Analytic Vision

Posts Tagged ‘market’

Why Public Relations Are Not Marketing

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 07/12/2017

What the PR person does

The public relations activity is made up of the work performed by the PR person/ team in order to:

  • get documented regarding facts and check the source of information by means of one’s own research work;

  • research and segment the audiences, profoundly knowing their way of thinking, speaking, expressing themselves;

  • prepare the communication agenda considering the following: the message that is intended to be sent, the available channels, the environment, the resource funds required for performing the communication and the most efficient impact which can be generated by enforcing the agenda on the image capital of the organization/client;

  • plan the means, ideas and content to be sent to the target-audiences, and achieve a support-platform meant to sustain the set agenda;

  • adapt using the means and content of the environment, so that the ideas communicating the identity of the organization would remain stable in the long run;

  • monitor the impact that the performed actions have on the target-audience in the long run;

  • carefully analyze the steps taken by the competition, by tracking and comparatively reviewing their external public relations speech as compared to their own impact further to the public relations communication;

  • develop actions which would continue/capitalize further to the already obtained results;

  • prevent the crisis situations or promptly respond as soon as they occur, and prepare plans for the situations initially believed to be unpredictable, based on the principle “hope for the best, plan for the worst”, etc.

The speeches characteristic to the public relations structure are considering the following categories of target-audience: internal audience of the organization (employees, volunteers, collaborators), management and external audiences (clients, providers, NGOs, local authorities, opinion leaders, etc.). The public relations speech must be shaped, first of all, according to the interests of the organization, and second of all, according to each public that it addresses to, after being segmented according to the criteria required in order to make the speech relevant. The speech of the PR representative implies influencing, subtle persuasion, inspiration, putting ideas where nobody would have thought that they could occur, with the purpose of being assimilated without noticing the “packaging”.


The credibility of the sent message, between reply and feedback

The public relations person has a certain type of speech regarding the managerial activity component, influencing the leader to make the best decisions for the organization by means of the advice that he gives. The same PR specialist has another type of speech towards the internal audience, regarding the quality management. For instance, with Raiffeisen Bank in Romania, the construction of the quality management speech was based, in 2007, on a research of the joint values of the members in Romania, from all values, which was run through the filter of the managerial decisions in order to promote those values which are in agreement with the organizational policy, of those which were most frequently to be found with the employees.

Structuring the speech in terms of the importance for each audience, the public relations person comes, by means of the messages he sends, to play an influence and inspiration role in the public relations structure of the organization. There are certain aspects which are at stake in the speech delivered to the management, knowing that these will “weigh more”, and others when the speech is addressed to another audience. At the same time, the internal communication must be congruous with the external communication, because, as Philip Kotler stated in Marketing Management, there is also that interactive marketing, the one between the company’s employees and the potential clients – in other words, what it is found out about the company from those working within it, a feedback to the employer branding.

Kotler’s Triangle

Graphics by Irina Chiriță, 2017

For instance, by means of branding as an organizational identity attribute, a company wants to communicate the “openness” value. At the same time, the chief financial officer is a fiend who has to receive all the expense accounts to be signed, which are exceeding 10 $. Of course, it will be a challenge to send a certain piece of information via the official channel when something completely different comes out of the “back door”. The reply to be received by the company’s potential clients, who come in direct contact with its representatives, will be standard. However, the feedback will be a different one. The feedback is an implicit, indirect, spontaneous, unconscious and difficult to control reply, which seems obvious nonverbally and paraverbally and can emphasize or disproportion the reply, which is direct, conscious and previously thought about.

Let us think of an example. The reply that I, as a client of X bank, receive to the questions I ask at the counter is satisfactory from the viewpoint of the requested information. However, the feedback I receive non-verbally is one of dispatch, coming from a frustrated young lady who has reached her limit at the end of the day, confronted with who knows how many cases which have put her last ounces of patience to the test, and which she has decided to put up with for the salary she cashes.

The public relations policy at this level concerns the management of the reply delivered to the client, but the importance of feedback is often no longer taken into account. As a counterexample, in the USA, one of the most highly appreciated banks by the clients beats the drum about offering the highest interest rates and the most disadvantageous financial conditions, but the clients continue to resort to it because they are always welcomed by constantly sincere and happy bank clerks.


What marketing does differently

Planning the marketing activity refers to markets (not audiences), and it is oriented towards satisfying a certain sales target on a certain market. The marketing activity is an economic activity placing the product at the disposal of the markets at a price/cost ratio as advantageous as possible for the trader.

