It has been a while since the last time I wrote a post here in English . After I switched my career from online journalism to public relations, I did not have the appetite of expressing myself on this blog in any other languages than Turkish. It was also because I did not think that anybody from abroad would be interested in the things I wrote about the PR industry in Turkey.
However, it seems like the reality is kind of the opposite. Everyday we see that more companies from abroad show interest in Turkish market . This also results in the increase of PR services demand . I come across people from other countries who really wanna know what s been going on here in term of PR activities and how we do the business.
I am not going to start now with the local conditions in the country or how the PR industry functions . But I ll come to those in the coming days.
Rather, I wanna say a few words about an event I ve attended tonight .The Communication Consultancies Association of Turkey (İDA) launched a series of meetings for PR professionals in other to table the problems of the sector and find out solutions to tackle with the challenges that the agencies and the professionals face.
At the first session of the events today, the new president of the Association, Mr. Cem İlhan has given a speech, along with a presentation on the current status of the PR industry in Turkey with all the facts and figures. The most important -and for me the best- part of the presentation was when he honestly confessed the fact that we failed to create a reputable PR sector in the country . He almost pointed all the reasons -at least in my mind- of how we ruined everything.
For those who are unfamiliar with the PR industry in Turkey, here are a few points worth mentioning from Mr. İlhan’s presentation:
-Personal disputes among professionals working at the agencies prevent them from cooperating and adopting common measures in dealing with the clients (especially with the international ones)
-The quality of the professionals are not good enough and they are not into self-improvement .
-PR is perceived as a “vocation” rather than “profession” here.
-The agencies are still built upon the personal charisma of the founders .
The list is quite longer for sure. As you can see, the presentation was pretty pessimistic about the current status. However Mr. İlhan expressed his optimism about the future. A future that could be designed by the professionals who are into improving both the sector and themselves . Nobody has a realistic solution for now but at least we ll start thinking about it.