Since the beginning of January, the Public Relations Committee (PRC) of AEGEE-Europe has a new team of speakers. Read the interview with speaker Jelena Stankovic (AEGEE-Beograd) and vice-speaker Gerardo Garcia Diaz (AEGEE-Oviedo) and find out about their field of work, their aims for the upcoming term and their plans for the Fair at the European Planning Meeting(EPM) in Burgos and the upcoming Agora.
Jelena: I am Jelena and I am 25 years old. I live in the beautiful city of Belgrade.
Gerardo: This is Gerar, 24-year-old guy from Gijón, at the northern coast of Spain. I am an Electrical Engineer Bachelor and Design Management Master, and right now I am studying an Industrial Engineering Master. I am currently AEGEE-Oviedo’s president and PR responsible and member of The Academy, and I have been the publications responsible of the Summer University Coordination Team (SUCT) since Agora Budapest until Agora Cagliari. Then I got involved in an ambush and became PRC vice-speaker (he laughs).
Maybe not everyone knows what your actual work looks like. How exactly would you define the work as a member (and now even a speaker) of the PRC?
Jelena: PRC is here to give a hand to the network if they have some problems or requests related to PR, such as design, consulting, logo requests, AEGEE Fair, etc. Currently, I am working on the Fair and PRC membership renewal. We are trying to reorganize, motivate and activate our team.
Gerardo: It is kind of funny, but I am a newbie in PRC. I have been Oviedo’s PR responsible since 2011, but with my involvement in the SUCT, I decided not to grab more things than I could hold (Réka wanted to “hire” me in 2012 but I kindly refused the offer due to it). I only joined PRC when my duties at the SUCT were done. Now that I am in the Speaker Team (ST), what Jelena said is my daily work.
Jelena: I can hate what is the least favorite: sending emails.
Gerardo: Well, as in any other “directive” position, the satisfaction of actually doing things for people and being useful makes it a nice thing (you can have that feeling from every position, but the ST gives you more power to achieve goals), but if I would need to say that a “favourite task” would be helping antennae to create or redesign their logos, since it is quite challenging.
Why did you apply for the position of a speaker/vice-speaker? What is your personal motivation?
Jelena: When I decided to join PRC, we had such a great team and time while organizing the AEGEE-Fair at Agora Patra, so I ran for the position in the ST as vice-speaker. This is my second term, because I felt like I had unfinished business in PRC.
Gerardo: When I joined PRC I just planned to be a “regular member” at least for one year, to get to know things and then, maybe, candidate for the ST. But some time after, and specially at the Public Relations European School (PRES), my fellow trainers encouraged me to jump to the ST due to the general ideas I had in mind and that I previously told Jelena when she made me the “welcome interview” to PRC. I like to call it “ambush”, but actually, I was fine with it (he laughs).
All in all, I decided to apply for the ST because from this position it will be easier for me to propose things and be useful to others, and I think I have several plans in mind that are worth the effort.
Jelena: Currently, I am working as PR in an HR agency and on one student art festival. Before that, I worked in a brand design agency. I am also studying marketing at the University of Belgrade.
Gerardo: I have been helping in the field of PR since the moment I joined AEGEE actively, in September 2010. Shortly after that, I created several materials and videos, and redesigned the logo of the antenna including the “silhouettes” to our Visual Identity (VI). Four years later that element became part of the logo inside of the customizable area. In September 2011, I was elected as PR responsible of my antenna, AEGEE-Oviedo, a position that I have been holding since then, creating several campaigns for local and European projects – Summer University (SU), EiE and Language Working Group (LWG) logos are made by me and I created the SU Maps format two years ago, which now the incredible Ksenia Lupanova (AEGEE-Moskva) is improving for this year’s campaign. I have been a trainer of PRES last year and it all ended in joining PRC!
At the local level, this year I’m sharing the position with the awesome Elena Sicilia Blanco (AEGEE-Oviedo), who is also my fellow co-responsible of the PR at AgorAsturias.
Jelena: Since the term of a ST in PRC is really short (six months), we have some unfinished things from the past term. Now, we are focusing on the upcoming AEGEE-Fair both in Burgos and Oviedo, and the renewal of the members in PRC.
Gerardo: Internally, we would like to get PRC members active (with the quoted members renewal) and make the Committee more efficient in its tasks creating several teams of work-force for different PR areas. I would also like to modify the internal elections scheduling (so they will be right after Autumn Agora and not at the end of the year) and also to make terms last one year instead of only six months, but that is something that will need to be discussed with all the members.
On the external side, I would like us to be helpful to the network and to show our fellow AEGEEans what our work is really about, and that things such as the visual identity are not “that pain in the ass that limits our creativity” but actually the way the AEGEE-brand gets stronger and recognizable everywhere empowering it.
Do you know why Apple or BMW always use the same scheme of colors and fonts? Because they have a visual identity and follow it to strengthen their brand. Why should we just blame on the AEGEE VI and not take advantage of it now that we have one, then?
Jelena: Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the EPM, so I am doing my job from Belgrade as a communication manager, taking care of applications, communicating with the bodies, project teams or locals, as with local organizers.
Gerardo: Since Jelena cannot be there, we will divide our work “in order to be one” – she will take care of the previous work and I will be the one managing the Fair “live”.
What is your favorite PR material or your favorite PR campaign in AEGEE?
Jelena: For sure the SUPS Cluj-Napoca!
Gerardo: I do not want to toot my own horn (well, just a little), but I really think that the SU Maps are quite useful and efficient as PR material (all-in-one map, poster, mini-booklet, flyer… almost 20 more times the units and almost half of the price than booklets). I am looking forward to seeing what Ksenia is preparing with them. But aside from that I would like to mention Kyiv and Mosvka’s NYE campaign (they even had tattoos and wristbands at Agora Cagliari) and the outstanding work that Konstantinos Pappas performed with the Official PR materials that can be found at the Members Portal.
Jelena: I would like to invite people who are creative, motivated and enthusiastic to join our team!
Gerardo: Well, first of all thank you for being interested in us and interviewing us, and, as Jelena said, anybody interested in our work field (including public relations, communication, graphic design, strategic planning & journalism among others) is more than welcome to apply (just go to wg.aegee.org/prc/apply) and get involved in this big family. Have a good day!
Written by Katja Sontag, AEGEE-Aachen