Thousands of spectators, inspirational speeches, and the fight for the Stinger: How Did PRNext-2023 Forum Go

On March 31, the long-awaited PRNext-2023 forum took place. The broadcast attracted the attention of about 3,000 viewers. Leading business representatives, PR experts, marketing, and reputation management shared their experiences with the forum participants during the event. Also, among those who took part in the fundraising for the needs of the 95th Nonintegrated Air Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the winner was determined. The winner received an unusual souvenir – a shot Stinger, from which a russian helicopter was destroyed.

The forum began with a speech by the Chairman of the PRNext Organizing Committee, PR-Service Agency Partner, and Vice-President of the Ukrainian PR League, Olena Derevianko, who spoke about the main trends in reputation management during the war, thus giving an impetus and determining the vector for further discussions of forum topics.

After that, the forum participants heard a motivational, at times emotional, speech of showman Andrii Bedniakov, who gave a fresh example from his life showing you cannot give up when you face difficult life challenges.

An expert from the Office of Reforms of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Maksym Hardus, who has many years of experience in the field of communications in the public and private sectors, shared his expert view on what people think about our country abroad.

Director of “Rating” Sociological Group Liubomyr Mysiv talked about how the war affected people's trust in sources of information within the country.

After, there was a very active professional communication with the leaders of the leading Ukrainian media. Editor-in-Chief of UNN Olena Arkhipova, Editor-in-Chief of Delo.UA Yurii Husev, Editor-in-Chief of the 24 Channel website Anastasiia Zazuliak, Editor-in-Chief of the Espresso TV channel Anastasiia Ravva, and Deputy General Director of the RBC-Ukraine news agency Svitlana Sheremetieva-Turchyn, discussed the editorial policy of the domestic media during the war, the change in the taste of readers, fact-checking business news, the interaction of journalists with government officials, and the shortcomings of the Law “On Media”, which entered into force on the day of the forum.

Then, the founder of perhaps the most successful Ukrainian Telegram channel “Trukha” and the Head of the online training project, “How to Create a Telegram Channel from Scratch," Maksym Lavrynenko took the floor. He shared the success story of his project on Telegram, talking about the growth path from a local channel to an all-Ukrainian network.

Oleh Kozerod, political scientist and founder of Iris Consulting Group (Poland), continued the theme of the importance of Ukraine's international image. He spoke about the reaction of the world experts and media community to the news from Ukraine, adding to Maksym Hardus, who shared his vision of the situation from within the country.

The Guardian’s Best Documentary Photographer of 2022 and winner of the James Knight International Journalism Award Ievhenii Malolietka, who also worked in Mariupol during the siege of the city by the russian occupation forces, continued the topic of the information needs of foreign media, voicing his heartfelt story about photographs what he took during the war. Ievhenii noted that now it is extremely important to convey the truth to a foreign audience, no matter how terrible it may seem.

Then, the forum participants got acquainted with an expert look at the creative content of Hlib Pronenko, co-owner and CEO of MOKO digital, who cheered everyone up with his speech.

Reputation Management and Marketing Director at the Nova Post group of companies Olena Plakhova spoke about the priorities in communications during the war and showed the company's creativity in social networks – specific examples of a successful systematic approach to reputation management.

Deputy Chairman of Epicenter K LLC for Advertising, Marketing, Public Relations and Media Iryna Shynkarenko talked about how her company confirms the reputation of a caring business that cares about the future of our country with their deeds.

After a double immersion in the topic of working with foreign media in the form of expert views from within the country and from outside, the forum participants got acquainted with the history of the real sector of the economy. Head of the PR team of HarvEast Agricultural Holding and laureate of the honorary title “Best Marketing and PR Director of the Agricultural Industry of Ukraine” in the Agro Champions competition Nataliia Lekhka shared an exciting experience for colleagues on how to communicate with foreign media to go from “Come again, what is your company name?” to “Please comment. You are our favorite speaker.”

