The Road to ERMIS16 years, 5 months ago
Rita Malikouti talks us through the recent development of Public Relations in Greece.
The Public Relations industry is probably the most dynamic developing sector of the communication industry in Greece during the past five years. With an average annual growth of 30%-40%, PR is gaining the trust of the market by significantly improving its professional standards and providing high quality services to international and local clients.
Things were not always that way. Until the end of 80’s there were mostly individual practitioners offering PR services. Although new, PR Agencies managed to slowly establish themselves in the market and develop a new generation of Public Relations Consultants.
The subsidiaries, affiliates and representatives of the well-known international Public Relations networks, most of which established their local presence during the early 90’s, following their international clients openings in Greece, played a significant role in that respect.
Educating The Market
The greatest challenge for the Public Relations sector in Greece, at that time, was to educate the local market regarding the services and the added value that Public Relations practices can provide to the local Greek companies as well as for their international competitors. Public Relations was hardly taught in our Academic establishments during these years, and the Greek industry did not trust what was perceived as "PR" that time.
A research project conducted among businesses during 2001 demonstrated that only 47% of the Greek enterprises of all sectors required and made use of professional Public Relations services. This figure could be viewed in two ways: on the one hand, it represented the main obstacle for the development of the Public Relations industry, on the other there was the great opportunity of the remaining 53% of businesses as a target audience for the sector!
With the aim of educating the local market, the PR Sector of the Hellenic Association of Communication Agencies (HACA) introduced in 2002, among other initiatives, the "ERMIS PR" Awards.
PR Campaigns are submitted for consideration and the final awarded campaigns are presented and analyzed via the local industry press. Interviews with local entrepreneurs are published, underlining the significant role of PR in their strategy.
Today the growth of the PR market in Greece continues with an increasing number of Greek clients realizing more and more the need for professional PR services.
To see a case study of the campaign for Starbucks that won the Grand "Ermis PR" award for 2006, please click here. Enjoy it!
Rita Malikouti is Public Relations Management Consultant, Solid Relations.mail the author
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