Leading PR expert on a global scale and recognized brilliant speaker, CEO & Chairman of the Board of M3 Communications Group, Inc, ICCO President 2015-2017, Chairman of the Board of Sir James Mancham International Centre for Peace Studies and Diplomacy
Maxim Behar is a globally renown PR professional, entrepreneur, diplomat and presenter in many world's universities and international forums.
Mr. Behar was President of ICCO, the largest and most influential Global PR organization from 2015 to 2017, and he is also engaged in the social and cultural life in many countries all over the world.
Maxim is an Ambassador of APRA - the African Public Relations organization - and also Special Advisor on International Affairs of CIPRA, the Chinese International PR Association.
He serves on the Board of several organizations including Junior Achievement Bulgaria(2001 – 2012), Atlantic Club in Bulgaria, he is a founder and Chairman of the Bulgarian-Polish Business Club and Chairman of Board of Trustees of For Our Children Foundation.
Maxim Behar is Honorary Consul General of Republic of Seychelles in Bulgaria. In 2017 he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Sir James Mancham International Centre for Peace Studies and Diplomacy.
In 1994, Maxim founded M3 Communication Group, Inc., the leader in the field of public and media relations in Bulgaria. Since then he has been the company's Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board of Directors. In January 2012 he was appointed Chairman of Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Prague, Czech Republic, and since then he has been managing simultaneously both offices in Prague and in Sofia.
He served as Chairman of the Board of the Bulgarian Association of PR agencies (2009-2011), now a Member of the Board, Chairman of the Board of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (2001-2007), Deputy Chairman (2009-2012), Member of the BBLF Board (2012- ) and Member of the Board of tens of non-governmental and business local and international communities.
In 2012 Association of Business Communications of India announced Maxim Behar as “Communicator of the Decade”, the award was presented to him by Chief Minister of State of Goa Manohar Parrikar.
In 2013 Maxim Behar has been elected Chairman of the World’s Communication Forum in Davos.
In 2016 Behar was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Museum of Public Relations in New York
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Leadership in the Modern World
The world had changed upside down, the people to... Do the leaders changed?
Modern Public Relations
An overview of the changes in the PR Business and possible ways to improve the structure of the companies
World in Social Media Chaos
Social Media created in communications the same chaos automobiles created more than century ago on the roads... Is there a way out to put an order?
Modern PR Company in the Social Media Chaos
Public Relations requires huge change in the new social media environment. Not only tools, but also education, behaviors, client;'s services... More - in the lecture:)
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) announced that it has appointed Maxim Behar as its new President, at its Global Summit today.
Behar is a globally recognised PR expert, CEO of leading Bulgarian PR consultancy M3 Communications Group and Hill+Knowlton Strategies Chairman for Czech Republic.
He has been Vice-President of ICCO since December 2013, alongside ICCO President David Gallagher, Senior Partner, CEO, Europe & Chairman, London. He was formerly the Treasurer of ICCO, a role which he held for three years.
Behar will take on the new role at the ICCO Board Meeting on 10th October.
Speaking at the ICCO Summit, David Gallagher said: “Maxim brings an extraordinary mix of energy, experience and diplomacy to everything he does, and his passion for our business and this organisation is infectious. Many more good things are on the ICCO horizon.”
Francis Ingham, ICCO Chief Executive, added: “Maxim lives and breathes international PR. His commitment to our industry, and his passion for its future make him the ideal person to lead ICCO. The growth we have enjoyed in recent years will be turbocharged under his leadership.”
Behar is lecturer on modern PR in many universities around the world and a former President of the Bulgarian Association of PR Agencies (BAPRA). He is Honorary Consul of the Republic of Seychelles in Bulgaria.
About ICCO The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises national trade associations in 32 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent some 2,500 PR firms.
ICCO President Maxim Behar has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Museum of public relations, was announced yesterday in New York.
The Museum of Public Relations is a not for profit organisation and is the only public relations Museum in the world. It is based in New York City at CUNY Baruch College in the Newman Library Archives and Special Collections. The Advisory Board consists of top PR professionals with vast experience and significant achievement in the industry.