Continuing the international topic, the leader of the Ajax System PR team Vira Shcherbakova talked about the challenges facing Ukrainian companies wishing to enter foreign markets.

Marketing Director and Innovation Director of Kormotech Ihor Blystov in his speech showed a good example of how a technological revolution took place in a particular non-digital company.

Nowadays, artificial intelligence is one of the most discussed topics in the world. Only the lazy would not play with one or another neural network or GPT chat. Eventyr.pro Marketing Department Head Maryna Horodyshcheva took on the task of clarifying the situation in a topic that has been sensational in recent months.

As Olena Derevianko noted, more material for reflection and decisions in the context of the professional use of artificial intelligence appeared after Maryna's speech.

The turbulence that has covered the world due to all the tectonic shifts and upheavals gives rise to various creative ideas. Moreover, with the development of neural networks, there are more opportunities for their implementation. But you need to understand this flow: what is in the trend and what is not; where is a taste and where is the bad one; what's actual and what's not? Ievhenii Kudriavchenko, the founder of the most titled Ukrainian web development agency Vintage Web Production, helped the forum participants to figure this out. Shown by Ievhenii, real examples of “lame” and cool creativity made it clear how high-quality communication in Ukrainian social networks should look like today.

The forum was also visited by a guest from the Netherlands – social media marketing expert Clive Roach, who has been working in the field of digital marketing since 1997. His detailed and structured presentation helped to understand the benefits of B2B communities for building a successful business.

Specialist, consultant, and lecturer in personal branding and international PR and communications Alona Huseva put the final point on the topic of social networks, talking about their trends.

Frontman of the famous Ukrainian company “Antytila”, UNICEF Youth Ambassador in Ukraine, and volunteer of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Taras Topolia completed the conference part with his powerful motivational speech. He told how his life and Creative works have changed since February 24, 2022. Taras's emphasis on the fact that PR cannot hide emptiness and that it is only helpful for something that has content, became a bright conclusion to all forum discussions.

As part of the educational break, the rector of Karazin Kharkiv National University Tetiana Kahanovska addressed the forum participants, and Olena Derevianko spoke about her collection of scientific and popular science articles “The General Theory of Reputation”, which will soon be presented at the London Book Fair.
In addition, a practitioner in the field of reputation management Ievhenii Zahorulko and Doctor of Science in Social Communications, Professor of the Ukrainian Institute of Journalism of the Kyiv National University Dmytro Oltarzhevskyi presented the first monograph on corporate communications "Corporate Communications: Fresh Look." The book, which organically combines the achievements of academic science and the practice of corporate communications management, has already appeared on YAKABOO. The proceeds from sales will be used to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

During the day of the forum, all its participants who sent donations to support the fighters of the 95th Nonitegrated Air Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had the opportunity to win a tube from the Stinger MANPADS, from which the russian helicopter was destroyed. Serhii Demchenko became the winner.
Finally, the event's culmination was the announcement of the winners of the VIII National Corporate Reputation Management Quality Rating “Reputation ACTIVists”.

The winners were the companies that demonstrated a high level of reputation management during a very challenging 2022. You can check out the list of winners here.

Despite the online format, the forum turned out to be very rich and sometimes very emotional.
From the organizers of the forum:
“We heard a lot of interesting insights and valuable information from top speakers and got a drive and inspiration from a professional exchange of opinions.

Therefore, we decided to keep the record for those who missed the forum. The recording will be available for a small donation of UAH 100, which will be used to purchase a repeater for the 95th Nonintegrated Air Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

To access the forum post and additional details, write to our admin @admprnext” in Telegram https://t.me/prnext2023.”

Let us remind you that this year, for the first time in the history of the forum, it was possible to take part in PRNext for free since all expenses were covered by the Organizing Committee and project partners ATB, Nova Post, Epicenter, Henkel, and tasty partner of the event Kyiv BKK.