Alina Galeriu started her career in 2008 in journalism working as editor for IQads and SMARK and her first job in PR was at Nicola Porter Novelli, in 2011. She worked in PR ever since (MRM Worldwide, The Practice and RAN Events Communication) and launched her own company in 2014. As managing partner of Galeriu & Partners PR, she talked with Business Review about the agency’s plans and ideas for the rest of 2018, but also about what represented 2017 for her agency and how she perceives the local PR industry at present.
By Romanita Oprea
How was 2017 for the agency in terms of turnover /revenues?
For us last year was a year of massive investment in consolidating the team, with strong and improved skills. We have also invested a lot of resources in new business endeavors. Our financial performance reflects these, in line with our growth objectives from the beginning of the year.
What were the departments that were most successful? What about the least successful ones?
Our approach does not dichotomize the activities like that. We have an integrated approach and we try to include various segments and mix various tactics to generate results, each having a role in delivering performance for our clients. What matters at the end of the day is to have happy clients. This is our definition of performance.
What about the pitches entered?
As I mentioned above, last year and the beginning of 2018 meant a lot of new business efforts for our team. Due to these efforts, we managed to enrich our client’s portfolio by 50 percent by the end of last year, compared with the clients base we started 2017, with more echoes in the beginning of this year as well, when we added furthermore some more clients to our portfolio.
How would you characterize the local PR industry in 2018 in terms of budgets, campaigns, creativity, etc?
The local PR industry is very resourceful, creative and forward thinking, in my view. We manage to get results with small budgets and challenge ourselves to make the best out of each opportunity we encounter. I believe this makes us grow and evolve faster than in many other countries with more established PR industries. This is also a feedback we have from some of our clients that coordinate multiple markets and always compare us with other countries, highlighting the Romanian easiness to adjust and be creative with little resources, which is such a big asset in PR.
What were the campaigns done by the other agencies in Romania that you admired and why?
I was deeply touched by the fundraising campaign developed by Jazz Communication for the MagicHome hospital for parents with cancer diagnosed children.
What were the most important changes & novelties in the agency in 2017 and how did they come to happen?
Since we are a very flexible team, always ready to adjust to market needs, we constantly invest in developing our skills to meet our clients’ needs and perform better. So, lately, we have seized the opportunity of developing a new line of services: our “corporate people relations” division.
We have a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs in our clients’ portfolio which struggle to gain new customers and get noticed by them, so beyond our regular activities (media relations, bloggers & vloggers relations or celebrity partnerships), a constant request we received from our clients was finding ways to reach corporate people / potential customers for their businesses.
To meet their expectations, we developed and enriched our relations with HR departments and customer satisfaction departments in corporations and generated visibility opportunities for our clients through customized trainings and various activities targeting corporate people. It turned out our move was successful, and we generated a lot of impressive results through this new type of activities that we specialized ourselves in.
What trends did you notice on the local market last year and how do you intend to follow them /represent them at your agency? What do you forsee for 2018 from this point of view?
The influencers’ boom is a trend that cannot be ignored, although I believe it will slow down its pace and should soon start to have a more realistic approach. We will continue to invest in know-how and resources to engage influencers in building strong relations with the brands in our portfolio, of course.
What is your goal for 2018 in terms of revenue, but also new clients, employees, etc?
Our main objective for this year is to continue our consolidation efforts in terms of clients’ portfolio growth and team development.
What do you wish for the local industry this year?
I wish that it finds the courage to say the right things, although they may seem hard to digest by the audience. I wish it would stop giving reasons for being perceived as an industry that only covers up the truth. I wish it would stand out for what it is at its essence and what it should be: an honest approach to highlighting the truth about brands, companies and people, with respect for the audience and with focus on creative twists that can make the story more appealing.
How do you see the Romanian market connected to the international one at this moment? What is the local industry missing and what can be changed?
Although it does force us to become better and more creative, the fact that we operate with low budgets and we must make the best of them can be frustrating. I would like to see more aligned budgets by comparison with other countries, so our creativity and effectiveness can shine even more.