“We are so proud to have such an internationally acclaimed public relations leader join our Board of Advisers," Shelly Spector, founder of the Museum, has said. "Mr. Behar will be able to provide much needed guidance, not only expanding the museum’s global presence, but how we can best serve and represent the growing number of PR communities around the world. Working with Mr. Behar and ICCO, we trust that the museum can begin its international outreach very soon!”
“I really look forward to working hard to make our business, public relations, more popular and also more accessible to students and future generations," Mr Behar himself has commented.
"The history is an important part of our future and although business is changing very fast, there are many thing which we can learn from the past. I think collecting the best practice from all over the world, especially from the large professional networks, and distributing them in the smaller or emerging markets might be a significant task for the Museum.”
A globally recognized PR expert of Bulgarian origin, Mr Behar is the founder of the leading PR company M3 Communications Group, Inc., partner of Hill+Knowlton Srategies since 2000. In 2015 he was elected President of ICCO. He is also Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Seychelles, member of many international and local Boards. He is lecturing in Universities all over the world.
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises national trade associations representing 48 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent some 2,500 PR firms. ICCO provides also professional trainings, organises the largest annual Global PR Summit and presents yearly Global Awards recognising PR achievement.
Founded in 1997, the PR Museum is considered the world’s largest collection of materials documenting PR history. Among the organization’s possessions are more than 600 significant books, including many signed first editions, along with myriad artifacts, correspondence and photographs of historically significant industry people and events. Displays and exhibits include examples of old media technologies, a digital archive of videotaped interviews with influential leaders such as Daniel Edelman, Harold Burson and David Finn, and other artifacts that chronicle the evolution of the field of public relations.
The inspiration for the Museum is another great historical figure—industry pioneer Edward Bernays, widely recognized as the “father of public relations.” In 1919, Bernays opened one of the first offices as Public Relations Counselor in New York, and later taught the first PR course at New York University in 1923, and publishing the first groundbreaking book on PR, Crystallizing Public Relations, that same year. Visitors have access to dozens of books—many of them from Bernays’ own library—covering such subjects as psychology, social psychology, news media and political history. Authors include such well-regarded thinkers as Walter Lippman, Gustave LeBon, Everett Martin and Alfred Trotter.
M3 Communications Group, Inc. was declared Agency of the Year 2016 in Bulgaria, the biggest recognition in the country's PR business.
At a ceremony annually held by the Bulgarian PR Association (BAPRA), an international jury awarded the agency for its outstanding achievement and hard work in social media and crisis management.
A total of three awards were handed out to M3, including a first place in the Most Innovative Campaign of the Year category - one it received for its pCloud Crypto Hacking Challenge - a third place in the Special Events category for the Happiness Concert, an event in support of a campaign aimed at helping people suffering from Hepatitis C.
"2015 was an exceptionally important and successful year for me and our entire team, It was a year marking a big step in Bulgaria's PR history, since it was for the first time that a Bulgarian became the President of international PR organization ICCO," Maxim Behar, M3 Communications CEO, said after the awards were handed.
"This is not just a personal recognition for me, but also a great achievement for all of us developing this business in Bulgaria. THis is why I am very proud an happy with our awards at this year's ceremony," he added.
The International Communications Consultancy Group (ICCO) appointed Behar as its new President in October of last year. The ICCO unites national trade associations in 36 countries around the world, representing some 2800 PR firms in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australia, which employ almost 1 000 000 PR experts.
Behar is also Co-Chair of the Board of the World Communication Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In August, he was singled out receiving a Gold Stevie Award as Chairman of the Year at the International Business Awards. M3 Communications also scooped a Bronze Stevie in the Public Relations Agency of the Year in Europe category, one where it also received an award the previous year.
Bulgarian PR expert, businessman, journalist and diplomat, Maxim Behar, was included in this year's edition of the Global Power Book, the definitive guide to the brightest and most influential PR professionals around the world.
Behar, who became the first Bulgarian to be included in the prestigious ranking, is the only representative from Central and Eastern Europe.
Last year, Behar was awarded the prestigious Stevie award for best manager in the world, while his PR company M3 Communications Group, Inc. was recognised as the best PR agency in Bulgaria for 2016 at this year's awards of the Bulgarian association of PR agencies.