The public relations speech is addressed to the audiences, which can especially interfere with the markets: several audiences can be found in the same market or several markets in the same audience. For instance, BookFest and BookLand are addressed to different markets, but to the same public: the one interested in training, development, improvement. Thus, in these markets, the following markets are intertwined: specialty books market, fiction market, electronic books market, audiobook market. All the consumers of these markets can be found within the audiences interested in what reading means. The fact that the offer comes from specialized providers is a component which must be taken into account by the PR specialist in segmenting the audiences, and constructing the message so that the event brand identity would be communicated to all the niches as clearly as possible. The brand is addressed both to the audience, and the niches, as it is a blend of marketing and public relations (although it tends towards marketing more, because it can be measured quite precisely, unlike the public relations which in general have results difficult to quantify).

The two activities are interdependent, but marketing focusses on tasks, activities, tangible things, and it is closer to sales in a mathematical spirit, while PR focusses on people, relations, intangible things, and it is closer to HR, in a human spirit. The public relations communication finds its place in the marketing mix by means of the contribution it brings by customizing the relation between product/service and its buyer.

Thank you!

Happy branding!

Ştefan Alexandrescu

Communication strategy and human resources consultant

Translation of the article ”De ce relaţiile publice nu sunt marketing originally published in Romanian by Ștefan Alexandrescu at the 24th of November 2012 on Discerne. Translated by Cristiana Boicu, 2017. Initially written in April 2008. Updated by Ștefan Alexandrescu Romanian in November 2014 and in English at 25.10.2017. Romanian text copyright (C) Ștefan Alexandrescu, 2008. Photo copyright (C) Irina Chiriță. English translation copyright (C) Cristiana Boicu. 


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The Same Kind of Different As Me

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 30/04/2017

Working as a marketer for freelancers and entrepreneurs can sometimes be very interesting because you have different  opportunities. Such an opportunity is to find out that many of those who are offering services, especially personal services, are looking for clients who are just like them. That means that, for example, that the coach might be interested in having the kind of customers who are interested in personal development and aiming goals, the same as him. The coach’s clients would be very similar to the coach and less preoccupied with solving problems, traumas and other kind of issues. That is, not the kind who are going to a  therapist for solving problems, as coaching is in the goal business.

So, for example, what if a marketer has a preference for a kind of public or kind of audience that has some kind of value for the resemblance it falls to him or to her. What does that mean? It means that the marketer might hold or see a value, an interest, in marketing to the same kind of different as themselves. That implies that not only do these people might think or choose in the same ways, but they might hang around in the same kind of networks, in the same kind of contexts, social systems and they will be much more easily found there.

One of the problems that such entrepreneurs and freelancers have is the fact that they do not consider themselves as ready or as prepared to deal with that audience. Why? Because maybe they think “Oh, I do not have enough time to spend at the kind of networking events that the people like me would go to”. So, there is a tendency for some freelancers to have this kind of idea, this kind of optimal idea about how or where or when it would be appropriate to find the right clients. But the truth is that (1) usually people are looking for solutions for their necessities and (2) these necessities are not always the same as everybody else’s (they might be so personal that only a limited number of people would have the same interest in the same moment). So it is often difficult finding an audience because you have to find a niche: that niche presents the  challenge of personalizing, of customizing a certain lifestyle.

So, for example, if you would be a dentist searching only to find the kind of customers who are interested in replacing their old works with quality, with top quality material, what should you do? You would have to find those clients in the right place, at the right time, and having the availability of joining such a promotion. Why? Because, for one thing, the longer people live, the longer they have all kinds of interventions, such as correcting decaying teeth. But in order to find the person who decides “yes, I would like to replace all the works from the course of my life with top quality material, very healthy and very resistant”, that means that you will have to have the kind of advertising, that directs those people to you as a supplier, within that window of opportunity. Where do you find them? How do you find them?

Of course, one of the top results, any supplier’s answer is: “Well, you find them advertising on the internet”. Yes, that’s something we can all agree upon, but beyond that, where do you go to find these customers? How do you approach them in a way that is consistent with your values and their values? Moreover, how do you overcome the resistance, the barriers of some people who might need, want or might even be likely to use your service? In order to buy that service from you, and not from your competitor, what should you do?

No matter how fine, how great, how wonderful you think what you’re offering is, if there is a request that means that there are suppliers, that means that you are in competition. No matter how special you think you are by offering a certain service or a product, you are actually in a big, big competition, because you are not only in competition with the potential suppliers who are offering for the right kind of product or service that you are also offering.

There are also the consumers who might accept something lower in price/quality, something different. There might be some potential customers who do not know that you or your services exist, who might not know that you have something of value to offer, so those people will buy different things. Maybe by the time you come along and treat them right it will be too late, or they will be broke, or they will not have that necessity any more. So, it’s not only a question of finding the right people, it’s also a question of being aware that you are in competition with many other suppliers who you might  not know of, and you might never know of, but who will take some of the clients’ money instead of you as a supplier.

