Natalija Racković, General Manager at V+O Communication Serbia

In Our Desire for Uniqueness We Must Not Forget the Essence

Today both clients and agencies are striving to be special and different, and in that pursuit they often forget the essence – why consumers and partners love and value them. We believe in the principles of ethics and creativity and communicating essential messages

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Our task and responsibility – as someone who has an opportunity to create, shape and change public opinion – is to constantly shift the boundaries of professional communications, says Natalija Racković.

How do you envisage the business climate for the functioning of agencies in 2016?

– Viewed analytically, 2016 will be a very challenging year, in economic terms, but also in the sense of the market and politics. We are awaited by parliamentary and local elections, the opening of some negotiation chapters and the announced restructuring of the public sector, while there is also the migrant crisis, as well as changes in the political and economic directions of the activities of neighbouring countries. Agencies that deal with communication are not isolated islands and cannot operate in isolation from the environment on the market in which they are located. Just as each challenge carries a particular opportunity, it is crucial to scrutinise, monitor and adapt to changes on the market and in global marketing and communications trends. Under such circumstances, it is essential for our agency to retain its basic course of action, but also to remain or become a catalyst for growth, together with our clients.

What do you consider as being the “golden rules” of market communication?

– Communication can contribute significantly to the value of a company and its brands. However, only ethical, professional and responsible handling of communication can provide the basis for a company’s long-term success, growth and development.

We’ve all witnessed the lightning fast success of individuals and companies that end up, after a certain period of time, experiencing equally dramatic falls and failures. The reason lies in the fact that these successes were not based on real values and professional business principles, as well as communicating. That’s like when you have a nice colourful balloon that everyone admires for a moment, but that is empty inside and is so “thin” that it threatens to burst and explode into a thousand pieces at any moment.

Our task and responsibility – as people engaged professionally in this business and with an opportunity to create, shape and change public opinion – is to constantly shift the boundaries of professional communications. It is also necessary for us to say NO to the client when we see that they have an idea or desire for an instant, quick-fix solution that could lead to deadlocks. Our task is to learn from our clients about their industry and their operations, but also to bring to our market global trends, innovations and examples of good marketing and communications practices

Our task is to learn about our client’s business dealings and industry, and tell them no unreservedly if we notice that a desire for instant success is leading them to a deadlock, but also to bring new global marketing and pr trends to our market

How do your activities differ from those of your competitors and what makes you stand out on the market?

– Today everybody is trying to be different, to be special, but I’m afraid that in that desire clients and agencies sometimes forget the essence. They forget the reasons why consumers buy and love their products, why their partners and customers value them; they forget what it is that makes their business operations successful and why their employees believe in them…

Guided by this consideration, we did precisely what we advise our clients to do by posing the right questions, discovering our essence and, on the basis of that, set a new V+O slogan – “Hub of creativity, catalyst for growth” – and the values that guide us in our daily operations.

1. One: We are one. One team of passionate, diverse, creative individuals.

2. True: We are true to ourselves, to our clients, to the community.

3. Drivers: We are drivers of engagement, of success, of change.

4. Ethical: We are ethical always. This is something that we do not negotiate in our everyday work.

The slogan and values of the agency were created as a result of contributions from team members in all eight countries where V+O Group operates, and they illustrate in the best way what we believe in and what sets us apart on the market.