Natalia Ulynets, CEO of Perfect PR, talks about the agency’s work in the first months of the full-scale invasion, development, and approaches that helped it survive this year.
Did the beginning of the war change the agency?
Definitely yes. The changes affected everyone, and Perfect PR was no exception. The spring was tough. In March and April, we didn’t even have anyone to invoice. Communicating the Ukrainian business position became our mission, not just our business. We used our clients’ social media as an additional tool to tell the world the truth about russian aggression.
It was a difficult time for me as the head of the agency, because I frankly did not understand what would happen next. The team moved to relatively safe places across Ukraine: we worked and volunteered. The first two months of the war were the most difficult. It’s good that we had the financial means to hold out and keep the team together.
How did you restore your business?
In December 2021, we planned a great budget for the next year. When we returned to the office in April, we realized that we had to forget about that budget. We took a fresh approach to financial culture and, together with the team, created a “Wartime Budget”. All our colleagues were very understanding because our main goal was to save the company and each of our team members. We minimized many expenses and canceled various services, trips, and training programs.
In May, Ukrainian clients started to return to us. At the beginning of summer, we started working on the international market again, as well as in an important social project. That’s when we realized the worst was over. We are very flexible – this has been confirmed once again.
How are you ending this year?
With faith in Victory! At the end of the year, we allowed ourselves to do something we hadn’t even dreamed of in 2022. We set a course to strengthen the agency’s structure inside. We are updating the processes and structure of Perfect PR, planning training programs, and developing our own portal.
In December, we won the European Excellence Awards, the international communication competition. We are currently developing new services. We have requests from new businesses that value their reputation for development. So we are entering 2023 with new subscription contracts. We realized that Perfect PR is an anti-fragile agency. This was confirmed by the team, our attitude, and approach to work.
What approaches do you use in your work?
There are several of them. Short-range conclusions. A plan for a month. A week. For tomorrow. Monitoring the status of all projects in the agency. The strategy of small steps works well. By the way, I take something from my running training in this strategy.
Working on building a reputation means implementing healthy, valuable, effective communications for clients. This is our main line and approach, as well as courage and prudence in our decisions. Every customer request is a challenge. But 2022 has shown that we have 100% learned to accept challenges of various sizes.