Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Something completely coincidental happened Thursday evening, like in some perfect scenario. At the end of the first working day of the PR Days Mostariensis conference, organized by the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Mostar, I was awarded the Charter for outstanding contribution to the development of public relations, integrated communication and media in Southeast Europe. At that exact moment, a message came from my daughter Asja from Switzerland, informing me that it is exactly six years since we started publishing Media Marketing portal, and which we have been publishing every working day since. I knew we launched it in November, but I really couldn’t say exactly what year. If Asja says it was six years ago, then it was six years ago, because with her two and two are always four. When I do math, I always come shorter.
We started the adventure six years ago quite accidentally. I was drinking coffee with my co-worker Jasmina who suggested that we should launch a portal and gave me a couple of very convincing arguments. She even said she had a friend who knows everything about it. Like usual – which in my case does not mean it’s always good – I immediately told her to call her friend and schedule a meeting. We were going with the portal immediately. I wanted to run away from the print edition of Media Marketing, which was very complicated to issue and was constantly producing losses. The three of us met that afternoon. In the evening I had a meeting with Dubravko Grubišić, Httpool director for BiH who promised me that he would do everything necessary on the programming side, domain lease and all that. The morning after, I went to Fabrika to meet with Bojan Hadžihalilović, and agreed that Fabrika would do the design of the portal. Twenty-four hours after that coffee with Jasmina, the wheels of creating a portal were already rolling fast. And then, everyone started bombarding me with questions. Dubravko needed information on the content (section names and similar) so he could code it. Fabrika also needed a bunch of information for the design, the girl who was supposed to post the content when it was all finished also had her questions. And I had no clue about any of that. The worst of all was that at that moment I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into. Only when it was all done, and when the portal went online ten days later, only then I realized that it’s a bottomless pit, which took ten hours from me each day for the next six years, to this date. “Where will we get the news?” “Well, I guess from the agencies, which will gladly send us their works because it’s a great opportunity for their own promotion.” That was the first and the biggest mistake. Communication agencies do not communicate.
For the first year or two, everything was like pulling out healthy teeth – and without anesthetics at that. We expanded both our content and our geographical reach, but the agencies continued to behave as if we were a nuisance for them, not an opportunity. Even today, we rarely manage to get new campaigns when they come out, because our agencies can’t send them without the consent of the clients. Hundreds of thousands of people see a campaign on TV or on billboards, but when it comes to sending the campaign to Media Marketing, a problem arises. Agencies ask their clients, and clients usually send their consent ten days later – I guess they need to really mull whether they want more positive publicity!? In the early days we rolled with it. But for quite some time now we have stopped publishing campaigns that everyone have already seen, and have been seeing them for a long time. We are a daily portal and something that happened a week or two ago is simply old news for us.
I knew that things are moving in the right direction when creative and business leaders of the regional advertising industry accepted to write columns for us. We started to get great original texts and opinions, which attracted more and more visitors. In 2015 we even published a book of columns, and organized lunches with columnists to personally hand them copies of the book.
Visits grew day by day. Two years ago, in a couple of interviews we published in the same month, Sašo Pešev (New Moment New Ideas Company Skoplje), Žarko Sakan (New Moment Belgrade) and Davor Bruketa (Bruketa & Žinić) said that the regional markets are a bit small for their agencies, and that they want to reach for the world market. That was a cue for me to launch the English version of the portal. I succeeded in bringing Adnan Arnautlija, a great translator for English, to Media Marketing, and we hired Gina Landor from London to proofread our English texts. And so it started. We saw the first results in the form of increasing visits from Slovenia and Macedonia, where young people don’t know either Serbian or Croatian. We set things up so that all who come to the portal outside of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro automatically go to the English version. Slowly but surely, visits started coming from across the world. Today, 30 percent of our visitors come from outside the Adriatic region and this percentage is increasing every day. For a few months now, we regularly receive campaigns from agencies from all continents – fresh campaigns that are just about to start or have started that exact day.
There were ups and downs, but one thing we never accepted. We never yielded and sided with the “yellow” stream in the media, especially digital. Although almost daily we get “exclusive” news that are directed against someone (agency or client), we don’t publish them even though they would significantly boost our readership. We are not a portal that sells ads per clicks. We want to be the most relevant medium of the regional advertising industry (as we are), with focus on advertising development. We were in the industry when it was going through a major recession crisis, we promoted creativity in advertising, we follow the festivals and we are always trying to be current and fast. It happens sometimes that I have to wait for an article until three o’clock in the morning, and then I start waking up my team, to get it translated and posted so it could go online in the morning. And not one of us ever complained about it, because we know we are doing the right thing.
Of course, without the help and support of friends, we couldn’t succeed. Media Marketing has a circle of friends that we can always count on. We see their support as the support for the entire industry. We all have an interest in further development of advertising.
Although it’s always risky to thank someone, because I could forget someone, I will take that risk now, and say thank you to (in alphabetical order): Alert Agency, Branislav Brkljač and Terra Panonica, agency Bruketa&Žinić, agencies Communis Beograd and Communis Sarajevo, Croatia osiguranje, agencies Direct Media Beograd, Direct Media Ljubljana and Direct Media Sarajevo, Fabrika, agency Formitas BBDO, I&F McCann Grupa, HURA, agency Imago Ogilvy, Institute Mediana, Mercator, Media Pool, Mita Group, MMS Communications, New Moment, agency Paideia, Press Clipping, Program Plus, Raiffeisen Bank BiH, Represent Communications, SOZ and Studio Sonda Poreč.
There are plenty of others to whom we are grateful, but our greatest gratitude goes to the agencies and advertisers I’ve mentioned above.
Thank you everyone! We will try to be even better and more useful to the whole industry. We have many ideas for 2018.
Stay with us, we know how to appreciate it!