I interviewed Atanas Aleksovski,like I promised before, and asked his experience from Macedonias PR history and processes.
Atanas said, that first I should understand cultural and political backgrounds and social relationships, that I can understand something about Macedonias PR and media today. I said, that I don´t know much about Macedonias or other Eastern europes cultural or political history. I told him, it is very hard to imagine, what it means to live through these huges changes, when the nation is facing new political, economical and social future - and new way to communicate more freely than before too.
Atanas told that many things has changed after 1991, when the Federal Rebuplic of Yuogoslavia break-up. Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, members of states of Yuogoslavia, voted for independence. They wanted to leave limitations of communism behind. And then started the war. Ofcource, before and during war, military based PR and propaganda played huge role.
During the war PR professionals could be found from military organizations and from media. Public relations is still quite young profession and industry in Macedonia. Macedonia is already member of NATO and now hopes to enter European Union in next wave. Macedonia has developed PR and global communication skills to help this enter. EU gives already money to Media development projects.
Atanas told, that especially young people have taken new information technology in use. Internet, social media, example facebook and blogging are very used. Students from another countries are studying in Macedonias colleges or universities and turism has increased. Building global networks is very important. Before the war Internet was the window to the world for young people. They couldn´t travel freely. Now it´s possible, if you have money enough.
Communications activities has been increased. Macedonia needs new investments, new industry to build up country after war. Balkan already have big global companies, but they really try to have more. So they use new public relations concultant to develope PR.
Because of war and used propaganda, people don´t trust media or governments official communication so much anymore. Sometimes it might be hard to trust even other citizens too, but still, traditional printmedia and TV are strong communication channels today. In Macedonia local TV channels have very strong position and they are very popular. Even the country has still big economical and political problems, they develope strongly new media. Border between old and young people could be seen. Young people can use new media, but old people can´t. So TV is important media for all. Intresting little thing was TV payment - every household pays TV-payment in their electricbill, even they didn´t have TV.
In Macedonia personal relationships are very important. Face-to-face communication is important between public relations professionals and journalists, or between organizations public relations people. Trust is everything. PR services has incresed in all big industries. But still, experts are needed to develope PR and ommunications processes on Macedonia.
Source: Interwiev 18.11.2010, Atanas Aleksovski