Young PR Professionals met up at the Worldcom Youth Meeting 2016 in Sofia for a two days’ workshop
Posted 16 Jun 2016
After getting together five years in a row in Budapest, young PR talents of the Worldcom PR Group met in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, this year. In Sofia, there is a square in the city centre which the locals call “square of tolerance” (as in a few meters’ distance there is a synagogue, a mosque and an orthodox church). Therefore, it seemed like the perfect setting for the young international PR generation of the Worldcom agencies to come together here. Despite daily forecasts of storm, the weather was warm and sunny.
At this stage, a big thank you to our Bulgarian partner agency Janev & Janev, esp. Todor Janev, for being our host.
We, Ebru and Simon from HBI, were so fortunately to participate in this year’s Worldcom Youth Meeting. It started on Thursday evening with a welcome dinner. Interesting conversations emerged quickly with our colleagues from the UK, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Hungary and Germany in the modern restaurant Cosmo Bash Gurme.
On Friday, the lectures started. The location being a sort of open workspace with its own kitchen, tables and chairs, sofas and beamer turned out to be perfect for the purpose.
After a short welcoming speech by our host Todor, Vassilena Vizeva presented how the pharmaceutical company GSK Bulgaria successfully implemented an internal communication strategy based on the gamification approach. A game was developed to increase collaboration between departments and to educate about the new reward policy of the organisation.
Next, Konstantin Cristov introduced his PR tool Sensika. He demonstrated vividly how PR campaigns were adapted after a live data analysis during the World Government Summit in Dubai and reached increased attention.
After a short break, Veska Sergieva presented the tool Ontotext which processes texts analytically and semantically. Then a first task awaited the participants: they should use the tool to collect key people, organisations and background information regarding one current topic and present them to the rest of the group. The Google News Feed was used in frame for texts.
Afterwards, the participants presented interesting case studies from their agencies and tools they are using in their daily business. This resulted in a lively exchange and it was very interesting to see, how other agencies of the Worldcom network proceed.
Finally, the group went back to the hotel. We met again after a short break, this time in the traditional Bulgarian restaurant Hadjidraganovite Izbi. Not only large portions of typical Bulgarian cuisine were served here, but also a group of musicians with flute, accordion and drum played Bulgarian folklore. This led Todor to sing along with them and some of the guests danced the Horo (please excuse me, if I don’t spell it correctly). Starched like that, the group moved on in the warm Bulgarian night under the guidance of the host.
Saturday morning, the PR junior talents received their task: They had to develop a PR campaign in teams of three for the rebranding of a bank specialised on mortgages. Within a fairly short timeframe, they presented their campaigns and chose a winner team which won books written by famous Bulgarian authors. Then, all participants obtained their certificates and Bulgarian types of tea as a gift. The official part of the Youth meeting ended here.
The host had kindly organised a city tour through Sofia. Our guide Stefan presented the fascinating history of the city in a funny and interesting way with a lot of Game of Thrones allusions. Already during the day and after the tour, many participants had to leave unfortunately. Thus, the Worldcom Youth Meeting ended with a lot of fond farewells.
In Bulgaria it is a custom to buy red-white wristbands on the first day of March and every time you meet a friend in the street, you exchange wristbands and wear them until you see the first swallow coming back from the south or a flowering fruit tree. This is similar to the great contacts we made during the meeting. We carry the acquaintances with us, until in a future Worldcom project we can hopefully benefit from the fact that we already know and appreciate each other.