Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
The FOCUS Conference is organized by the Zagreb-based communication agency Apriori World, under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts of Croatia and the Croatian Association of Counties.
It is the first specialized conference dedicated to public sector employees, which was held for the first time in Tuhelj in December last year. Due to the extremely high interest for participation in this conference throughout the region, there was also a one-day FOCUS conference in March this year in Sarajevo and then in June in Belgrade.
The first day of the conference offered participants the opportunity to hear a lecture by renowned British expert Marcus Chrysostomou, director at Westco, communications agency of the Westminster municipality in London. The program then moved to Simon Ferjuc, an EU funding expert, who spoke about the prospects for the development of the public sector through EU funds, and the director of the Maribor water supply system, Danilo Burnač, presented a successful example of implementing a communication strategy in this public company.
For the first time, six debates were held in which the participants could actively participate and in co-operation with the moderators of the debates draw conclusions and guidelines that would then serve to prepare the communication strategy of a public company or administration. The Transparency and Finance Debate was led by the Secretary-General of the Croatian Association of Counties Melita Pavlek, and the Media Relations Debate was moderated by the Head of the Public Relations Department and protocol of Primorsko-Goranska County, Ermina Duraj. Participants discussed digital communications with Lea Stoiljković Medved, Head of the Media and Digital Communications Department at the City of Rijeka, and Ana Keglović Horvat, Director of AKH Consulting. The guidelines for developing a communication strategy for internal communication were presented by the Director of Corporate Communications of the Croatian Post Office, Jo Kempen, and the CEO of Elektroprivreda Crne Gore, Rajko Šebek.
The importance of educating civil servants and the quality of preparation of the communication strategy for education was discussed in a debate moderated by PhD. Mirela Holy, a professor at VERN University and an external communications specialist in Elektroprivreda Crne Gore, Eleonora Albijanic.
At the end of the first day of the conference, there was a debate on the communication strategy of international relations, moderated by Ivana Đurić, Head of Communication Suits at the Serbian Ministry of European Integration.
The second day of the conference began with a lecture on media evaluations given by Tihana Ela Kružić, Head of the Media Analysis Unit at the Media Monitoring and Analysis Agency Press Clipping, followed by lectures by Adviser at the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Vlatka Šelimber, who presented important facts in the process of digitization of public administration.
A prominent Croatian communication expert, Krešimir Macan, addressed the issue of defining strategic public relations messages in public administration.
President of the organizing committee of Focus Conference, Mr. Danijel Koletić, announced a new program for awarding public sector communications experts in 10 categories called Focus Awards. The categories are: digital world, finance, branding, event, internal communication, crisis communication, publication, spokesman, team/department and mayor.
Then followed a discussion moderated by PhD. Katarina Miličević, a scientist from the Institute of Tourism and a professor at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management, who is the chair of the Croatian Youth Hostel Association, who was joined by Martin Baričević, Mayor of the Jasenica Municipality and President of the Association of Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia, Božidar Antolec, president of LAG Zrinska Gora Turopolje and the head of the Lekenica tourist office, and Peter Misja, the mayor of the Slovene municipality Podčetrtek.
Participants also had the opportunity to hear lectures about international examples from practice. A distinguished Bosnian-Herzegovinian communications expert and head of the Public Relations Sector of the BiH Communications Regulatory Agency, Amela Odobašić, spoke about the competences of communications experts in public administration. The conference also focused on integrated communication and its successful practical examples, presented by PhD Nataša Krstić, from the National Academy of Public Administration of the Republic of Serbia, while Urban Kramar, Senior Public Relations Advisor to the Municipality of Novo Mesto, presented an example of successful implementation of communication processes in this Slovenian municipality.
The last session of the Focus conference was dedicated to digitization. Nikola Ivančić from the Zagreb company CodeVision talked about the possibilities of innovative approaches to achieving sustainable development while his colleague Josip Bukal, together with the Executive Director of the Association of Blind Zagreb, Goran Denis Tomašković, spoke about the EU Directive on accessibility of websites and mobile apps, which will enter into force on September 23 this year, and to which all public companies and institutions in the Republic of Croatia will have to adapt in the coming period.
The FOCUS Conference is held under the patronage of the Croatian Association of Counties and the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts. This first specialized conference for public sector employees in SE Europe aims to position the public relations profession and provide communication professionals with the opportunity to share their knowledge, experience and ideas, all in order for the public administration and public companies to present their work to citizens better, and achieve transparent communication with them.
For this very reason, the motto of this international conference, which is held for the fourth time, is “Closer to People”.