Olivera Stefanovic Stankovic is the owner and director of the Proglas public relations agency, and she uses her rich experience in numerous campaigns in the areas of public relations, branding, corporate and internal communications to improve the business of her clients, but also all those who need this type of support. She revealed what a day of today`s entrepreneurs looks like, how they deal with responsibility, but she also referred to modern journalism. In the Success Diary, she also shared her tips for business people.
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur nowadays, especially when it comes to women?
Nowadays, being an entrepreneur is a 20-hour job, and those who haven`t tried it often don`t believe, and don`t understand it. The second segment refers to a female entrepreneur, who has to fight first and foremost in business, then with other men, but also just as equally with women, and finally with the environment she works in. Proglas Public Relations Agency has existed since 2013 and a lot has changed since then. What once used to be PR is a completely different thing today, in fact, the people who started dealing with PR have both simplified and complicated it. In every text or public appearance, it is necessary to take into account the words, expression, presentation, or the overall approach. On the other hand, time has changed PR and it came to be everything - both the text and the organization of events and the media plan and media lease and consulting. Literally - everything.
How to do business in such constellation?
When I ventured into entrepreneurial waters, I didn`t pay much attention to what they were telling me. My goal was to learn another part of the business that I was not a part of. Perhaps I even thought that it was easier to be an entrepreneur than to work for a company, as I worked years ago, because you schedule the day yourself, which is a big advantage. Now I am convinced that everything is the opposite, because my day is created by clients and the obligations I have towards each of them. On the other hand, doing PR means learning every day, because clients are from different industries, so it is necessary, at least in my case, to master the economy, education, public-private partnership, health, nutrition and so on. There are few agencies in our country that are specialized and work in only one area.
How responsible are you?
I would say more than necessary. I am often criticized that the world will not "fall apart" if I do not do something, but I do not know of any other way, and it seems to me that I won`t. Because, if I give up on minor details, it just won`t make sense and I will be just one of the many, and I do not want that. It often happens that in the "small hours" at 1 or 2 after midnight I write a text and get up at 7 in the morning even more ready for work than someone who slept for eight hours, because I am satisfied that I managed to finish everything planned and start a new business day. At one point, in parallel with my private business, I worked in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development as a media advisor to the Minister. I was at work every day between 7 and 7:15 and around 1 pm I continued my entrepreneurial work and worked until 1-2 after midnight, and so on for a year. To the question of others "how do you achieve that", my answer would be that I don`t think about it, I just work and work and work. In these moments, the support of the family was crucial, which is always there even when the situation is complex and the absence from home and several weeks of non-stop work.
You stood in front of the cameras 27 years ago and gained your first knowledge of the media. Until recently, you were loyal to television. How much has the media scene changed since then?
It is not possible to compare much. At the time I started working on television, journalists and editors were competing for whose article or show would be better. In the first place in terms of quality, knowledge, creativity, then experience, but a nice word was also nurtured. We had different schools of performances in front of the cameras, influential editors, people of authority and very significantly, much more positive energy and cooperation among colleagues. Today, the quality is very low, journalists have become news carriers, presenters mostly puppets or small entertainers who try to reach the audience even in bizarre ways. Changes and improvement of the profession are definitely needed, not to mention education.
You were the author and host of the show "Guide to Diabetes", which had its own cycle of 235 shows. All this was in parallel with the entrepreneurial business. How?
It is a very simple recipe. Work both Saturdays and Sundays and turn life into work. I’m not saying this system is ideal, but I love what I do and I live it. I also know that many do not understand this, but I have reconciled work and family. The show "Guide through diabetes" is a project that dealt with educating the population. I hope that in less than five years, the messages I wanted to convey have reached at least 1% of the population, which I consider a success. Today, I am not in front of the camera, but I am editing the show "Sixth Round of Sports", in which the guests are qualified athletes for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and former Olympians. I am very proud to be part of a cycle of 15 shows in which the best will be presented.
In addition to this job, you are also involved in public speech education. Who is it for and what are the experiences?
It`s my love. As a very young woman, I finished many schools for public speaking and today I clearly remember the lectures. I have worked with young people in public for years, because they are afraid to present the project or often do not know how to behave at the meeting. In the last years of my education, I have been working with business people who have not had the opportunity to perform in front of the camera or the audience, and the positions they hold require it. We work on strengthening self-confidence, performances at any time, but we also remind ourselves what etiquette is, how to dress for a meeting, how to write an e-mail or SMS. Older generations are much more interested in learning and application, but it happens that young people also want to learn, although they would like to learn everything in a few hours and say "I know that", but that is not possible. On the other hand, young people have informal behavior with a lot of insecurity, jokes and it is harder for them to accept education, but also to accept they can be wrong. I am always positive and I believe, I truly believe, that work always pays off. Sometimes it doesn`t happen when we want it, but the result always comes when we least expect it. That is why you need faith in yourself and it will be easier and simpler.
Optimism, combativeness and providing maximum in everything you do - they are your trademarks. What advice do you have for business people?
It takes perseverance and a clearly set goal, positive energy, both individually and in working with people, because I believe that this opens the door to new challenges. A smile costs nothing, being kind to another person should be a norm, because it will only improve what you are striving for. Business involves many aspects that every person should meat. When you wake up in the morning, you realize that it is a privilege to go to work, no matter what the job is. You always do the best you can and share everything with your colleagues, because an individual never succeeds, a team does. Another very important fact is that you should love what you do, because then the results will be better.