Given your great experience in the public relations sector at a corporate level, what are some of the best practices learned and applicable to an environment like Peru?
In the current context, within a globalized world, public relations play an important role, as it builds identity and reinforces the reputation of a company or person. This activity facilitates the process of building trust, generating links between parties, shortening distances, and having permanent visibility in the corporate world. Although time is an executive's most valuable resource, it is fundamental to program an annual agenda of events identifying those that are closest to the professional objectives and prioritizing spaces in the agenda for meetings and lunches. Relating to key people is important for business and essential for the strategic planning of the company. We must also make the most of our network of contacts. Networking is one of the most relevant practices in the business world; possibly the most important challenge to benefit from public relations is developing a strategic network of contacts, the same that must be kept alive to build long-term relationships. Finally, nothing is out of reach. The leading entrepreneurs of relevant institutions or power authorities are accessible; it all depends on the attitude we have to make the approach and how we use our network of contacts to achieve the goal.
With the launch of your new book on this subject, what would be your advice to senior executives on how good management of the public image of both a company and a particular executive translates into good performance for the company?
To achieve our professional goals, we must know that a successful executive is an executive who relates. Public relations opens doors not only to negotiate but also to facilitate the exchange between companies. It brings us closer to the circles where one wants to be and generates links. Having spaces for interaction and dialogue allows us to make ourselves known, exchange experiences, discover possible partners for a business, establish genuine relationships, and/or build up the loyalty of those we already have. Beyond making short-term transactions, first one has to create effective connections and empathy with the interest groups. When they achieve this and maintain a two-way communication, we can build long-term relationships.
What are your recommendations for successful networking and an effective relationship in the current context marked by social isolation?
In the current context, where we cannot meet face to face, we must continue to maintain links with our stakeholders and not lose what we have built so far. The economically complicated period is the time to stay on our clients' radar; the pandemic has created a tremendous challenge, but there are opportunities. When being permanently connected on social networks, we should take advantage of the space to share valuable information and have greater visibility. Doing business networking on digital platforms can also help significantly. Those webinars being held help us stay interconnected, and if we organize them ourselves, we add value to our stakeholders and strengthen existing relationships. In these times, empathy and solidarity also play an important role. We can offer our assistance, share our skills, or contribute ideas for projects. The circumstances imposed by social isolation can also be useful for executives without a physical presence in Peru but still have business interests in the country. The pandemic has exponentially accelerated the relationship through digital platforms, which allows us to expand markets and approach colleagues abroad with great ease for meetings that previously required physical presence. We are just a click away and borders no longer exist. This situation has given us the opportunity to discover that video conferences are a powerful tool, because they allow us to be more efficient at work and, above all, be in permanent contact with our stakeholders. We can meet with many people in a single day, and the frequency of these meetings is greater than before. We are saving time on travel and accommodation; in fact, I would even say we are being more productive.