Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
This Friday (March 16th), Hotel Hollywood in Sarajevo will host the Focus Conference, dedicated to communications in public administration and public companies, whose mission is to exchange knowledge and link and educate employees in public administration and public companies about the importance of communication processes for effective public informing.
In our region, public administration is considered almost proverbially slow and inert when it comes to public communication, making this conference all the more interesting and important. The fact that the sponsor of the Focus Conference is the City of Sarajevo is partly evidence that public administration perhaps doesn’t have such an “aversion” to public communication, and partly an indication that the city administration is prepared to improve not only its own public communication but also to support others in this. The conference will be opened by Mr. Milan Trivić, deputy mayor of the Sarajevo City, and a communicator who has built his career in the world of media.
On the occasion of this conference, we talked with Danijel Koletić, CEO of Apriori World, agency that organizes the Focus conference, who shared with us the reasons for organizing this conference, the current state of communication in public administration and companies, lecturers and other topics.
Media Marketing: What is the goal of the FOCUS Conference in Sarajevo?
Danijel Koletić: According to my estimates, in the past 20 years the international community and the budget institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina have invested more than €1.5m in the field of public relations through various educational programs, workshops and trainings. They have created a very good platform and one of the best quality staff in this area. Unfortunately, politicians and those who decide on the mission and the role and importance of public relations in public administration and public companies have not been sufficiently educated. There are individuals within the political community, ministers, mayors and directors of institutions and companies who understand that without good quality communication there are neither good leaders nor prosperity, but they stand out.
Media Marketing: What is the key of good communication in public administration and public companies?
Danijel Koletić: The key is first and foremost the understanding of the political community that, without structured PR standards in the public administration, there is no possible achievement of goals. One of the key aspects of this is that employees in public administration and public companies must understand that they are the ones representing the state, that their communication builds its reputation, that they are there to serve the people, and that the public relations experts are those who know how to properly communicate. People in public relations need to gain importance, because they are those who operatively communicate, in line with the strategies if such exist.
Media Marketing: What are your expectations from the FOCUS Conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
Danijel Koletić: In every profession, including this one, there are people who do their job with great passion and love, and who, despite the many obstacles, try to fight not only for their own status but for the good stories of those they represent. Since this is the first conference, I have to keep in mind that the situation in public relations profession is critical, because there is no active national public relations association. I’m happy that it will gather individuals working in public administration, but I also believe that representatives of PR agencies who represent a key partnership in the execution of communications projects in public administration will also be there. PR agencies and consultants are one of the keys to success because the synergy of their knowledge and operational capabilities represents a recipe for common success for the benefit of citizens.
Media Marketing: What is the essence of the Conference program?
Danijel Koletić: The essence of the program content is based on the exchange of experience and knowledge gained from good practice examples. I take this opportunity to thank the City of Sarajevo which recognized this initiative and accepted the patronage. Mr. Milan Trivić, Deputy Mayor of the City of Sarajevo, will open the conference and the BiH Public Administration Reform Coordinator Dragan Ćuzulan will also attend.
Conference speakers include Simon Jones, Director of Westco Communications and Chairman of Local Government Communications from UK, and Alessandro Butticé, Expert in Public Sector Communication in the EU, Vice President at EAPO&IC, and there will also be talk about experiences and practices from Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia. Since this is the first conference, and that professional synergy is only now being created within all levels of public administration in the communications sector as well as in public companies, I don’t expect more than around 80 participants.
Media Marketing: You don’t work in public administration. Why did you decide to organize a thematic conference of this type?
Danijel Koletić: I would dare say that, thanks to our reputation in the field of connecting and education through the PRO PR Conference, the idea simply occurred that we should start gathering employees dealing with public relations in public administration and public companies. Within this sector, there are many levels on which communication processes are conducted, so sometimes they find it hard to agree who among them knows more, who is ‘more’ in charge and in which level. All of us dealing with public relations in the private sector, as entrepreneurs and citizens, need public administration. I want my colleagues to get the status they deserve, and it’s the status of experts who have the know-how and who have already proven by their own work that they can do things. It’s important that we all contribute to the added value of our profession, because I believe that politicians, as I have already mentioned, and sometimes even the employees themselves, don’t appreciate the work these people do. My whole life I’ve been dealing with communications, so this is a logical development for me, and my own contribution to the profession. I always say that if we don’t talk positively about our craft, and if we don’t apreciate ourselves as a craft, then we can’t expect that respect from others. In this case, we want the political elite to understand that without public relations there is neither political nor functional success in the service of the people. That is why this conference is held under the motto Closer to People.