Therefore, in this search for “the same kind of different as me”, when you are looking for the kind of audience that is similar to you, you also have to take in consideration that you are not the only one. Most likely, there are many other people just like you, entering the competition for the attention and for the availability of the same audience that you are hunting for. Therefore, in order to have and apply this kind of promotional strategy, this kind of marketing strategy, you need to first have a functional system of identifying the right people at the right time, and it might seem that this is the marketer’s job.

For instance, once you have a marketing manager / consultant, then it is his or her job to do just that. They should think about how that ideal customer thinks. It’s very easy to think “whoa, that kind of person just thinks like me, too”. Well, that kind of person that just thinks like you is not your client, that person is your competition and that person is looking for clients as well.

In such a market, you need the kind of potential customers who would be interested in giving you a chance to support them and help them with whatever they want or need, correct? So, in your search for the ideal audience that you are constantly looking to connect with, keep in mind an important aspect. You have to convince the potential consumers that they might need to be a little bit more aspiring to be like you. Some consumers who are buying services or products directly from other people are doing this because they are interested in having something better than they can create for themselves, so they would have a model that they would stand up to, that is an inspiration to them. In consequence, it doesn’t matter how much you think that it’s worth what you are offering. It matters what does the real person who is paying you can be satisfied with. Can (s)he have your products or services and be happy with what you are offering, when you are providing that service?

Of course, some people might say “where there’s a will, there’s a way” but you also have to have some kind of motivation or strategy and not just a vision. This kind of vision that I’ve been writing about needs to be real and provide results. You may also take into consideration the impact of motivation. For example, how does motivation relate to fulfilling those needs or desires, how much motivation do you need your consumer to have in order to push that button, to place that order, to have those results that you want them to have? How much motivation do you need in order to connect to those people?

If you think that the kind of people that you are looking for to buy your services or products might be very motivated, you must also think of the fact that it is very likely they will find very fast a supplier who would provide their services for them, or they would even solve their own problems on their own. Such determined customers might thank you for going to them, so, for example, you should think that you are the kind of person who would more likely offer something. Therefore, you are mostly a seller and not a buyer, this is a kind of vision that influences your motivation into finding the right customers to buy from you.

But if the customer has the vision that “whoa, I am first someone who wants their needs to be satisfied“ that means that person is a consumer in the first place, and not a seller, right? So, that person would be interested in having some offer that would connect to your vision + motivation and when that happens, you become aware of what customizing lifestyle means. Why? Because in each person’s vision, there is a certain lifestyle that someone can have or dismiss, and when you choose to include something in your lifestyle as a buyer or as consumer it means you already have a certain degree of motivation. It means you already chose a path and if you are not on that path, right then, that means you as a consumer have already gone beyond that. So what do these people who you were so keen on serving do? They move on, they evolve, they develop, they change their needs, once a person has their needs fulfilled or definitely lost the chance to have them fulfilled, they will move on, OK?

In conclusion, you either decide to fulfill a buyer’s need in a way that a customer will come to you, supplier, and say “whoa, that is great, that deeply and completely fulfilled my need” or you become the kind of supplier who supplies for one need, for one moment, for a few moments and then is gone. The world is full of this kind of suppliers that don’t need too much differentiation from one to the other.

One of the most difficult things to accept is the fact that once a need has been  deeply fulfilled, somebody may not need it anymore, OK? So, for example, if we are to consider that dentist I was giving as an example, once a patient had all the dentistry works replaced, that person does not need that anymore, it is a once in a lifetime offer to do that service for someone. Of course, we are not referring to the services for the products that keep on fulfilling the same and the same and the same need that gets refilled. Of course, people will always need something to eat or to drink. So, if you are not in that kind of situation where you fulfill a need which is renewable, you might find yourself in a very special niche, in a very challenging niche, in the niche of making the difference in someone’s life. But, I think this is the most special, and most rewarding kind of niche that you can be into. At the same time, it’s one of the most challenging, because as I was mentioning, you can never be sure that you find, at the right moment, the same kind of different as you. So, you have to be prepared to serve whoever is the potential client who might need your services, to actually need them, OK? Keep this in mind while you hunt for the perfect customer or for the perfect strategy in your marketing.

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Live Blogging at Webstock 2010

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 16/09/2010

By the end of the live tweeting for the event, I reached 400 tweets. It’s not a lot, but it’s a round number.

I’m in Bucharest until the 21st of September.

I’m at Webstock, one of the hottest events of the year, that gathers big names from the Internet industry in Romania. This is my first live blogging experience from morning to evening.

I’ve been at the presentations since morning, but I have lost the 2 first presentations. You can also see the event on live streaming at Webstock .

