Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Asja Dupanović
Filip Orlić joined the MPR+ team in 2014 as junior advisor. Today, only five years later, he is the executive director of the agency’s PR department, advising some of its biggest and most successful clients from different industries (Ernst&Young, Samsung, Svjetlost Clinic), and has repeatedly ran big projects such as the European University Games Zagreb- Rijeka 2016 or the selection of EY Entrepreneur of the Year.
MM: Are you in communications industry because you love this job or just because you have to do something?
Filip Orlić: Everyone who has experienced the “magic” of agency work in the communications industry knows that only some kind of “masochistic” love for this job can keep a person in the industry for a long time. I recently celebrated my fifth anniversary in MPR, and the fact that I’m still in the agency is perhaps the best answer to your question, and a confirmation that I enjoy this job and agency work.
MM: What attracted you the most to join the industry?
Filip Orlić: The need for a job that allows creative expression in any form, constant testing of my own limits, daily acquisition of new knowledge and meeting new people from all spheres of business and life, work outside the office and the absence of any form of work monotony are some of the main reasons why I started my career and still build it in this branch.
MM: You’ve joined the MPR+ team in 2014, and over the last five years you climbed to the position of executive director of the PR department. Today you advise some of the agency’s biggest and most successful clients from different market segments in Croatia. What is your narrow specialty, and an area in which you feel at home?
Filip Orlić: Over the five years I’ve been working in the agency, I had the chance to try myself in different branches of industry – from event management, crisis communication, media relations to creative communication concepts. Each of these areas has its own rules, requires special skills and knowledge, and agencies are actually the ideal environment to test your own abilities in different segments of business. Communication is a skill, and you can communicate successfully through all sorts of formats and channels, and our job is to advise the client how to best meet their goals. With the development of our industry the expectations in the market have changed as well (both of clients and agencies themselves). PR today is expected to be versatile and successful in various areas of public relations. I personally enjoy most when working on organization of events that are particularly unpredictable, adrenaline boosting, but at the same time bring visible results on the spot. However, the desire for personal development and constant acquiring of new experiences is still stronger than interest in narrower specialization in a particular area of public relations. I intend to keep this attitude, and to be engaged in a whole range of areas within our branch through my work. I must also point out that I am fortunate in this sense because MPR, as an agency with a rich portfolio of clients and projects, offers an opportunity for such a work, which is a particular satisfaction.
MM: What does your work day look like?
Filip Orlić: I could answer this question in 365 ways for any given year. There is really no average working day. Every single one is special, bringing new challenges, projects and business situations, and that is exactly what makes our business enticing. Unpredictability, everyday adrenaline, fun, but also stress are everyday occurrences. As every day is different, so my job changed over time. I recently became executive director of our PR department, and currently I devote greatest focus on the members of the agency’s PR team in order to optimize our business processes and thus offer our clients the best possible service. MPR currently has more than 30 active clients that we offer public relations services and with which we have day-to-day communication that requires full-day engagement and systematic approach to work.
Usually, the day begins with the internal coordination briefings through which we discuss upcoming activities and work on a plan for that day. And then the fun starts. Meetings with clients (current and potential), preparation of documents (strategies, plans, presentations …), communication with the media … Lunchtime gets squeezed in somewhere. Never skip lunch. This is one of the key tips for all young leaders. This is just a metaphor for what I really want to say, and that is to never forget about yourself in the everyday work, and that it is crucial to find a balance between work and time for yourself.
MM: What should the young leaders learn and adopt from their senior colleagues?
Filip Orlić: Every industry, including communications industry, has its own rules. And who better to help teach us about them than our senior colleagues? However, one thing that I’ve recognized through work in the agency is that diversity and strong individuals are especially appreciated. Every person is unique, and it is crucial to keep that personality and to develop it through work. I say this with the desire to remind that older colleagues are an invaluable source of knowledge, skills, useful tips, and a kind of role models in work. However, every young professional can use their knowledge in some way to challenge the existing rules, ways of working, and offer new solutions outside defined frameworks.
MM: And what should they definitely discard from that legacy?
Filip Orlić: Things are quite clear in this sense. Absorb knowledge from every individual, but also raise awareness on that which you most dislike in your colleagues work, and do your best not to emulate such attitude toward work, colleagues, clients. In short, learn from the mistakes of your senior colleagues in order not to repeat them.
MM: When we talk about crazy, brave ideas, there is a general opinion that the communication industry is gripped with fear. Agencies are afraid of losing a client, a client is afraid of losing his/her job. How can we conquer that fear, and how much can you, the young leaders, contribute to getting the industry out of this situation?
Filip Orlić: Things might seem like that at first glance, but I believe that we are getting better and better in that sense. Agencies, but also clients, are developing, seeking their place in the market and in that quest it is often necessary to do something extra and special (braver) in order to reach your audience. The arrival of younger generations will surely contribute to improving this situation further. A young, rebellious spirit, not yet shackled by the framework of expected and preferable, has always been the driver of change. The same is true in our industry.
MM: What would you advise your peers – to join you in this industry or try to find a better job?
Filip Orlić: What could be better than not knowing where the day will take you, whom will you meet, what an incredible and challenging task you will find on your desk (or in your email), and how far you will have to test yourself in creating new value? If someone has a problem with that, I advise them not to even consider working in an agency. All those who will say “Where can I apply?” after reading this are welcome, and I’m sure they will not regret it even for a second.
MM: What do you consider the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the years you’ve been living the agency life?
Filip Orlić: You never know what tomorrow brings, both in your own professional development and in your daily work. In that sense, one of the most valuable lessons is that there is no room for relaxation. You are your own most important motivator and it is up to you what you’ll achieve and where you’ll be tomorrow.
Don’t expect others to work for you. Others will worry about their own careers. And don’t expect things to happen on their own. It is up to you to fight for your position. Investing in one’s own knowledge is the only path that leads to results, and they will come only with your maximum engagement. Of course, healthy work environments will quickly recognize such effort and knowledge, colleagues will appreciate it and the market will reward it.
MM: How do you see the future of communications industry?
Filip Orlić: Maybe it’s best to give my own example here. Public relations as a profession, the work that PR agencies do and the services they offer their clients today have almost nothing in common with those of five years ago when I joined the industry.
The needs of clients have changed so profoundly. The market has matured. The way media function and the way in which they are consumed have changed, and some completely new communication channels have emerged. Such dynamic and rapid changes will surely continue and potentially even speed up.
For this reason, people working in this industry must continually invest in their own development to keep up with all the trends, develop new knowledge and respond to market demands, and ultimately provide quality communication and business solutions to clients.
In the future, public relations agencies will offer their clients a wider spectrum of services, from business consulting, to the development of special products and services. The best will stand out by not being a classic service and a connection between clients and the public / users / media, but will actively participate in the development of clients’ business models.
MM: How much free time do you have, and how do you enjoy spending it?
Filip Orlić: Working in an agency implies that there is no fixed working time, and that work is done when the job demands it. However, it is important to ensure enough free time to relax and recharge the batteries for new challenges. Work in this industry actually seeps into all the pores of your life, and the best business ideas often appear in moments when you are not at work, and when you are doing completely different things.
So, it often turns out that you’re working even when you’re not at work. Nevertheless, I try to use free time to enjoy things that are not closely related to the job.