Thanks to its partnership with BCW, Chapter 4 Srbija – as part of the network of the same name – contributes continuously to the quality of communications on our market and core professional principles, because this agency is focused on strategic thinking, analytics, creativity, results and contributing in a broader social context
According to the co-owners of one of the country’s leading local agencies, the most important aspect for their profession during this challenging year is to maintain responsibility and ethics, while also exerting even greater efforts to ensure the quality and efficacy of communication, maintaining a high level despite the aggravated circumstances and potentially reduced budgets.
What does your partnership with BCW, as one of the world’s leading networks, say about the quality of services you provide? How is that rated among clients when it comes to the local knowledge and experience that you offer?
TB: The partnership with BCW, but also the Chapter 4 CEE network, is hugely important to us because it contributes continuously to improving the quality of what we do and we learn through experience exchange.
Representing a worldwide network is both an honour and an obligation for us. We try not only to fulfill that obligation, but also to provide our colleagues from other countries and regions with examples of the highest quality practice.
There are many ways to measure quality. Longevity of cooperation is one of them, and we are proud of our successful partnerships with clients and colleagues who’ve been members of our team for many years. And even when they cease to be members of our team, we continue to mutually provide friendly and professional support. Quality proofs also are professional awards, which serve to confirm the value of campaigns and essential cooperation with clients.
You nurture a clear strategic and ethical approach in everything you do. What actually defines the Chapter 4 approach? TB: The entire team is aware of our priorities and we believe this is recognised by the market, clients and colleagues. Chapter 4’s approach is primarily oriented towards people, respect and ethics in communication. In our work we are focused on strategic thinking, analytics, results, creativity and contribution in a broader social context.
How do you enter into the preparation of strategies and campaigns for your clients, given that they differ and each of them has their own goals, business vision, purpose and plans?
TB: Core professional principles exist, and in our case there’s also the aforementioned Chapter 4 approach, but every campaign or strategic plan differs depending on the needs of the client company – in terms of corporate context and business goals, target groups and business context. The aim of high-quality communication is to build relationships that contribute to the reputation of the company and its people, products and services, and in that way support to operations and achieving business goals is provided.
We live in a digital world, which is why it is essential for us to develop an integrated approach as the basis of every B2B and B2C communication strategy
Why do you believe that only an integrated, holistic approach to communication ensures that key messages today reach the target audience on time?
MAB: Because there’s no singular platform, channel or timeframe through which we can adapt communications. In order for the message to reach different target groups, it is essential for us to use an entire spectrum of tools and channels. It is important for us to be as efficient as possible in this transferring of messages.
We live in a digital world, which is why it is essential for us to develop an integrated approach as the basis of every B2B and B2C communication strategy. Through an integrated approach, we enable the consistency of content across all communication channels, and the aim is to ensure that clients receive the same experience with the company, regardless of the channel of information or communication they use.
Apart from new channels of communication and new tools, what have we been brought by digital transformation? How has it impacted on creativity and the development of new business opportunities?
MAB: Digital transformation has helped us to be more innovative, to recognise and encourage talent in teams more easily, to be faster, more efficient, more transparent and, in the end, more competitive. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have greatly eased certain segments of business and life generally, the latest example of which is ChatGPT.
When it comes to communications, I don’t think it will ever be possible to replace humans and our ability to adapt
But when it comes to communications, I don’t think it will ever be possible to replace humans and our ability to adapt, as we’ve seen in all the global challenges of the previous few years.
How have communications been impacted by the new economic crisis, inflation and war?
MAB: In these turbulent global challenges, the challenge is enormous for all employees in the communications sectors, regardless of the company or agency. Communicators must be the first to understand the expectations of stakeholders and create their own story in such a way that they preserve the reputation of their brand or company, while this will simultaneously enable them to advance in these dynamic times.
Leaders of PR agencies expect increased profitability in the year ahead, despite economic and geopolitical conditions and the crisis of talent. What do you expect of the year ahead?
TB: This year will be challenging, but it’s “not our first rodeo”, as they say. Economic experts consider recession unavoidable, and we know that the world is constantly taking hits in a geopolitical, energy and economic sense. I think we have to be cautious and realistic in our optimism. Partnerships are key: understanding, listening and mature decision-making. The most important aspect for the profession is to maintain responsibility and ethics, but also to exert even greater efforts to ensure the quality and efficacy of communication, such that they remain at a high level despite the aggravating circumstances and potentially reduced budgets. We thus add to the credibility of what we do and invest in relationships with clients that are enduring and sustainable.
MAB: I agree with Tamara and believe that, regardless of the size, all companies, including agencies, will focus a lot on internal communication, as they want to retain their employees and for them to be as satisfied as possible. I also believe companies will have to more clearly express their views on some issues that are generally important, including diversity, climate change and even political circumstances. That’s why they will continue to maximally inform their employees with regard to all topics that concern their company.