Behar, who is President of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and Chairman of the Board of World Communication Forum in Davos, manages the Czech office of the largest PR corporation in the world Hill+Knowlton Strategies. He also serves as Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Seychelles to Bulgaria. Holder of tens of international and local awards, Behar delivers lectures at many universities and participates in conferences and forums on modern PR and social media around the world. He is included in the world ranking for most influential lecturers Speakerpedia as well as in a series of other rankings featuring experts in the field of public communications.
Maxim Behar, Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Seychelles to Bulgaria, received diplomatic award for his contribution to Africa. H.E. Mrs. Vanessa Calvert, Ambassador of South Africa to Bulgaria surprised Maxim Behar with an award for his contribution to the popularization of the African culture and for his work developing the economy and tourism of Seychelles at a special ceremony on the occasion of the 40th Independence Day of the island.
„On behalf of the Group of African ambassadors, Heads of missions and Honorary consuls to Bulgaria, it is my great pleasure to hand this award to Mr. Behar, who works for the representation of our culture and for the improvement of the image of the African countries in Bulgaria and all around the world", said H.E. Mrs. Vanessa Calvert.
"I am thankful to the Group of African Ambassadors for this recognition. The Republic of Seychelles is exceptional. They are Bulgaria’s friend and the most beautiful place that you can visit as well. I am happy that our joint efforts for popularization and development of Africa, and in particular the Republic of Seychelles, have been appreciated. Hopefully together we can keep working for this cause”, said Maxim Behar, Honorary Consul General of Seychelles to Bulgaria.
Among the guests of the reception were Slavcho Atanasov – Chairperson of the Culture and Media Committee in the Bulgarian Assamblay, H.E. Mrs. Irit Lillian – Ambassador of Israel, H.E Mr. Dimosthenis Stoidis – Ambassador of Greece, H.E. Mrs. Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes – Ambassador of Brazil, H.E. Mrs. Latifah Aharbash – Ambassador of the Kingdom of Marocco, H.E. Mr. Stavros Avgoustides – Ambassador of Cyprus, representatives of other diplomatic missions and the business, and celebrities.
Bulgarian PR exp?rt, businessman, journalist and diplomat Maxim Behar has been declared Business Leader of the Year at the annual b2b Media awards.
His Bulgarian-based company M3 Communications Group, Inc., of which he is founder and CEO, has been awarded in the Most Creative Office Space category.
"Business Leader of the Year is a significant acknowledgement to me. It can be received only by a person with a strong team beside them. I express my gratitude to the whole M3 Communications Group, Inc. Team for their professionalism and support," Behar has said.
Last year, Maxim received a Stevie business award after being declared Chairman of the Year for 2015. In April, M3 Communications Group, Inc. was awarded Agency of the Year in at the annual ceremony of the Bulgarian PR Association (BAPRA).
This year, Behar was also included in the Global Power Book of PR professionals, becoming the first Bulgarian to be part of it.
Behar, who is President of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and Chairman of the Board of World Communication Forum in Davos, manages the Czech office of the largest PR corporation in the world Hill+Knowlton Strategies. He also serves as Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Seychelles to Bulgaria.
Novinite is republishing an interview with its founder Maxim Behar, CEO of M3 Communications Group and ICCO President, originally done for Vagabond Magazine:
Maxim Behar is a globally recognized Public Relations and media expert, diplomat and entrepreneur. He is a founder, the CEO and the chairman of the board of M3 Communications Group Inc., the leading Bulgarian PR company and a part of the largest public communications corporation in the world, Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Maxim is also the president of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation. He is the honorary consul general of the Republic of Seychelles in Bulgaria, the vice president of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of For Our Children Foundation, a member of the board of the World's PR Museum in New York City and a lecturer in many universities and forums all over the world. Maxim Behar is the chairman of the board of the World Communications Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But Maxim's life is not only PR. In-between he is a parachute jumper, plays drums and golf, listens to rock music and adores The Cranberries, The Killers, Muse and especially Canadian Arcade Fire.