During today, I will do live blogging to cover the whole event. You can also follow me at @analyticvision on Twitter (ask permission if I’m not in your list).

Marco Kind, CMO, Vodafone demonstrated how to use social media in creating large networks, and how to promote this on TV.
Raluca Kisescu, Marketing Director, Avon launched the new social network from Avon, a pilot project in Romania, that will be soon launched worldwide
Radu Ionescu, Managing Partner, Kinecto talked about 7 thing he learned while working with LG. He also presented himself, saying that there are a lot of people he didn’t knew. This remark is an obvious proof that the Internet industry has truly developed during the last years in Romania.

Cristi Manafu says this is the first conference stremed live on Fecebook.

The second session started.

Alexis Bonte, CEO & CO-Founder, eRepublik Labs says the new spam is Facebook & Twitter and other. All these things affect outr ability to concentrate. It’s exaclty the kind of stuff I was writing about here. Most part of the content on social networks are rubbish, irrelevant. “You don’t get to 500 million friends without talking to a few enamies”. Learn to know what is rellevant for your readers. Not everything that happens to you is woth posting / twitting. It requires skill to master the ability of awareness.

Emotionally engaging sharing. People create emotion through sharing pictures.

The future of social media might kill the privacy. There is a Big Brother perspective to be careful about less than 5 seconds ago. Everuything converges towards integration. Alexis Bonte thinks Facebook is the most likely to get the supremacy, but it’s in the position it was MySpace 3 years ago.

Zoli Herczeg, Technology Evangelist, Microsoft Technology Evangelist, Microsoft talks about how to scale applications for various masses of users. How do we monetise such initiatives. This is a an ABC of Cloud Computing.  [en, wiki] This will affect the future of web 2.0 . The future is not only software as a service, but also infrastructure as a service. And also platform as a service. Clients for platform are the developers. Those who already have a platform and want to move it to cliud, need infrastructure as a service.

Hosting is not dead. Things don’t have to be in cloud, for example when you have 1000 users a day. Hosters will live more and more on sites don’t have hops of clud computing need.

Cloud computing has aloowed mobile applications to develop. Zoli Herczeg also argues that opportunities also bring responsabilities. Those who create such services must leave the control at the useres. Privacy is dead because it is legiferated by laws from 10-15 years ago. I personally don’t agree.

We are here becuase we prefere face to face meeting. Inovations from cloud computing bring to developments “back to Earth”. Zoli Herczeg #webstock2010  on in 3 hours there will be launched a 15.000 $ contest for cloud computing applications.

Vlad Stan: to talk about future is complicated. Only about 3 people in the hall know what they are going to do in 10 years. The technological evolution is exponential. Let’s talk about future with Vlad Stan. 2 years ago you could not see in real time if your presentation is good enough with twitterwall. many of those present have between 20-25. Man, I feel old.

Haters still have old-kind phones.

He quotes Ray Kurtzweil. Do you live in the future, in the present or the past. The only chance for long term is to be an entrepreneur.  Top 1000 companies from 100 years ago only have a standing company. To be prepared for the future is to be prepared for change. Change is essential to entrpreneurs.

Dragos Manac has a great presentation. He had a funny intro about things everybody thinks they know about cars, women and football. His presentation is really about cost effectiveness. Think ahead. What kind of money can you save through acquiring samples or outsourcing? It’s better to keep important people for important tasks and outsource to indians the rest :)

Usually, ideas-driven people hire technical people. Do you search technical innovation or business innovation. Is it really necesasary to scale? People buy stuff they don’t need for the hoped succes and then get super bills they pay until running out of money Get awareness. Don’t try to swim in the bathtub! (brilliant suggestion which I personally think also applies to coaching market in Romania).

Get a consultant to guide you.

I am at Concepts section [ro, php] between 14.30-18.15

The first speakers didn’t speak loud enough and there wasn’t any microphone available. Stefan Stroe (BuzzMen)
Sergiu Machidon (BuzzMen) presented Oba Project – really boring presentation (something so DUH…) Razvan Tirboaca (Zoom Studios) fought to be heard by the public, but in the back, he couldn’t be heard. His project, BuzzTwist, will be launched in 2 weeks. It’s an infrastucture for promoting press releases on social media. I don’t really get the point: who would pay for it?

Ciprian Gavriliu (Play The Balls) presents The Unit project. He started by presenting differences between Bucharest, Cluj, Iasi, Timisoara. He mentioned Dimitrie Gusti [en, wiki] which launched “social unit” concept. He launches a platform that locates relevant bloggers by content and by traffic in a greographic location. The tool can also be used for media planning. The user pays for acces to a platform which he can use for media planning. This is a great tool which can be use to sindicate content and plan budgets for web 2.0 advertising. The ideea seems good. It will be lauched approximately at the beginning of November 2010. This platform can be used by advertising agencies to target specific clearly delimited regions and offers more bloggers a pack. It’s like a self-service advertising agency & media planning company online .

