Sonja Novaković, Senior Officer for Administration and Marketing at Mirabank:

Good Things Happen for a Reason

Marketing and PR is one of those areas where we should be open up to various perspectives, different points of view, and personal creativity. No company is an island, and therefore we should look for truly win-win situations for all parties involved.

Many people are searching for a job that will give them a sense of joy, happiness and meaningfulness. I was always one of them, as I’ve always taken my work obligations quite seriously. At the moment I have ten years of working experience behind me, which have taught me some valuable life lessons regarding the essence of seriousness, and the value of laughter. As I see it, the domain of marketing and PR activities is one of those areas where one should open up to various perspectives, different points of view, sometimes even contradictory feelings, and most importantly one should open up to his or her own creativity. Trusting that everything happens for a reason, I am still on this path.

While studying marketing management, I realised that I was being given a tool to build a bridge; a bridge in myself, a connection between seriousness and a pure, innocent creativity. The jobs that I have done were ways to build alertness of the present moment and to foster empathy, but also to reconnect with myself in different ways. One of the most interesting areas for exploration to me was, and still is, the area of communication, which certainly goes beyond words and images.

I started my journey as an assistant in the Marketing and PR department of a well-known Serbian FMCG company. I quickly realised how this department is intercepted by, interwoven with, and deeply connected to, all other departments and units within a company. For the first time I became fully aware of the significance of internal PR in a company and how internal communication with every single employee can help manifest a company’s brand in its brightest light. Empowered employees will empower the brand itself.

Whilst working in the banking sector, I channelled my communication knowledge and skills towards building a corporate image and reputation based on trust and mutual understanding

Over the coming years – employed in the banking sector, in the role of a marketing team member dealing with CSR – I had the opportunity to understand how a company is tied and bound to the community in which it lives. No company is an island. I truly believe that all the young leaders that are about to emerge have high expectations for Corporate Social Responsibility as an effort to make the world a better place. I see it as a vehicle for consciousness. People want to feel good about what their money is doing, so it is not surprising to see that consumer awareness about global issues is on the rise, along with the importance these customers place on CSR when choosing where to shop. CSR in Serbia still has a lot of room for improvement. Education is needed and the sharing of best practices helps to spread knowledge about how these initiatives are bringing truly win-win situations for all parties involved. Currently, some companies in Serbia practice certain forms of social responsibility, but the tendency is to make this the core of their operations.

Whilst working in the banking sector, I channelled my communication knowledge and skills towards building a corporate image and reputation based on trust and mutual understanding. A filigree measured flow of communication, with a unique, individual approach that portrays exclusivity, is something that leaves a mark. With an active role in developing the area of communication in the corporate sector, I truly believe that the power of communication can help an organisation, as well as a society, develop itself. Steven Covey once put it thus: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”. I believe we all have bridges to build in our own understanding of the world in which we live.