Where does Bulgaria stand at the moment? West or East? What are the main international challenges facing Bulgaria? Let me explain – I never divide Europe and the world as a whole into East and West, but rather into North and South... But even that perspective now is not actual anymore, especially when talking about Bulgaria. It is a strange country, indeed. More like a pomegranate – sometimes not very luxury and beautiful outside, but extremely tasty and healthy inside... It is just a metaphor of course, but the reality is that not so many people in the world know how beautiful this country is, how educated, intelligent and ambitions its people are, and also what a bright future they will have if the state machine worked properly. And in fact these are the main challenges for Bulgaria now: much better promotion of the country globally and adjusting the administration and the political system to work for the people and for the establishment of much, much better business environment. More successful international investment case studies will mean not only more places that Bulgarian young people can work successfully, but also more good case studies experience and fresh market "air" in the country. This cannot happen without an intelligent, massive and modern campaign to promote Bulgaria – not as a tourist destination, but as a country with million of business opportunities, full with nice people, having European mentality and relations long before the country was accepted as an EU member exactly 10 years ago. If we manage to provide this campaign immediately, with no delay, then the country will be put on the global investment map and will benefit a lot. What are the main challenges inside Bulgaria? Not a big difference than any other mid-sized country in the world. The political system does not function well, but this is a global issue. Corruption is often mentioned in the media as a big issue, but I am in deep doubt whether it is higher than any other country in South Europe, South America, Africa or Asia... All internal challenges and issues in fact will be solved with a good functioning market and developing investments in good fields. All we know that Bulgaria has now one of the lowest, if not the lowest at all, taxes in Europe. Business pays just 10 percent corporate tax and this is all. Same index for individuals, and dividend tax for the business is just 5 percent. It puts Bulgaria in a very advantageous position compared to any other country in Europe, but not so many people understand this . It is true that the living standard is also quite low, for sure the lowest in Europe. However, the main reason for this is not the sometimes not very well functioning market, but the lack of motivation among the big local businesses to look much more modern and invest in their employees' education and careers.
What could have Bulgarians done differently in the past 25 years? It is easy to judge after quarter of a century and to point the wrong or right steps. Especially looking from the outside. But there are many obvious things which could have been done differently and the most important of them is the huge delay with the country's promotion abroad as attractive investment destination. This is the most crucial mistake, which I hope might be really corrected not in the next 25 years, but we need to do this in the next 2.5 years. You have been a pioneer of both PR and the advertising use of social media – not only in Bulgaria, but also internationally. What is the current state of affairs in the PR business? What has changed since the advent of social media and what in your opinion is the way ahead? The public relations business had changed beyond recognition in just 10 years. The most important change is that for the first time in history PR experts have direct access to the media. They own social media, can post articles on behalf of their clients, or simply opinions, can influence directly and indirectly, and can approach audiences without the help of traditional media. The situation requires completely new qualities, education and tools. This really made our business totally different. Significantly, the three main elements of public communications business – advertising, public relations and digital – have already merged. And the big "fight" is not only how those businesses will cooperate successfully to benefit our clients, but also over who will be the leader of the new merged business. My definite opinion is that public relations will be the leader. Just one of my arguments is that the modern communications business is driven by content – and who else than PR experts are masters of content and influential messages? How has traditional journalism changed? Can you trust the social media networks for the sort of news and opinion they bring? There is no journalism anymore, journalism as we remember it 10 or 15 years ago has died. Now everyone is a journalist, everyone owns media and everyone takes the personal responsibility of his or her words. The biggest advantage of the new media is that they are interactive – if you disagree with an article or statement, you do not need to write a letter to the editor, you just click and post you opinion. Then – it is up to all of us, the readers and consumers of new media, to judge whether we can trust it or not. The media may be much freer, much more informative and much more interesting. However, there are risks involved as well, the main being how whoever posts stories can be held accountable for his or her words.