Bogdan Bocse (Time OP) presents a tool whcih tracks what you do in your free time. It offers you the possibility to track what you do with your time to monitor your productivity. The informations can then be used in marketing or in monitoring purposes. You can have a clear evidence of how much you worked on each task you’re doing. The application has some potential.

Alexandru Ciochia (Radio Lynx) doesn’t present WhisperCast anymore.

The Concepts section continues moderated by Victor Kapra [ro, blog].  Phoebs talks about the social media component of Lets’ Do It Romania [ro, blog], place 5 in Zelist, 50.000 + users. The project has brought together a lot of bloggers to get awareness about the project. The main idea is to have a whole day (25th of September) to clean Romania from garbage. Initially, there was little support for the initiative. Not everybody who theoretically follows the project. Don’t rely on what social media says about you. It matters who actually gets involved. The 50.000 number is relevant to get people involved. Phoebs needs volonteers. Victor Kapra [ro, blog] says he wishes more people would get involved like this.

Madalina Uceanu [ro, blog] talks about HR and social media. She does job hunting coaching and career consulting. She uses LinkedIn, Xing [German market], Viadeo [French market], Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter. There are people who have to learn how to connect with people, how to maintain a network of references. She learned how to use web 2.0 like for example: “how to apply for a job on LinkedIn”.

Delia Constantinescu presents the DiverCity Cafe project. Worse than the fact that she doesn’t have a powerpoint, is the fact she has a lot of “ăăăăăă”s and it’s natural to observe she hasn’t exersed her speech (I remember the old times when preparing a presentation was more important then making a slideshow) . She talks a lot of banalities. Victor Kapra [ro, blog]: “Delia, tell us concretely what you’ve done”. Delia: “Oh, my, have I talked so much?”. One in all, this is the funniest (even if it’s not supposed to be) presentations I have seen today.

Adrian Niculescu [en, blog] presents Clubv3. How to promote a smartphone application through Social Media. He is a social media strategist. This project was developed for a UK company. Case study: Brainbox Quizmaster Series. Not anyone having twitter and facebook is a social media strategist. There are a lot of incompetents claiming a lot. Many cannot prove their status. is a good site to test your application.  You can reach Adrian at 0040744777544 0040788522238 adrian [at] clubv3 [dot] com

Andrei Ruse, writer, speaks about how he did a trailer for a novel which he has brought into the top. Social media is free. Readers might have prefdferate writers alive. They might want to give feed-back to them.

Adrian Chira [en, blog]MBA has exactly the same speech Bogdana Butnar had last year, only less interesting. He works for Daedalus Millward Brown and Personal Brand Grader. One third from 1.7 million people from Romania currently search for a job. But people don’t know how what they write on the internet affects their image. He optimised himself for LinkedIn search after “online identity”, “digital reputation” and “personal branding”. The first impression someone gets through what you post on social media gets formed. People eliminate you from the short list based on things which they discover, before even seeing you. You can use Twitter Grader, different from Social Mention. Have status changes as often as possible on Linked In to get visibility.  adrian [at]personalbrandgrader[dot]com.

The Concepts section has ended. In 45 minutes, begins the awards section [ro, php].

I checked out the Connections section. Adrian Soare [ro, blog] made a statement about how to use social media with awareness. What you post on social media affects not only your public image, but also the relationships you have. A post on Facebook doesn’t make you more idiot, it simply reflects the degree of idiocracy you proved. It’a mirror.

The Gala started

Publishing category Daniela from Petrom (sponsor) presents III. eCostin briefly speaks on the stage. II. Dezlegatorii de integrame I. Trilulilu Cock’nRolls.

Utility Raluca Krisescu from Avon presents III. Agenda Banca Transilvania; T5 developed by Evolutika II. Tide – Workshops P&G  I.ZeList Monitor SC TreeWorks SRL

Sergiu Nicolescu, media manager at Vodafone awards for viral clips: III. Salvati Gropile S.C. Green Media Channel S.A. II. Avatarul Dupa Oscar S.C. Green Media Channel S.A I.Ca$$a Loco – La Mall Trilulilu

Ana Burger, online manager at Petrom presents Social Networking section. III. SC KickMedia SRL II. Korea Film Blog Ogilvy PR I. Tabasco&Ciusca Tomorrow is the day of passions. Please celebrate with us!

