She started her career in 2008 in journalism working as editor for IQads and SMARK and her first job in PR was as account executive at Nicola Porter Novelli, starting March 2011. She worked in PR ever since (MRM Worldwide, The Practice and RAN Events Communication) and also had her own advertising blog called City in Ads, which she launched in January 2012. She has a Bachelor Degree in Communication and Public Relations and a Master degree in Advertising and has also graduated from the IAA School. Alina Galeriu is one of the most talented and hard-working professionals I have ever met during my career. In an exclusive interview, Galeriu told BR about starting her own PR company (Galeriu & Partners, under the group umbrella), differentiation in the industry, new clients and seeing the PR world from both sides (as a journalist, but also a PR expert).
How did the offer of having your agency in the group came and why? What was you first reaction?
The offer came straightforward from Mihaela Nicola. Why? Probably because she believed it was a good business decision and a good addition to The Group’s portfolio.
My first reaction? I was, of course, flattered by the proposal to join The Group on such terms. It was a very high professional acknowledgement, but it also came with great responsibility. I decided to embrace it and make the best out of it, as I did with all the other opportunities that life had to offer.
What is Galeriu & Partners offering different than the other PR agency in the group? What is your positioning?
Galeriu & Partners is a small agency, so it is very flexible and keen on getting results. We get things done and we get things done fast and effectively. We are not better or worse than the other PR agency in the group, we are just different. And different is good. The client-agency relation is often dictated by chemistry… which is, as you know, so very hard to explain. Anyway, bottom line is that we do not compete against each other, we just target different type of clients, I suppose. I am oriented towards the lifestyle segment, for example, which is probably the field I have the strongest skills for and very good key influencers on my contact list. Also, I understand very well the struggle of small, entrepreneurial companies, so I can come up with tailored solutions for their needs. My clients’ portfolio also shows these two patterns: lifestyle field and small businesses.
What should the potential clients know about your agency?
As I said before, we are flexible and keen on getting fast and effective results for our clients. We are enthusiastic, hard-working and problem-solvers. We have excellent media relations and the refined sense of finding the catchy story and the perfect angle for pitching it to media representatives, due to my background in journalism and the insights I have gained during that time, know-how that I constantly try to pass on to my team.
What are your main goals for the next year?
We are on a growing trend and we have set the following goals: keeping the current clients happy, also gaining new clients and expanding the team accordingly. We believe a 50 percent turnover growth for next year is a realistic objective and we will put all the efforts into achieving it.
How do you consider to be the Romanian PR market at this moment in terms of creativity and impact?
The communication industry faces important changes in terms of processes and refining the boundaries between disciplines. The reality of the PR world is very different from what I have learnt at the university, very different from what I have experienced as being a journalist in contact with communication and PR people, very different from what I have learnt when I first faced the agency life. Because things are in an ever changing process. Adjusting to the new realities is now our first task every day.
Getting the clients’ message out there as effectively as possible and as tailored as possible is a must. Finding innovative ways to tell our clients’ story is our aim and constant challenge. Striving for results forces us all to get more and more creative. So everyone has to win out of this: clients get the results they have been expecting and the work we deliver is innovative, raising the industry standards.
Whom are your main clients so far and how did you win them?
Some of the clients were gained through PR proposals included in integrated campaigns along with the proposals of other agencies in The Group. Some other clients were added to our portfolio via recommendations from the happy clients we were already working for.
A selection of the projects managed for the past two years by Galeriu & Partners would include: launching a beauty center (Maison Paris), launching a pastry shop (Casa Victoria Floreasca), launching a new published author (Mirela Oprea), developing media relations with very good results for a spa center (CASA JAD), for an online flower supplier (Florariamobila.ro), for a fashion retailer (Mathilde) and also for an art gallery and auction house (AraArt).
And since we are reviewing important projects, I must also mention some of the corporate communication activities developed for The Group. I would start with the 10 years anniversary of The Group, celebrated through an exclusive event for media representatives who took part in the launch of the first postal stamp dedicated to a communication agency in Romania. Also, in terms of internal communication, a very energy consuming yet very rewarding project was our teambuilding which took place about this time last year and was very effective for team spirit revival among all my colleagues.
For a drop of inspiration in our work environment, me and my team at Galeriu & Partners organize at least one event each month in order to strengthen the work relations among The Group employees, such as: healthy nutrition seminars, make-up tutorials for the ladies, wine tastings, networking trainings, public speaking trainings, painting contest and all sorts of fun and inspiring activities.
What attracted you the most to the PR world?
It was a mix of things: the mesmerizing thought of “playing with words”, the thrilling idea of finding the most suitable way to tell the story for a client, the perspective of getting in touch with remarkable people – from movie stars to sportsmen to state officials – , the chance of being able to influence the life of brands and consumers.