What is your client base in Bulgaria and who do you aim to reach? In M3 Communications Group Inc. we love our clients. In social media the hash tag we put every day is #m3dreamteam, but the reality is that we always include our clients into this Dream Team and work with them in very deep chemistry. We also never divide the clients into big or small, local and international, rich and poor. Just do our job responsibly and we know that "good work generates more work" and this is the only way we can approach the clients. The formula is very simple, I call it the Three S's – Speed, Simplicity and Self-Confidence. In the modern world the speed of making decisions, of responding and also of solving crises is extremely important, an so is the ability to make sophisticated things simple and to prioritise. And finally, I do not know any successful entrepreneur who has made it without self-confidence. What can and what can't a good PR expert do at the present time in Bulgaria? In fact Bulgarian market is like any other in the world from the standpoint of the Public Relations business. We need a lot of creativity, transparency, responsibility, good ideas and of course our full dedication to the business. A good PR expert in Bulgaria can be as successful as any good PR expert in the United States or France, for example. And this is one of the great achievements of Bulgaria for the past 25 years. It has given a chance to all to succeed and be satisfied with what they do.
Maxim Behar, President of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), was a leading speaker at the Public Reputation Lab held in Paris. The conference was organised by Syntec Conseil en Relations Publics (SYNTEC), the French public relations association, and was dedicated to the issue of reputation management in the world of social media.
More than 250 high-level professionals attended the event, representing the PR industry as well as French and international corporations.
Behar said: “ICCO has grown to be the most influential and most respected global PR community, and it is obvious that we took the lead in the enormous changes which our business has observed recently.”
“ICCO has recently launched a Committee on Innovations in PR Business, and we hope its report at the forthcoming board meeting in Athens will describe the modern trends in our business, which we will be happy to share with all our members. The Committee will also present at the ICCO Global Summit later this year, and the new criteria will provide a new benchmark for the international jury of the ICCO Global PR Awards,” Behar added.
SYNTEC President, Thierry Wellhoff said: “SYNTEC has been a very active ICCO member for decades and all French PR experts actively participate in the events organised by the international organisation. We were honoured to have the ICCO President at our conference in Paris. Over the past couple of years ICCO has become the true leader of change in our business globally and SYNTEC is a very dedicated member of ICCO”.
Behar also presented the prizes at the SYNTEC Annual Awards for PR achievement in the different categories.
1\You started your career as a journalist from 1981 to 1995 in Bulgaria ,Czech and Poland. How do you think this experience influenced you?
Especially in that time, back more than 20 years ago, this experience was priceless. And the reason is very simple. Traditional media were the only media and also the only “bridge” between our clients and their target audiences. My deep knowledge of media helped me a lot, indeed I started from a intern and grew up to a Managing Editor of the largest private daily newspapers in Bulgaria. This was meaning by default that I knew exactly what is happening in the “head” of each journalist, how to attract the media, how to write news in a way that professional journalists will immediately get them and put in their newspapers or will speak about them in the TV or radio channels. Without this deep knowledge, at least I think now, it would not be possible to make this “frog leap” in business and soon to become the most professional leader in the Bulgarian PR market.
2\In your opinion, with the great changes of technology and media environment, what changes have happened in the PR industry?
Public Relations business is today one of the most dynamic businesses in the world. The reason of the change is very, very simple. For the first time in the history, since this business exists almost 120 years, not only our clients, but also we as PR experts, own media. In the past it has been true true – we were creating our concepts to attract media and to get their interest to our clients and their products or services. But today we already have the media, our clients have them – these are the social media. And from a “bridge”, as I said, between clients and media, now must become managers of social medial we own. From a purely practical perspective this is already a completely different business, which requires different tools, approaches and even professional education and abilities. We should know how to run media, how to write into them responsibly, intelligently and attractively, how to promote them among the readers and – what is most important – how to respond to the online commentary. Because on the top nowadays we do not have a lot of time to react in social media and the faster we are, the more successful the project will be.
3\Could you talk about the key point of doing good PR services?
The three S, formulated by me many years ago are still valid even much stronger now – – Speed, Simplicity, Self confidence. First of all the speed is really crucial and extremely important. Secondly – the world is so sophisticated today, our tasks are so complicated, that we must have very clear priorities and a simple agenda how to achieve them – simplicity. And the third one, which even might be the first one – I do not know a single successful person who achieved anything without self confidence and desire to do the job perfectly and responsibly.
