Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Dražen Novak
Photo: Miloje Sekulić, founder and director of the agency Homepage
Two days ago the PRijem event was held in Belgrade. An event at which the Serbian Public Relations Association (DSOJ) awarded the best in the Serbian PR business. The award for outstanding personal contribution in the field of communications Srđan Đurić was handed to Miloje Sekulić, founder and director of the agency Homepage. Today we talk with Miloje about the prize, the situation in the Serbian PR and the agency Homepage.
Media Marketing: How did DSOJ explain the award?
Miloje Sekulić: The explanation that was given at the truly excellently organized awards ceremony was brief and appropriate for the occasion. The proposal for my nomination contained a much lengthier explanation why this prestigious award was presented to me of all people. It revolves around the fact that for the past 15 years, while working either as a journalist or as a PR, or the director of the first digital department in a PR agency in Serbia, the owner of an independent agency for web design, as an internet and business consultant, and now as co-owner of the Homepage, I constantly and persistently advocated that internet be more, better and more creatively introduced into the PR profession and in communications in general. I did it through articles, blogs or lectures, and much more by working on specific projects, animating clients to turn to digital, winning awards and introducing younger people into the online story. Profession has recognized this effort and thanked me in a superb way. Thanks A LOT.
Media Marketing: How did you experienced it? Did you expect the lifetime achievement award?
Miloje Sekulić: I was aware of the nomination, of course. It prompted me to reflect on its importance because, although it bears the name of our dear colleague, a wonderful man and a great professional, Srđan Đurić, it is essentially a lifetime achievement award. Frankly, I don’t see it as the end of a career or a moment of culmination of my work – more like a roundup of a very beautiful and successful, but often difficult period of professional and personal life.
I had the privilege, and probably the courage, to turn my hobby and love into a job. Now I’m more focused on management, leading people and developing our business and projects, while great young people take over the operational duties, and they are excellent at it. I hope that my wish will come true to see myself in the not too distant future more in education. I have serious plans in this field, not only for myself of course.
Media Marketing: Your comment on the other awards presented by DSOJ?
Miloje Sekulić: Interesting topics, very diverse clients and challenging tasks. Projects and campaigns, mostly with a lot of elements of integration of different communication channels, with plenty of Digital, which of course brings me joy. There’s a significant departure from the relationship with the media which until recently were the alpha and omega for PR, partly because of inertia in the PR world, partly because of the expectations of clients, and mostly because of the lack of understanding of changes that are happening. I expect that DSOJ, as hinted, will gradually publish the entries, so we will be able not only to judge but also to learn. I look forward to it.
Media Marketing: How would you assess the situation in the PR profession in Serbia? Could things be better, and should things be better?
Miloje Sekulić: Things always can and should be better, and one should never be complacent, but same as we shouldn’t be inert, we also shouldn’t uncritically aspire to solutions which, for various reasons, are not applicable in a certain space. Balance is essential. PR profession in Serbia is in great transition, caused primarily by the fact that technology has enabled direct transfer of thoughts, ideas and content between individuals, and the fact that individuals, thanks to those same technologies, became the media in their own right. A gathering of youtubers, held a few months ago in Belgrade, in front of thousands of their fans, speaks volumes about this, and it’s definitely positive that some communicators already recognized this potential and have fully turned to it, almost bypassing traditional media because kids, which they are addressing, simply don’t consume them. The faster the PR people accept this new reality, the better it will be for them and their clients, and the profession as a whole.
Media Marketing: Agency Homepage belongs to the very top of Serbian PR. What are the current happenings in the agency?
Miloje Sekulić: Homepage is not a PR agency. We declare ourselves as an agency for the creative application of digital technology in communication. It’s a mix. An integration. For example, we recently used our software solution to connect the world of social networks and the LED panels on the streets of Belgrade and 12 other major cities in Serbia, with a tendency to develop a solution that will be globally applicable.
We are now doing radio social web and some activities from the agency job description for clients like the largest pharmaceutical company, a bank and a brewery in Serbia, as well as dozens of other clients, and we have reached the limits in business development. Realistically speaking, this is a small market for any kind of business activity, including our own, and the work we do, the knowledge and experience that we have allows us, with continuous learning, to expand globally. Operations towards foreign countries already exist with us in the traditional development, creativity, promotion as well as in designing and managing complete campaigns. What we are dealing now with is the search for specific global marketing and other digital niches where we want to position ourselves, either through projects, or spin offs in the form of startups, or as joint ventures with foreign partners. This, of course, doesn’t mean that clients in Serbia will be neglected. I believe that strong push on foreign markets will bring us new quality in Serbia. There will be some interesting news from Homepagers in the coming months.