August 28, 2009
By all conventional knowlege, ‘expert’ is not instantly associated with ‘young’, yet the Romanian PR industry proves this assumption wrong. Romania has been playing a game of ‘catch up as fast as you can’ with the Western world over the past 15 years. While the PR industry is still young, it has come a very long way in a very short time, growing in leaps and bounds to respond to the economic development. As with other ‘new’ industries in a young market economy, PR in Romania is about 10-12 years old, therefore many of the senior people are in their late 20s or early 30s. This is intriguing for business people not familiar with the region, its culture and history. Part of the same crowd myself, especially in the first career years, I could sense skepticism from a distance. Talking about practical experience, especially in crisis communications, always did the trick: “And how old are you?” Of course ‘hours of flight’ are essential – understanding media relations does not make one a consultant in reputation management. But it took some good years for a young industry to prove itself and become awarded on the same stage with countries that have a long-standing tradition in PR. In our office the average age is 28 and we make no exception to the industry. Of the people I interviewed for jobs in the past two years, I can count those above 35 on the fingers of one hand. And the consultants in a team for a large project some years ago were all under 35, from lawyers to HR or PR experts. Luckily there is no language barrier for professionalism. Regardless of age or culture, professionals recognise themselves as such, move beyond any preconceptions and simply roll up their sleeves. In my now (respectable) early 30s I realise the privilege of growing at the same time with my industry, which is what we, the Action network, have been doing in fact so successfully for more years than I’ve been around.