PR Summit 2012: Change yourself or Die – How to communicate in the Time of Changes
Published 10/25/2012

Organizers of the 4th PR Summit – Blue Events and APRA association chose for this year’s conference a very hot topic “Change Management - Effective Communications amidst Planned & Unplanned Changes” The conference offered place for sharing various communication experiences and recommendations ranging from speakers who represented views of Czech expanding software company, municipality, traditional insurance firm and many more. Afternoon discussion introduced four managers from traditional Czech brands that searched and found new image and approach towards marketing and communication with customers. Integral part of the conference has traditionally been the announcement of PR Personality of the Year that was this year won by David Ondráčka from Transparency International. Program concluded with the presentation competition RICPIC. This year’s topic was aimed at presidential elections. More than 160 participants enjoyed the conference at Hotel Pyramida. The number of participants who represented public administration and in-house PR has significantly increased. 

Conference was started by the block moderated by Pavlína Rieselová, member of APRA Executive Council. First speaker Ricardo Adame, vice-president for communication from AVG, offered experiences of the company journey From Brno to the World. AVG, company from Brno, is the first Czech company that has undergone IPO at New York Stock Exchange. However, for company itself it is a boom of social media that matters most in these days. “Recommendations that people share on the internet are now the most influential sources of information,” added Adame. His company had to respond to these trends. “We try to think as we were a media company and try to act as we were a supplier of media content. For example, we have opened on-line multimedia press center.” 

Petr Míkovec, Director of Corporate Development at ČEZ elaborated on Turbulences in the energy sector. He described challenges for internal and external communication that stems from radical transformation of energy industry. In recent years, ČEZ had to cope with challenges such as market liberalization, emission trading and renewable sources of energy. ČEZ is now preparing for vast changes that derive from increasing number of local and independent energy producers. Míkovec emphasized the necessity of thorough internal communication that along with the communication with shareholders enables the desired changes.

Program continued with a block moderated by Denisa Kasl Kollmanová, Head of Marketing Communication & PR Department at Charles University. Presentation Old Brand, New Content performed by Roman Stupka, ex-CFO at ETA, offered an experience with revitalization of the Czech brand ETA. “Because of the problems that have developed after the production in CZ ended, we decided that everything needs to change. Brand content was built on design, quality and clever solutions. Finally we proved that good brand has a power and potential and that creativity and innovation pave the way to success,” shared Stupka.

Drago Sukalovský, mayor of city Kuřim received a great applause with presentation Open x Closed: Changing Communication of a Municipal Body. City Kuřim won the second place in competition that evaluates communication openness of public administration offices. Sukalovský outlined unusual methods of communication that his office applied – for example, he opened discussion about the zoning plan with distribution of comics to Kuřim inhabitants and now he is even planning on introduction of mystery shopping. “I communicate openly, I even use Facebook to get in touch with my citizens, and I am not afraid to say unpopular things. It pays off,” said Sukalovský, who also emphasized the need of continual staff education in communication field.

Dynamic performance of Pavel Řehák, CEO at Česká pojišťovna, introduced changes that this traditional company has undergone in the last two years. Česká pojišťovna is operating in CZ since 1827 that is 185 years on the market. To start a new approach towards employees and customers, Řehák asked very simple question: Why are you here? “People need to have a meaning of work otherwise there are no extra results. Everybody needs to know that our mission is to help our clients in crisis situation,” introduced his vision. “We are creating culture that enables employees to surprise our clients positively. We have even started an internal competition on client surprises.”

Professional jury nominated five PR professionals on PR Personality of the Year Award. Participants of the conference elected David Ondráčka from Transparency International. He was awarded for his "tireless activity in the management of Transparency International Czech Republic, which helped to promote the topic of corruption." Mr. Ondráčka was delighted with his victory, but also surprised because, as he said: "What I do, I don’t do for PR."

Four participants of afternoon discussion that was moderated by Marek Hlavica, an independent communication consultant, presented experiences with changing of marketing strategy at traditional Czech and Slovak companies. Discussion panel consisted of Robert Janča, Marketing Director, Artport/Botas66, Jan Prokop, Brand Manager at Prim, Miroslav Velfl, Managing Director at DBK and Egle Wehle, Brand Manager at Kofola. “We revitalized brand Botas through PR communication. It proved to be effective and very cheap,” said Janča.

The last item on the agenda, competition RIC!PIC!, was moderated by the actress Iva Pazderková. Competition RIC!PIC! of this year was aimed at the best PR strategy for presidential elections and challenged six brave PR experts: David Brada, Cream Prague; Vladimír Bystrov, Bison & Rose; Lenka Čábelová, PwC; Petr Holec, Reflex; Jan Kučmáš, AMI Communications and Petr Šourek, Corrupt Tour. Finally the auditorium selected David Brada for his amusing and persuading arguments that the best candidate would be Jägermeister.

More information about PR Summit 2012:
Antonín Parma, General Manager, Blue Events
Tel.: +420 222 749 841,

Media Inquiries:
Denisa Vlčková, Blue Events
Tel.: +420 222 749 841,