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Friday5 with Ekaterina Belan, editor of Popsop.com
Andreas | October 7, 2011
Yes, it’s the end of the working week… (for most of us anyway) and time for another Friday5; the mini-blog that never asks just five questions.
In the spotlight this week is Ekaterina Belan, editor of Popsop.com, a daily brand journal about brands and design.
ONE: You were working three years in Moscow, Russia. Why did you choose Moscow?
Actually, I didn’t choose Moscow as a specific location where I wanted to live and work. However, a brilliant opportunity popped up and I couldn’t miss it out. I was given a chance to start a new media endeavour, where I could become a co-founder, visionary, editor and entrepreneur all in one. My business partner Alexey Baranov, who was the CEO of a Moscow-based brand and design agency BQB, reached out to me with an idea to start running a small blog about package design and branding – Popsop.com in English and Russian. The mission of the project was rather educational than commercial. We strived to modernise and internationalise Russia’s creative industry and business on the whole through building a strong media interconnections with the UK brand and design sector, as well as to promote British creative services in Russia. That was how I started working in Moscow for Popsop.
TWO: In Moscow and now back in London, you are working at Popsop.com, an online newspaper with more than 170.000 readers per month. What’s the newspaper about?
Popsop.com is a web-based daily brand journal, not a newspaper in its traditional meaning. Through these 3 years the website has managed to become a popular digest with the fastest news on brands and brand communications for industry people all over the world. We cover business aspects, industry people, design and identity, advertising and marketing, digital promotion, social media communication of global brands — every aspect of brand communications, in English and Russian. What makes us different from the competitors is our panel of more than 50 experts from the leading UK and US branding agencies who run their guest expert columns on Popsop and share their valuable insights on what’s hot in the industry.
Social media and new technologies have shaped the way the major international media players work and Russia is no exception. What’s striking about Russia, is the fact that over the past few years with the internet becoming more and more accessible even in the Russian furthest regions, the popularity and ratings of traditional media channels such as TV and printed media (in the mass market sector, though) have become dramatically low. While so-called ‘new media’, YouTube feeds, online newspapers and blogs are gaining momentum, having become the main and most trusted sources of information (partly, due to a specific political situation in Russia).
FOUR: What are in your opinion the three most important things a PR person should follow wherever they work?
Well, I think these 3 things are: 1) to make and maintain as much useful connections and contacts in the industry (both online and offline) as possible (but not to become annoying); 2) to be always available (almost 24/7) by phone and email 3) to plan your daily and weekly schedule accordingly beforehand (+ try to be always positive and make a daily routine fun).
FIVE: Now you are back in London and got to know the European media-world besides the Russian one. What’s in your opinion the main difference?
I think the main difference is that the European media-world is more about business, commercial success and critical thinking, while most of the Russian big media players still work for the sake of influence, politics and promotion of their investors’ ideas and interests.
BONUS: What changes have you seen in the last three years?
Speaking about global trends in media, I’ve seen some major changes in how the biggest publications respond to economic recession, having implemented some new revenue models such as: 100% subscribers-only paid online content media models, massive launches of paid mobile and tablet applications and brand new interactive iPad versions as well as fading of a number of traditional printed publications.
Do you have an international project you can’t handle? Brief the Exchange at blurgroup.com. And to take part in next weeks Friday5, send an email to: email@example.com
popsops’ website: popsop.com
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