible on a paid basis with a partnership within the framework of the project. Sometimes it’s a barter story for an information partnership.