Costin Radu presents User Generated Content III.  LG Infinia – TU esti vedeta! LG Electronics Romania  and Kinecto Interactions RCA pentru tine Groupama II. ?   I. SC TreeWorks SRL

Costin Cocioaba presents video-audio section II. – Portalul muzicii romanesti care conteaza
URBB I. MB Dragan KoVideo CPM Media Drive

Alin Zainescu general manager Media IQ presents blogging campaigns. If eCostin lost 10 kilos, Alin, he says.  III. MB Dragan Golden Box Pagini Aurii II. Republika – Magazinul cu cele mai multe sucursale on-line Romtelecom I. Starcom gained 15Kraft Foods Romania

George Lemnaru founder & CEo at eRepublik Labs presents Special projects 2010 III. Petrom Festivalul Enescu Petrom ILeo II. Herbal Essences House of Fun P&G I. Scoala de Bani BCR

Victor Kapra presents Facebook applications III. Kinecto – Avon Cosmetics Romania ;Shock – Shopsbook II. Trip Journal Facebook Application iQuest Technologies DWD I. HotelPeeps Zitec Alexandru LAPUSAN said a few more words than other speakers. To say you lost 10 kilos

Dragos Manac presents Facebook Fan Pages  III. Mega Image Facebook Page Mega Image; Kinecto – LGnews Fanpage LG Electronics Romania II. Fan Page Sanoma Hearst Romania I.Decât o Revistă

JUstin Kadima from Kondiment presents microblogging projects III Inter(heart)ivity
MB Dragan II. uTweet INC3 I. Treeworks – INNA in FHM (May 2010 issue), the Twitter uncovering game Empire Music Management

Laurentiu Dumitrescu from Visual Star presents Other 2010 the most disputed category each year. III. – nu doar prin basme SC Winsoft Invent SRL II.Proiect special Mobexpert Mobexpert I. Iubesc Brasovul

Webstock conferences have ended. Join us for the party at Bangcock Gran Cafe at the WebStock Party starting 20.30.

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If You Think Too Well, Don’t Think Too Much!

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 12/05/2010

According to, a 2 rooms appartment can be bought in Cluj-Napoca with 22.000 euros, in Hunedoara with 12.000 euros. A studio (garsoniera) can be bougth with 6000 euros in Iasi and with 10.000 euros in Piatra Neamt. Hell, someone could make this money picking up strawberries in Spain 4-5 months…

I told my friend who got married [en, blog] about this and he said:

– But can I movewith a family in small studio?, and I replied:

– What you buy is not to live there, but to rent it to other people

– Yes, but the rents will also drop

– For the moment, yes, but think there will be a lot of people, which considering they can’t apply for bankruptcy [ro, blog], will need a place to stay being thrown away from their own homes. You buy today for tomorrow’s market.

– The justification behind buying a place to stay was being given by the fact that through renting a place you’ve bought you’d recover your investment in about 17-18 years. Now, that figure has came more closely to 6-7 years. Do you keep on thinking to buy a place to stay in? Think again.

For further information on real estate market, I recommend you read this, this and this about how to negotiate with real-estate agents [ro, php] , this [en, html] for a global view. And just to give you a hint about what you can buy, let’s say, in Slovakia (where there are the lowest expenses attached to buying a property in Europe), for 20.000 euros, take  a look here [en,html]. This [en, php]is what you can buy for 36.000 euros. By the way, it took me about 10 minutes of searching to find it. Imagine what you could find in a few hours!

PS: Thank Heather [en, blog] for the title.

Later edit: That friend of mine kinda wasted half of the cost of that studio in a year and is now living with his wife, together with his parents. This is the way Romanian people think. I know, it doesnt’ make any sense.

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New Media (vs) PR? – The Flea Circus Illusion

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 18/02/2010

I believe if in the XXst century the new form of illiteracy was not knowing how to operate a computer, in the XXIst century the new form of illiteracy is not knowing how to use new media. There are two forms of thinking about communication:

The classic marketing & PR vs the new media marketing & PR.

I mean that in the deepest most practical way. It’s not online as a component, back old times, 10 years ago, when it was just a component of the marketing mix, it new media that’s structuring the way to communicate. It’s simpler.

For more and more products and brands, you don’t just have to be online, you have to do social precence in web 2.0. It’s not the marketer who does the planning and structures the communication anymore, it’ s the social networks, the communities that design the way the message will be communicated and the strategist has less power to control that which ends up at the receiver (audience, public), unless, of course, they (start to) understand the way it’s working.

The most even stunning thing is that new media is not an environment, it’s social dynamics. It’s not static. It’s changing, and the rules cannot be predetermined. If entrepreneurs have to learn to control systems in order to administrate their business, what they have to learn about the promotion in digital era is to let go of control.

I strongly recommend to any entrepreneur and strategist in the communication field to take a deep look at Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The classic one in 1993. There are two discussions around which the film idea revolves.And I use this metaphor as what I consider to be an extremely strong example of what I mean.