4\How the PR companies keep and promote key competitive strength in the background of homogenization in PR industry? There is an obvious merge worldwide among the three main key elements of modern public communications – public relations, advertising and digital. In this merge, which even can happen in full much faster than we can expect. Each of those three businesses now claim they will be the leader of the future merged business. I simply believe that it’ll be public relations, not advertising or digital and have quite strong arguments for that. The main point of those arguments is that we, the public relations experts, are the masters of the real content, of the words, of the sentences and namely content these days is crucially important. And more – clients these days come to our office with two main important problems – reputation problems and crisis management. So, I do not think that advertising or digital can handle this, of course that public relations is the business, which can provide these services to the clients with the important support of the creative design (from the advertising) and proper social media promotion (from the digital).
5\In your opinion, which aspects are important in training PR elites?
Teaching them to manage the social media in the right way and to serve the clients 24 hours, 7 days a week. The rest they will learn by themselves.
6\You were announced “Business leader of the year” in Bulgaria in 2016 , and the Global Award “CEO of the Year in the World” in 2015. What’s feeling about these two award?
Often I say – when you climb a peak you may see anything else then… the next peak. All those awards, which I have had throughout the years brought me new and higher responsibilities, but also the challenge and desire to achieve more new and interesting things. And to stay on the professional top.
7\What’s your opinion about public relations and media relations in future?
They will be more and more dependable on visions and short movies. And what is important – all public relations projects will be soon implemented only live in real time with the means of video transmission. Which will mean another change of our business – we must be ready to react at any second, personally and professionally. By the way – I really think that the name of our business – “Public Relations” is old fashioned and does not respond to the modern times. When the business was launched more than a century ago some 90 per cent of the relations were non-public, but the rest of 10 per cent were public and then the businessmen and politicians started to hire journalists to advise them how to behave with the media… Today all our life is public and to say “public relations” is very similar to say “transparent window”. Soon the name of the business will be different and the closest I can propose or guess now is “Live Relations”. Everything will be based on live social media and handling this communications will be the most difficult task.
8\What’s your hobby in your spare time? Please make a self introduction.
Golf, playing drums, traveling, fitness, reading, reading, reading… In the modern world if there is a day without at least one new interesting article or book, then it is a wasted day. And if I hate something, then I only hate to waste my time.
Moscow, November 2016 – “The world has changed entirely and this fact put deep reflection on public communications business. Advertising, digital and public relations are merging faster than anyone can expect and in couple of years we will be managing simply one business led by PR experts. It will change although only by leaders with new modern visions who can provide perfect services in this very competitive market”, ICCO President Maxim Behar said at the International Leadership Dialogue Forum held this month in Moscow.
“Education and practice must go hand in hand in a way that students will be ready for the new challenges and new type of businesses just from the very first day in our offices”, Behar added.
“A brilliantly organized event showing to the participants how ICCO members can have professional exchange of ideas and visions on a local level having strong international impact. We were glad to be partners of this event as it is ICCO policy to support professional forums and discussions, which may bring useful conclusions for the future of our profession”.
Elena Fadeeva, General Director, FleishmanHillard Vanguard, Chair of the Board, Leadership Dialog Forum, Honorary Chairwoman of the Russian Communications Consultancies Association (AKOS, ICCO country member) said: “Agenda for the future of communications, media and leadership was the core theme of the Leadership Dialog Forum, which has been already acknowledged as the largest event in our region devoted to leadership in communications and dialog between generations. We appreciated the opportunity to look into the future of our industry and profession, hear the voice of the new upcoming generation as well as celebrate the best campaigns within Eventiada Awards. We are grateful to Maxim Behar and ICCO for the support and adding the most interesting international outlook and sharing the very valuable global insights to the discussion about the future of communications industry”
More than 1000 participants from 30 cities of 9 countries during two days discussed at the Leadership Dialogue Forum future of Public Relations business in all its aspects – education, professional trainings, client’s relations and crisis management. PR Professionals, business managers, politicians and many students took part in the Forum at the International Press Center of RIA Novosti News Agency. The Forum also included 5th Eventiada Awards, international PR and communications awards celebrating best practices both in corporate/public sector and those conducted by younger generations (students and teenagers), best cases selected by jury from over 800 PR and communications entries projects applied from 124 cities of Russia, Hungary, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. ICCO was a proud partner of the event.
