Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Brankica Raković is PR Director at Aquarius. She has an exceptional ability to understand the Bosnian-Herzegovinian market and the communication it needs, as well as the exceptional ability of chameleon-like application of communication through PR tools. Behind her are many successful PR campaigns and strategically important activities. She’s one of the pioneers of the digital community of BiH and today one of the prominent online influencers in BiH. I remember from the time when Aquaris often sent us news and statements that I could tell which texts were signed by Brankica, thanks to the literacy, quality of content and relevance. Unfortunately, we haven’t received any news from Aquarius for a long time. Maybe, after this interview, they start coming again.
MEDIA MARKETING: You are in PR because you have to do something, or because you love this job?
Brankica Raković: Even if I was to start everything all over again, I would still choose PR. I love my job and what I do, and I see myself in it even 20 years from now.
MEDIA MARKETING: Why PR? What attracted you to these waters?
Brankica Raković: That, as everything else that matters in life, happened quite accidentally. I would dare say PR found me, not the other way around. I’ve been in this industry for ten years, and then, when I started writing press releases, it was a big deal for me. I remember me writing a statement for one of the clients an entire day. This stage of attraction went step by step, with every new layer that I discovered, and still discover today, I am more convinced that I have chosen the right profession.
MEDIA MARKETING: You entered PR quite early, and all the time (which is not short) that you’ve spent in Aquarius. How good are the experiences?
Brankica Raković: Yes, I’ve been with Aquarius for ten years, with some shorter breaks and excursions. It’s a great honor to work with Brana Janković and learn from her. Brana is one of the pioneers of marketing in BiH, and she has woven a piece of her knowledge into each of us, especially when there were fewer of us. Aquarius is an agency that allows you to be what you are, to grow to your potentials, and, if you are capable, to go even beyond. Wide range of clients, contact with the market outside of BiH, constant learning from senior colleagues – these are just some of the benefits of working at Aquarius.
MEDIA MARKETING: What’s the standing of PR in BiH? Did it take its rightfull place in the communications industry?
Brankica Raković: I think it still isn’t there. For good PR you need strong, free media, and journalism is pretty much reduced to copy paste and content decisions coming from different sides. Unfortunately, or luckily, a lot has come down to the Internet, but we will see what will come of it eventually. Perhaps the biggest problem in the PR segment today is that it has somehow managed to become something that everyone thinks they can handle. I can freely say that after ten years in PR, I still wouldn’t dare hold lectures on this subject, to claim to be an expert. Because this matter is so broad and alive – constantly changing. PR in BiH still needs training and learning. Its rightful place in the communications industry will come right after that.
MEDIA MARKETING: Which of your PR campaigns was a special challenge, and which of them do you remember most dearly?
Brankica Raković: One of the basic features of working at Aquarius is that (almost) everything is done wholeheartedly. We put so much love in the new campaigns and challenges that it is impossible to separate them later to those which are more or less dear to you. Nevertheless, my answer will always be the PR campaign for Demofest, a festival that was created in the Aquarius. We, the festival and I, started coming out to the wider public in the same year, and we grew together. Now we are preparing the PR campaign for the movie Meso, which comes from Bosonoga production and I feel butterflies while we are working on the strategy. Just like back in 2008, when the first Demofest was held.
MEDIA MARKETING: You are considered one of the strongest influencers on social networks in BiH. What does that mean and how did you earn such an important epithet?
Brankica Raković: Can I disagree with this statement? (laughs)
My way of writing on social networks has even been given a name internally – emotional nudism. Sharing of emotions, attitudes, and personal experiences has often brought me negative consequences as well, but they were mostly worth every letter because of the new people who entered my life and opened up new opportunities. There’s no recipe for success. Those nearly 50,000 people on the social networks are there for two reasons: because they often find themselves in what I’m writing, especially since I became a mother, or they are so annoyed by it that they can’t miss anything.
And, on the other hand, it’s not as much about me, as it is about social networks in BiH. They are also waiting to be utilized in the right way.
MEDIA MARKETING: What should young leaders learn from their older colleagues and apply in their work?
Brankica Raković: They must learn patience. This is the most important lesson. And they must learn to deal with failure. When some of their ideas are criticized, when they are not accepted, when they are completely changed, they shouldn’t perceive it as the end of the world and allow it to demoralize them, on the contrary, they should see it as a motivation to draw the best out of it. All of this is from personal experience because I’m currently learning these lessons myself.
MEDIA MARKETING: And what should they definitely discard from that legacy?
Brankica Raković: Television (laughs). The media image and pulse of the market is changing. Market is moving to other locations. Some things, methods and proven recipes for success will cease to work because we witness changes in the consciousness of the coming generations. But, in the end, nothing should be completely discarded. Everything can be repacked.
MEDIA MARKETING: What would you advise to your peers? To join you in this industry, or to try to find a better job?
Brankica Raković: Join me. This industry lacks motivated, creative, dedicated and hardworking people who don’t give up on the first step, nor do they bloat after only three appearances in front of the cameras.
MEDIA MARKETING: How do you envision the future of PR within the communications industry? Will it completely move to digital media, or…?
Brankica Raković: It will not. Especially not in BiH. We are a country of old people, and they are an important part of the target group that I often have to address. Also, middle-age generation has not fully accepted the internet, and they hold a lot of money and are usually the decision makers. We will wait to see what the future of the media industry is in this region, because that will determine the further course of our industry.