The Jurassic Park metaphor

John Hammond is a brave entrepreneur who builds a whole new world on an island, to entertain people. He hopes he will be able to control what people haven’t controled ever: a dinosaur zoo. He relies on setting up a system that works like a clockwork.

Errare humanum est, therefore John is willing to learn from his mistake and eventually make it better (which, as a daring entrepreneur, he does), not understanding that the real lesson is not in the “How?” section, but in the “why?” section: all control is an illusion.

And, to illustrate this further, after you’ve watched the official trailer of Jurassic Park, please watch these fan-made trailers.

Which advertises you the best, this movie?The community-generated ones or the official corporate trailer?

New media illustrates the power of democracy.

In true democracy, as a difference to capitalism, the leaders don’t control the masses, the masses vote for the representation of their needs and desires in the upper ground. In social networking era, he who has the higher ground is not the winner, but is the most stuck. That’s why corporations’ systems are not their strongest point in communicating through web PR. This has never been achievable, in known history, at such a large scale, due to limitations of technology. But now, technology offers no more limitations, and a lot of freedom.

He who is most flexible has the most control, they say in NLP. Control is a form of power. What power do you have left, if not control? An answer might be responsability. And I do not mean corporate social responsability like in that channel for organizational PR. I mean responsability as a value of each individual communicator, of each organization which chooses to communicate through new media.

Marketing and PR become integrated

Values may seem too abstract, to out from concrete, but each value, may it be conscious or less conscious, determines a set of choices and actions. More people taking the same choices is a micro-trend. Many people taking the same choices is a trend. A trend determines a niche.

In classical communication, everybody knows that you have to have a marketing approach (to the market) and a PR approach (to the audience). In new media communication, it’s difficult to separate the two.

To illustrate this:  in talking about a niche, are you reffering to a market, or a public (audience)? You will find out it’s easier to find communities (audiences, publics) in web 2.0 if you think about a niche than it is to find a market. And you can measure that through  online media buying vs. affiliate marketing. Which will you pick, if you don’t have enough money? Will you choose advertising or PR? How will the strategists justify their recommendations made to their clients, based on the new dynamics of the markets… ups, audiences… or was it the other way around?

We are used to the market being dynamic and the most vivid players being the suppliers. The “Audiences” framing only inspire  “listening”. But new media proves that audiences can be very dynamic and not only that, but they can also outspeak a supplier. Especially in affiliate marketing, audiences determine markets, the opposite to the classical advertising approach, where markets determined audiences.

I read about a year ago an article [ro, php] that reflected the delay between new media and PR, in Romania. I believe that this gap will increase until either the communication consultancy providers will segment only to the big players, using classical approaches, either more and more of them will dissapear. That might happen because even if the many clients for niched marketing & PR services (the small businesses) will not drive the communication consulting market, the audiences will. Because the consumer behaviour has ultimately and irreversably changed in the new media era. And the only direction it’s going is more flexibility.

In the end, some food for your thoughts:

Are you ready enough to take the power witheout the control?

Do you consider the communities as audiences or as markets?

Do you consider your external communication static or dynamic?

Do you have enough community and market awarenesss to communicate with responsability?

Do you want to your business to still exist in the next 5 years?

Posted in Social Media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Romanian Market of Compensations and Benefits

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 25/01/2010

[Note: All the articles linked in this post are from business portals in Romanian.]

I’ve been asked what other benefits are there in the Romanian HR market besides insurance.I admit in my mind “benefits” rimes with “insurance”. Even for companies, besides the legislation (scroll down. scroll down, even more, yes, please…).

If this was the situation before the crisis, things have changed. They said, back then, that the professional development is more important than the salary. In 2008, Capital, the financial offline publishing leader in Romania, was publishing the last edition for Romania’s top 100 best employers. I was curious how come they haven’t released it in 2009 again. I know, I know, Radu Ionescu hated the idea, but still… I remember there was a top there of the best methods of recompensating your employees.

The PriceWaterHouseCoopers study from 2007 and also from 2008 said that there was a tendency for the fixed income to drop to 69 % of the gross value of the compensation for the employees. I’m curious weather this tendency will fall or if it will drop.

It might drop even more for the sector of selling and result-based evaluations of the industries that pay by commission and can afford to say: “you get payed as long as you work”. It might go the other way if companies cut the costs with the  benefits and compensations practices. Which they already begun. If you read the main business publications, you’d picture the apocalipse of the industry. But what is bad news for big business might be good news for niched businesses.

Capital and Business Magazin explain how companies cut costs with employees’ benefits. Some companies think of innovative solutions, like for example coupons, which might be a good idea for the Marin husbants’ Cuponix. But a truly innovative idea is to have flexibility. Some other companies prefere flexible benefits policies.