Teheran, November 2016 – ICCO President Maxim Behar and Javad Ghasemi, President of Iranian Public Relations House, the Iranian public relations association, have signed an agreement for closer cooperation. The agreement will see an information exchange between the two parties, participation in events organised by both Associations and also an exchange of delegates for the annual Summits. Cooperation in the field of training, seminars, forums, symposiums and other educational activities is also planned by both parties.
Iranian Public Relations House has applied officially for full ICCO national association membership which will be discussed at the upcoming ICCO Executive Committee Board meeting. The agreement will come into power only if application of the Iranian association is voted on positively.
Maxim Behar, ICCO President: “We had very useful and efficient negotiations with our colleagues from Iran. I also had a chance to meet hundreds of PR professionals at the Symposium where ICCO was represented, and now I am more than sure that the PR market in Iran is quite will developed and there is a need of constant education and international experience.”
Javad Ghasemi, President of Iranian PR Association: “We were glad to receive the ICCO President in Teheran and to provide together a very interesting professional discussion. Let me share our hope that our application for full membership will be approved by the ICCO Board and very soon Iran will be part of this very high recognized global PR society as ICCO for sure is.”
ICCO President visited Teheran on the invitation of Iranian PR Association to participate into the International Symposium “”PR – change for progress”, where he presented the recently published World PR Report, produced by ICCO and PRWeek.
About ICCO: The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises national trade associations in 48 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent some 2,500 PR firms. www.iccopr.com
About Iranian PR Association / Iranian Public Relations House: Public Relations House is an independent, non-political and nongovernmental organization which aims to promote public relations throughout country and bring Iranian public relations associations under an umberalla. It works in accordance with the Constitutions of the Islamic Republic of Iran and is under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior, I.R.Iran. It is a newly established body and started its work since 2013 and 10 PR and communication associations throughout the country have become the member of the House. Dr. Javad Ghasemi is the Head, and Mr. Hooshmand Sefidi is the Secretary of the House.
?3 Communications Group, Inc., the Bulgarian Hill-Knowlton Strategies partner was announced as PR Agency of the Year 2018 in the country. The award is the most prestigious recognition for the PR achievements in Bulgaria.
At the annual Award Ceremony, hosted by the Bulgarian Public Relations Association (BAPRA), experienced international jury recognized the hard work of M3 Communications Group, Inc. and awarded the company with 9 awards in total.
M3 Communications Group, Inc. won three Golden Awards in the categories “Special Event”, “Public Affairs Campaign” and “Employer Branding Campaign”. Additionally, for the categories “Cause-related Marketing Campaign”, “Crisis Communications” and again “Employer Branding Campaign” the team’s outstanding achievements were awarded with silver awards. M3 Communications Group, Inc. won as well bronze awards for the categories “Corporate PR Campaign” as well as “Public Affairs Campaign”.
“Everyone who comes to our office in M3 Communications will see the stairway inscription saying: There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs. That’s what we do in the company every single day since almost 24 years. We put enormous efforts not only to implement successful projects for our clients but also to develop the PR industry in Bulgaria as well. Every day, every minute M3 Communications Group, Inc. maintains highest level of work, following established international standards. Being Agency of the Year or the best company in PR business in Bulgaria for 2018 is an honor for us but it also brings the responsibility to continue to be a valuable partner to our clients and implement innovative projects” – said Maxim Behar, CEO of M3 Communications Group, Inc.
This is the third Agency of the Year recognition for M3 Communications Group, Inc. after their similar success in 2011 and 2016. The company was also announced Best Consultancy in Eastern Europe by The Holmes Report and Best PR company in Europe by The Stevie Awards. Its CEO Maxim Behar was inducted last October into ICCO Global PR Hall of Fame after being President of the International Organisation of Communications Consultants for two years. Behar is also Honorary Consul General of Seychelles in Bulgaria, distinguished speaker in many universities all over the world and member of dozens of local and international Management Boards, including the Board of the PR Museum in Baruch University in New York.
