Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Nermin Nino Kasupović, NDM Agency
If I were forced to give this text a banal title, it would definitely say: “A small country for great conferences”.
Truth be told, such a title would be extremely true and to the point. Bosnia and Herzegovina can proudly say that it has three significant conferences devoted to the creative and communication industries.
We have the awesome Branding Conference in Sarajevo that sets new and advanced standards each year, both in organizational and production sense, as well as in the selection of speakers. It is incredible to watch the team behind the Branding Conference who surprise us every year. The day before you see their speakers in Sarajevo you can hear them in New York, and the day after you can listen to them in Dubai. Is it possible to be better? Yes it is! And they prove it every year.
In Banja Luka, we have the Play Media Day – a unique, playful, unusual and by no means ordinary regional communication event. For the third time the crew from Banja Luka show us how outstanding content is created, which is talked about throughout the year.
And the third – for me the most important conference – is definitely the Creative Republic which is being held this year for the fifth time in Bihac. The Creative Republic is a special kind of conference. We like to say it’s a very intimate conference, because we primarily focus on the emotion. Only 100 people can fit in our hall, and those 100 are born under a lucky star to have the opportunity to be in such an environment and surrounded by such people.
But since this text is a reflection about the recently held Play Media Day, I will not write much about the Creative Republic, because I guarantee that you will read a lot about it in the coming months. However, I will tell you something very important, the first two big conferences of this year have passed, and the Creative Republic is yet to come, so save the date, 13-15 September 2018. Keep track of the announcements, and rush to the site as soon as registrations open, and you might just be one of those hundred lucky ones this year.
After this lengthy introduction, let me get back to the main story, and my reflection of the Play Media Day 03. Only those who organize such an event know how hard it is to pull it off. I’m certain that because of this fact Vesna Beganović (Via Media), who organizes the Branding Conference, and I were screaming with joy when we saw what great job Diana Tepic and her Play Team are doing with PMD03. Great job team, I’m proud of you! The only objection I have is over putting such a brilliant program in a single day, because we all wanted to see all or almost all of the lectures.
The keynote was given by Sašo Dimitrievski (Pristop) who talked about creativity in the era of digitization. Sorry Sašo, I was on Mercury at that moment. And while I was on Mercury, Tatjana Vučić was on Jupiter, so I didn’t get to see her either. I was “on” Merkur with Borislav Miljanović (Represent System) who held a great lecture on the topic of digital transformation of the PR agency. He recalled all the changes that have taken place in the business over the last twenty years, but also all that awaits us in the near future. I hope we all learned something from Bora, and that some new changes won’t catch us unprepared.
As it usually goes with serious conferences – one layer of education, a layer of partying, and a layer of networking – so was this Friday in Banja Luka, at the Play Media Day 03. After the first coffee break, the incredible Fredrik Öst and Erik Kockum from the SNASK agency landed on “Uranus” in a pink spacecraft. This – as I have already said – incredible duo from Stockholm impressed the packed hall with their enthusiasm, positive energy and the whole process of work. They play differently than others, their tactics are susceptible to change, they are accustomed to seeing the old “conservative world” in the audience, and motivated by it as the boring nemesis, they score world class goals, and indeed in this way, through unconventional ideas, they help brands to be more visible.
After all the projects presented by Snask duo, the only thing we could conclude is that Sweden is the promised land. SNASK! Although I was planning to enjoy Bojan Hadžihalilović’s lecture, I came there at the very end because Snask also burned out his timeslot as well.
I wiggled through the rest of the lectures, coming in and out of halls, and using this time more for networking than anything else. And after lunch break, we had the panel I was most looking forward to.
The panel titled “The Power of Like“. The whole phenomenon of influencers fascinates me from a sociological-anthropological aspect. In this part of the text, I will repeat several times two phrases: “agency dwarves” and the “supreme beings”. And that’s exactly how it felt like. In the Uranus hall, there were mostly agency dwarves sitting in the audience, with supreme beings of influencer marketing sitting on the stage before them. The discussion was wonderful. Facts about numbers of followers were flying from all sides, and most importantly, reminders that all these numbers are organic. And then they started to convince us that these numbers aren’t important. It doesn’t matter if someone has 10K, 30K, 50K or 80K followers. It is the content that matters. Basically, after a great part of self-praise, the Q&A with the audience ensued. The interaction was initiated by Brankica Raković (Aquarius) with a series of brilliant questions about the relationship of influencers towards agencies. From all the answers we received, we could only conclude that we, the agency dwarfs, need them as the supreme beings, and that we have to look for them, not the other way around. After Brankica, we could hear a lot of advice from Vesna Beganović, who tried to present the experience she gained in the developed systems as a potential solution. Unfortunately, that could also not be accepted because – for god’s sake – the agency dwarves are trying to impose all sorts of licenses, regulations and rules on the supreme beings. And at the very end, my question came as a collateral damage. It was getting really hot in the hall, and the audience was just waiting for the end. I asked what’s the issue with the follow back button? If the content is important, not the number of followers, why not follow back? That’s the least they could do for those “poor sobs” they sell to their clients through the number of their followers. Answers looked identical and utterly unimaginative: “…I only follow people I’m interested in…” “… I don’t want someone spamming my feed with unimportant things…” “… that’s a lot of people, someone would have to sit all day just clicking the follow back … ”
I had a lot to add to all of their answers, but I felt sorry for the crowd who were dying of heat in the hall, and in the end, what gave me, an agency dwarf, the right to question these supreme beings?
But now, my dear influencers, after having had the chance to mull the whole thing a bit more, I want to offer you a couple of tips:
Agencies are your friends, and serious advertisers appreciate their agencies.
All of you talk about how your profiles are private, not business profiles. In their form they perhaps are still private, but if you earn income through them, they are a business.
You should advocate for regulations and licensing, because there are colleagues of yours, with 100k+ followers, who publicly call for physical violence against women.
Each of you is a small brand, so act like it. All of us, when we work on the development of small brands, always follow back our follower.
Please, follow back, because, you know, I see all these grandiose K’s of yours as robots that nobody needs. Because we also came to the conclusion that content is important, not the number, so why fear them.
I was thinking whether I should write any of this or not, and then I remembered what one of the influencers said: “No one reads anymore. People want quick stuff, pictures, videos, stories…”. So, no one will ever see the comments and tips I wrote here, and won’t hold a grudge hence.
The rest of the day I spent in the company of my dear friends Damira Ibranović, Dejana Mišković and Dragan Knežević, the future hopes of this industry, who are also experienced influencers and their follow back button always works.