I don’t know how the things are for benefits, but the things suraly turn green for the insurance companies. And not in the CSR way. A normal consequence to the situation described above, whoever negotiates better will survive. Another question is weather the health insurance will develop or fall. The tendencies are, especially with the new viruses, that people (please read: uninformed people) would get frightened by the whole hoax [WATCH this video NOW in English , it’s CAPITAL, and, if you want to read more].The things might go either way, although I would be curious on a comparative cross-cultural study.

Anyway, it’s good to know there is who to get advice from, both for employers, and for employees, to negotiate. Ernst & Young says it’s a good idea. PriceWaterHouseCooper’s studies and manager say the numbers were up for benefits even at the end of 2008.

To end in a funny note, continuing the idea from this forum, I wonder weather the personal computer the employees will work on, 2 years from now will be considered a benefit or a necessity… For more on the difference between possibility, necessity and desire, read here.

Posted in Analytic & Critic Vision Over... | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Show, Don’t Tell

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 08/12/2009

I’ve been participating for tha last three months at the sceenplay writing classes [en, blog] recommended by Cinemagia [ro, html] . I thought I could share with you some of the things I have learned and some of the conclusions I could get.

First of all, talking to some Romanian experts (being private conversations, I’ll not name them), there isn’t a Romanian screenplay school. Well, theoretically, there have been some initiatives (and now I’m participating at the most daring one). There are academic classes and masters’ degree seminars on the topic, but withoeut real relevance in the market. The few good screenplay writers write for television. The Romanian film  directors write their own screenplays. This is not normal for such a developed film industry as it is the case in Romania, but it’s the truth.

When writing a screnplay for film on the big screens means structure. It means to develop a story in which each minute, each frame, contributes to moving the action further and revealing information which develops the character to the audience. It is far from writing a novel, it’s something much more mathematical-oriented. Considering how much a single minute of produced film consts, it’s a good sense practice to respect the investor’s resources.

A screenplay must have a theme, a general abstract reduced to a few words. The screenplay’s idea is what it says about that theme. It’s a detailed, abstract sentence, which leads to the way in which the ending must be constructed to reveal that specific idea. The subject is the concrete general manner in which the screenplay will reveal the selected idea about the theme.

Each screenplay can be resumed through the constructiosn “what if…?”. Then, causing plot point one (the intrigue), comes the “but what if…?”, which is incidental to the action, causing a conflict which will develop, climb beyond the mid point into plot point two and being resolved in the ending. Although it might seem simple, the more complex an action is, the more difficult it is to translate it to these terms to make the right dose of it.

One of the main issues with my short writings or exercises, as I mentioned in this article about author positioning [en, blog], is the fact that there isn’t any twist in them, or the action is too simple, or too static. Although this might be acceptable or appropriate in some dramatic plays for theatre, it is totally uncompatible with writing for film. If your reader says: “so what?” to your story, if it doesn’t have the right structure or doesn’t have the right way to express your vision, then its potential is totally irrelevant.

Therefore, if there’s a conflict, it must be visual. In literature, you can write pages about a character’s dilemma with his own thoughts. In film you can’t. You must show it. And here comes the good news for me. Having a fine understanding of how psychology works and studying human resources allows me to have a deeper approach to how to choose certain behaviours to show certain aspects. To show a character talking about the information you want your audience to find out is redundant, pleonastic. To have an information about a character, you must be able to create that message through conflict, through visual. To be extreme, what you can’t see in a movie, doesn’t exist. What cannot be showed cannot exist in film. It’s as simple as that.

What I’m learning now is how to create signification through devicing such means of visual expression and it is truly inspiring to have such a great teacher like Mihnea Columbeanu to learn from, because he has a great way of delivering structure, in a practical manner, for everyone, no matter of the experience or field of work.

Another important aspect about writing screenplays is keeping the field to what you know. The explanations for what happens on the screen must be articulated, integrated into the whole vision and be coherent and credible. There is a certain credibility that’s used as a common language in a film. There are things you can use, things you cannot use and things too used. I would have liked to write a screenplay about the Irak war’s siege from Fallujah in 2004, for example. But I haven’t been to Irak. I don’t have any experience in the military and I have no knowledge about the political and historical circumstances. I have merely read two books and a few articles about it. Of course, just having experience in a certain field is not a clear recommendation to write screenplays. For example, I had a few exercises set in the corporate world. They did not work. They weren’t too visual. And I was too involved to think like a screenwriting professional approaching the topic with objectivity. I can write good commercial screenplays, but that is not news for me, nor is it my goal.

I think there will be a while until I will have a first screenplay for a short film, but now I’m just working on it and I’m sharing with you some of my impressions in the mean time.

Posted in Film | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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