Recently named Senior Partner at McCann PR, BR met with Lavinia Chican to find out more about her new goals and perspective about the ever changing PR industry. From her new position, Lavinia will contribute to the business’ strategy development and will be responsible for the communication campaigns of the agency.
Chican says the PR industry is changing fundamentally and will become even more both consumer and content centered.
By Romanita Oprea
What are you main goals for the new position?
My goal since I started working in McCann has been to do the job as good as I could. This hasn’t changed over the years and it hasn’t changed now, with the change of position. Only the tools I need to work with changed and evolved.
Doing the job right at this point means driving the team forward. And we do this first by putting our clients and their needs first and trying to identify new opportunities to develop special campaigns or events.
How is McCann PR positioning itself differently from the other PR agencies in Romania at this moment?
For us, storytelling is king. What we do on a daily basis is build real, honest stories, meaningful content. This is the goal that drives us forward.
Who is the agency’s main competition and why?
McCann PR is the largest agency on the market from the revenue point of view. We are a young and very enthusiastic team, part of the best communication group on the market, McCann Bucharest, and we are all trying to be the best every day.
How do you approach this year?
Personally, I approach the year with a new focus in mind: giving each moment the importance it deserves.
We always want to do so many things: have a great career, a happy family, do sports, go out, get thin, watch movies, read books, be healthy and beautiful. The truth is we can’t do everything all at once. We need to focus on one important thing at a time and do it right.
This new personal approach and an active, healthy lifestyle gave me a new boost of energy and enthusiasm, which led me to great projects at the beginning of this year.
What do you intent to bring different from your new position?
A fresh approach will always make a difference in any context, at least in the beginning of things. So this will definitely help.
I think what helps me most in this position is my enthusiasm. I am always eager to find new challenges, to come with new ideas and become better at what I do.
I would not be able to do what I do if I didn’t really like it.
What does it mean to you and your career?
It’s definitely a step forward and it gives me a new perspective on the tasks that I take on.
Can you tell us what do you think that were the most decisive decisions you took in your career?
I think I chose well when it came to the people around me. Whether we talk about the people I hired along the way or the people who hired me, I think they all played an important part in the way I shaped my career.
Aside from this, I always chose the biggest challenges over the simple path. I did not take the easy way just because it was comfortable. I did not step back from any task, no matter how difficult, when I knew it would help reach our goals.
When did you take the last good decision? What was it? What about the bad one?
I take decisions every day, it’s part of my job.
I don’t really afford to make mistakes from this position, I deal with people, I deal with figures. This is not a good place for errors.
After each big project, we take the time to evaluate our performance. After each project, we draw a line and conclude: we either win, we either learn.
Looking back in your career so far is anything you would do differently?
I would do more social projects. I do this anyway, but I would love to be able to do more. I am trying to make people around me happy, but also the ones who are further away. People I don’t know.
My greatest sense of achievement comes when I manage to catalyse resources and help children, hospitals and facilities for the ones in need.
How would you characterize the Romanian PR industry at this moment?
Meaningful communication. Innovation. Strategic content. PR is no longer PR, PR is digital, PR is events, PR is research, PR is social media. PR is relevant content at the right time, no matter where it’s placed.
In this age, relevant wins.
What are, in your opinion, this year’s trends in the industry?
The industry no longer has defined borders. We no longer work in PR, but in an industry which combines an infinite number of domains into one single hub which has one goal in mind: getting closer and closer to the consumer.
So the trends of the industry are practically the dissolution of the industry and the birth of a new industry which is consumer centred and content centred.
What is your position about native advertising and storytelling? How much are you and your teams working with them or not at McCann PR?
We don’t really work with brands, but rather we work with actual stories. There are no more brands without a life story behind them.
About Lavinia Chican
Public relations specialist with 17 years of experience, out of which eight have been spent working with global brands spanning the FMCG, energy, consumer lifestyle and sports sectors in Romania.
Her career as a professional communicator started back in 1999, when she worked as a media relations specialist for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, only to advance 2 years later in the same organization to the position of expert in the International Relations Department.
In the summer of 2003, she decided to leave the public sector and took on a job she would hold on to for more than 5 years: PR Manager in the BTL division of one of the most important advertising agencies in Romania – the McCann Erickson group. In 2008, she took a step forward, from the BTL division of the group to the communication division: McCann PR. Working mainly for beverage giant Coca-Cola Romania, as well as bottling company Coca-Cola Hellenic, she proved to be a dynamic team player, delivering quality coverage and campaigns for my clients.
Aside from Coca-Cola, she also managed communication campaigns and events coordination for clients from various fields, such as energy, retail, automotive, health and sports.
Following her passion for tennis, she is coordinating the communication department of the most important tennis tournament in the Eastern Europe – the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy – for more than 10 years now.
Moreover, she am actively involved in organizing the McCann Conferences on themes like leadership, education, innovation and sport.
Over time, the team managed by Lavinia within McCann PR developed and implemented communication and BTL campaigns which were recognized at international level, receiving accolades like Best regional communication campaign at European Excellency Awards for FIFA World Cup 2010 Trophy Tour / Coca-Cola campaign, Silver Drum 2013 for Coca-Cola Live Tweets, Silver & Bronze Effie Awards 2014 for Dorna “Care for Children”.
About McCann PR
McCann PR Romania is the PR division of McCann Group and the biggest communication agency in Romania in terms of turnover. With multiple awards and accolades achieved at international level for its innovative campaigns, McCann PR is affiliated to the international PR network Weber Shandwick.
McCann’s portfolio of clients includes companies like Coca-Cola Romania, Coca-Cola HBC Romania, Carrefour, Unilever, Nestle, Enel Romania, Heineken, Eco-Rom Ambalaje, ExxonMobil, City Insurance, Microsoft, UPC, HTC, Symantec, Teamnet, Toshiba, Electronic Arts, ABSL, Honeywell, NEPI, Save the Children Romania, Engie Romania, Metropolitan Life, Sandoz, MSD, Nespresso, Berarii Romaniei, Berlin-Chemie Menarini, Philip Morris, Pfizer, Medtronic and others.
McCann PR is member of the group of companies which also includes McCann Bucharest (creative), Universal Media, MRM Worldwide Romania (digital) and Momentum (BTL)