HERE AND BEYOND
Continuously Developing World of Business Dictates New PR Trends
Media Room

When speaking about corporate PR most experts note that in Armenia it is not properly appreciated and there is a lack of professional foundation. According to our interviewee, it is mostly companies with highly developed corporate governance practices that pay due attention to PR matters.
We discussed this topic with Elmira Adamyan, the Head of Public Relations and Communications Group within the “Ameria” group of companies (“Ameriabank” CJSC , “Ameria” CJSC, “Ameria Asset Management”, and Ameriagroup INC operating in the USA are all under Ameria name and brand).


- What importance does the PR function have for “Ameria” group of companies?

- Under the current conditions of technological development, when the sources of information distribution are plenty, and each piece of information can reach the large masses of the public without any geographic limitation and within a few seconds, the proper management of these information flows is a mere necessity, especially given the competitive state of the business. In this situation, the role and significance of PR is gradually growing. For Ameria, the PR function has always had an important functional meaning from the perspective of establishing and maintaining open, transparent, and trustworthy relations with the public. In each phase of Ameria`s development, the PR function was called upon to resolve issues, which were peculiar to the strategic goals of that particular phase.


- Do you implement PR activities only with the help of your own PR team or do you employ other resources as well?

- All companies within the “Ameria” group, including Ameriagroup INC representation in Los Angeles implement PR activities by exclusively using the potential of the Ameria PR and Communications team. And of course, we are greatly supported by our team members and partners from mass media. It is by using their professional potential that it becomes possible to be better represented in front of the public with clear professional capabilities and on a certain level.


- What is the main goal of Ameria PR policy (highlight)?

- The goal of our PR policy is ensuring effective working relations with mass media and other partners in line with international practices and based on the principles of transparency and impartiality, by actively involving in this process the Ameria group of companies` staff, whose involvement is regulated by relevant provisions and requirements.

All this serves one main goal, which is providing publicity of “Ameria” group of companies` activities, passing our goals and values on to the public, bringing to the minimum possible information distortions and non-authorized outflows, and thus, contributing to establishing and strengthening trustworthy relations between Ameria and the public.


- What degree of independence does the PR team have in terms of decision-making and policy formation?

- The corporate culture in Ameria allows each of its employees to raise opinions on this or that issue, propose their own version of decision-making, make various offers, which can become heard, discussed, and encouraged at each management level.

Consequently, within the framework of the acting PR policy, the PR team not only authorized and also has to make own decisions, which can be declined only in the case of thorough arguments. I find this and the efforts of the HR team in this direction very important, since they encourage each employee to be open, raise issues, propose their own views, as well as have the opionions of other team members, including the ones of the management team.


- As a specialist, how would you evaluate general level of corporate PR in Armenia?

- During recent years, the PR topic is a frequently discussed one, however, not always is the role of PR fully perceived and evaluated in the corporate world. The higher the corporate governance level is in a given structure, the more obligatory is the right distribution of roles in all business circles and involvement of relevant specialists. Otherwise, there is a situation when the marketing specialist also takes up PR. Unfortunately, such structures remain common. In the context of the current period of rapid technological advancement, when each piece of information spreads fast through different channels, not only do we have to talk about having a PR specialist in each structure, but also of new development trends and how to substitute trnaditional PR methods with new and seemingly unusual approaches. Time does not stand still in this sense, and business development requires balanced, specific and modern PR approaches.

The role of PR is extremely important in highly competitive sectors, especially in the Armenian banking sector, where the right management of information flows is a mere necessity, since here, if you do not want to take up PR activities, the latter will take you up.



- Can corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects be treated as advertisement or as a PR policy element?

- I have a firm opinion that CSR projects can not be driven by self-advertisement or PR motives. As a part of society, each individual and business strcuture have to carry a responsibility towards social issues. It a different question, that such initiatives should be talked about and presented to the public, since in this way, we promote CSR parctices in the country. The priority CSR direction for Ameria is in supporting children with serious health issues. We have developed a tradition of holding a charity auction on New Year`s eve with the purpose of uniting the forces of the corporate world and providing the financial and moral support to the children who entered life in a difficult fight. When we speakabout the action, we just try to call upon society to become a participant of our initiative and invest joint efforts to color the dream of these kids, who want to live. During the whole year, our staff members, partners and conscientious citizens continue making donations. We never talk about our support to specific children and never show any video materials on this. However, we prepare a detailed report on our spending, which we present to our staff and partners, who continuously support this initiative. We can also provide it to any citizen, who has joined the charity donations. Since you have asked this question, I would like to thank all individuals and structures, supporting our initiative and one more time, make a call upon society to join this Ameria initiative. We are full of hope that together we will lighten up the lives of the children and will bring to them new rays of hope and the delight of life. 

 

Source: AmCham Business Magazine

Updated 18.04.2015, 16:26
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