Valentina Gurova is the head of the PR-Aliyans agency. She has been working in PR since 1999, when this field was only starting to find its footing in Russia, with politics being the most popular area of activity for PR specialists. In the early 2000s, Valentina decided to start her own agency, changing her course a little: her field of interest included social activism, charity, culture, art, and, of course, show business. This is how PR-Aliyans came to be in 2002. Today, the team of PR-Aliyans develops PR programmes for individuals and organizations, including large industrial and investment companies.
Women Fitness President Ms. Namita Nayyar catches up with Valentina Gurova, an exceptionally talented, World leading Public Relation Personality and head of PR-Aliyans agency here she talks about her workout, diet, beauty secrets and her success story.
Valentina, you were at the forefront of PR in Russia back when the profession of a PR agent seemed to be something mysterious. How did you get started in this field?
When I first started, almost no one knew what the job of a PR agent was, there were only 15 agencies in Russia. Back when I was still a university student, I visited an exhibition featuring books on advertising and PR lectures and, of course, professionals who were willing to share their experience: and right at the exhibition I applied for an internship at one of those agencies.
The new job took over my life to the point that I was practically drowning in it: during the day I was torn between lectures at the university and trips to the office; at night, I studied copywriting and read anything I could find on PR in Russia. I was fortunate enough to almost immediately become part of the team of a major political project: the gubernatorial elections. I had to work around the clock in order to find time for everything, but since this was my calling, I forgot about sleep. I still look back at those times with fondness!
Today, PR no longer seems as incomprehensible, but still, what trivial or funny questions do you get asked about your work by the ‘uninitiated’, people who are not related to this field?
Most of the strange and provocative questions I get asked concern not myself or my work, but rather my clients, especially TV stars and stars of show business: what they are like in real life, the latest gossip, scandals… But a good PR agent should have the nobility of an English gentleman – to be silent about juicy details and reveal only what the clients themselves would be ready to make public.
And since the boundaries of taboo topics are different for everyone, you need to be a sensitive psychologist in order to understand what exactly the client is ready to reveal to the general public. Sometimes scandalous topics can be a great PR move, even if they do not do credit to the client: public scandals, explicit photos, candid confessions and divorce proceedings. Just imagine the willpower you need to possess in order to impartially work with all this!
Have you ever had to work for someone you disliked? Is it even possible?
It’s just easier to make others fall in love with someone whom you personally find appealing. But, just like in any other business, you get all sorts of jobs — some easy, some difficult. In most cases, I try to connect with the client and build a trusting relationship for many years of fruitful cooperation. If there happens to be a sudden creative disconnect between us, we sit down at the negotiating table and discuss the work process.
Sometimes clients themselves do not know what they want from their PR team or do not trust us as specialists: in cases like these we simply part our ways. Time is the most valuable resource; you can’t spend it on someone who does not understand this.
Could you name your most memorable project? Perhaps the most difficult or your favourite one?
Our agency is actively engaged in the field of fashion, I am especially proud of our cooperation with such giants as Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue. Over the past 12 years, we have significantly expanded our areas of activity and now we not only cooperate with the European media, but also work closely with such countries as the USA, China, Vietnam, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. At the same time, each client and each publication is a real challenge and joy.
But perhaps the most memorable project was and still is the international beauty contest Miss Earth, where our client, despite her modest achievements, managed to impress everyone with her emotional speech about Russia written under the guidance of our copywriter. Just imagine, a contestant who didn’t even get into the top 10 finalists, was followed day and night by dozens of reporters wishing to interview her. The girl was predicted to have a successful political career in her home country, but she saw her calling in social and charitable projects, so she did not take this opportunity. Well, there are different ways to influence the fate of your country, but for our part, we have done everything to make the name of our client known throughout the world.
This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President womenfitness.net and should not be reproduced, copied, or hosted in part or full anywhere without express permission.
All Written Content Copyright © 2021 Women Fitness
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.