The BAPRA Bright Awards are the highest recognition in the PR industry on the Bulgarian market. The Awards contest is organized by BAPRA and entries are reviewed by an independent and authoritative international jury of communications experts, this year headed by Andrew Johnson, managing director of the RPP Group. In 2018, more than 130 entries were submitted which demonstrates the growth of the PR business in Bulgaria.
Bulgarian PR expert and diplomat Maxim Behar was re-elected as a member of the Management Board of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF). He was among the founders of the Forum 20 years ago, he was also its chairman for two mandates from 2001 to 2007, and then Vice-President for two more mandates and since then has invariably been a board member. In 2007 it was officially announced that Maxim Behar is also a lifetime honorary member of the Forum, for his outstanding contribution to establishing the Forum as a leading organization in the field of ethical business and corporate social responsibility.
"It is recognition, honor, and responsibility for me. Changes are coming for the better, there are upcoming new projects and I am convinced that the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum will continue to be a leading business organization in Bulgaria, "Behar said.
Levon Hampartzoumian, Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit Bulbank, was elected Vice-Chairman of the Forum, and Zoya Paunova, Chief Executive Officer of Astra Zeneca Bulgaria, and Boryana Manolova, Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Bulgaria, renewed their mandates in the Board.
Now the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum brings together more than 120 leading Bulgarian and foreign companies and is a leading organization in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility in Bulgaria. It is part of the International Business Leaders Forum and annually organizes prestigious corporate social responsibility awards, something unique for Bulgaria.
The board of the organization is committed to promoting and popularizing good practices of companies, conducting a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders and asserting the interests of its members.
About Maxim Behar: Maxim Behar is a Bulgarian businessman, journalist and diplomat. Besides being CEO of the leading Bulgarian PR agency M3 Communications Group, Inc. he also runs the Czech office of the world's largest PR corporation, Hill + Knowlton Strategies. He is Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Seychelles in Bulgaria. He is Chairman of the World Communications Forum Board in Davos, Switzerland, and at the end of 2017, he ended his term as President of the World PR Organization ICCO.
Globally renown PR expert Maxim Behar was listed officially in the ICCO's World PR Hall of Fame, whose President he was for two years. At a glamorous ceremony at London's Andaz Hotel, nearly 250 PR professionals from the five continents have applauded the Bulgarian who climbed to the highest possible ladder in the world.
Maxim Behar is not only the first Eastern European in the world PR Hall of Fame but also one of the very few Europeans in it. Among the legendary names in this chart are Harold Burson, Daniel Edelman, Paul Holmes, Jack Martin, John Saunders, Lord Chadlington, Lou Capozzi and David Gallagher.
"I appriciate this honor more as a credit for all I have to do for our industry globally in the future, but also as an amazing recognition for Bulgaria, for my colleagues and friends from M3 Communications Group, Inc., the Bulgarian PR Association agencies, but also for my friends from the ICCO Board. PR business worldwide is on a huge upswing, but more than ever, it is suffering from its active transformation into a completely new business - transparent, ethical and super-dynamic. Our profession has changed unrecognizably and I am happy that I have been President of ICCO in these dramatic times in which we have taken the lead in global changes in our business‘’, said Maxim Behar at the London ceremony.
The name of Maxim Behar is one of the most popular names in the PR industry in the world. In 1994, he founded and still manages the leading PR company M3 Communications Group, Inc., which is a partner of Hill+Knowlton Strategies. In the past years, Maxim Behar has been a successively member of the Board, Treasurer, Vice President and then ICCO President, and he is now one of the five members of the Executive Committee of the organization. Maxim Behar headed the Bulgarian Association of PR Agencies, the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum, the World Communications Forum in Davos, Switzerland, now is Chairman of the Board of Trustees ‘’For Our Children’’ Foundation, Vice President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria and Honorary Consul General of Seychelles in Bulgaria.
The World PR organization, ICCO, is the world's most influential business association, operating in 55 countries, with more than 2500 PR companies. The president is elected for two years term.
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