Iliyana's Blog

Forget Government, NGOs and the Media: In Business We Trust. Or Do We?

[fa icon="calendar'] 07-Nov-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Leadership

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As a society and individuals, we widely distrust businesses, governments, NGOs and the media. 

In fact, according to the 2017 Edelman TRUST BAROMETER, trust in these institutions to do what is right is at an all-time low. 

The situation is so bad that two-thirds of the 28 countries Edelman surveyed are now considered "distrusters" and the majority of respondents lack full belief that the overall system is working for them. This climate has increased people's fears both about society and the economy. We live in a trust crisis that's causing a systemic meltdown.

Such an environment, Richard Edelman explains, leads to a rise in populist action and nationalism as the mass population wants to take control away from the "elites". From an exalted position as a savior in the wake of the ļ¬nancial crisis, government is viewed today as incompetent, corrupt and divided, and is the least trusted global institution at 41 percent.

What I found most interesting, though, is that business is found to be in the best position of all institutions expected to make a change and somewhat trusted to make a difference. 

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Two of the Best TEDTalks I've Seen Lately: Happiness & Leadership

[fa icon="calendar'] 31-Oct-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Leadership

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Admit it, you love TEDTalks. 

I do too. I'd love to have the opportunity to do a TEDTalk one day. In fact, this is in my 30 before 30 list where I've added things I want to do or achieve before I turn 30. 

Lately, I've been traveling a lot (pretty much every week) and as such, I've found a new way to spend the spare time at the airport. Instead of working on my laptop and dealing with emails or reading the next business book, TED has been a saviour. You all know how we've moved to interactive content formats - video has probably become the most favourite learning and entertainment vehicle for us. 

So what I want to show you today are two rather unorthodox TEDTalks that I saw recently because I believe they can both inspire and provoke you personally and professionally. 

The lines between work and personal life are blurring and as I always say, I believe we should be striving for work-life integration and not work-life balance. If you are not happy at home, you are not going to do well at work. Conversely, if you have troubles at work, you'll probably bring these back home. 

The two speakers are very much opposites in pretty much every aspect so watching the two videos one after another is quite impactful in two different ways. You'll see what I mean.

Let's start with happiness; then we'll get to the leadership lessons from war. 

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Storytelling 101: How to Tell Break Through Stories [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 24-Oct-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Storytelling, Inbound Marketing, Inbound PR

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Did you know that messages delivered through a story can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts

I'd say no wonder given that stories provoke emotions, refer to our own experiences (when planned and told well) and so engage our subconscious minds. 

In our information, channels and apps overload era, that's a pretty significant number for businesses to consider when they are trying to engage with consumers or any other stakeholder group. Good stories can clearly sell. 

A lot of companies jumped on the bandwagon of storytelling or should I say on content creation as we saw the benefits in terms of SEO and user engagement.

But as the mass of content grew bigger and our attention spans got shorter, that focus on quantity versus quality is not doing you a favour anymore. 

What businesses, PR and marketing professionals alike need are fewer, but better stories that can capture hearts and minds at scale. 

We call this break through storytelling that can cut through the noise. 

Planning for this is easier than executing on it so let me help you with that. 

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Where PR Should Go Next - Is It Really Just About Technology?

[fa icon="calendar'] 17-Oct-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations

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Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking about Inbound PR at the IPRA PR Conference for Central and Eastern Europe in Sofia.

I met a number of very successful PR people from all over the world who have built careers in some of the largest companies and PR networks and got to listen to where they thought PR needs to go next.

I'd like to share with you some of my key learnings from the day as well as to agree and disagree with some of the general notion of what PR's biggest challenges are that stood out across all presentations.

Almost every talk during the conference focused on technology.

Technology - PR's Next Frontier

I agree that today's reality not only in the business world but also in our personal lives is underpinned by technology. PR people and other professionals alike have not yet figured out how to handle technology.

Digital still remains a major challenge for communications professionals but the understanding and adoption of tools, software and tech in general is rather low.

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How to Produce Growth and Grow Better According to Dharmesh Shah

[fa icon="calendar'] 10-Oct-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Inbound Marketing, Brands and Business, Startups

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Last week, we covered the first part of Brian Halligan's and Dharmesh Shah's keynote at our HubSpot INBOUND conference from two weeks ago.

After learning from Brian about how to get from startup to scaleup, today we'll look at what Dharmesh, HubSpot's CTO and co-founder, shared on how to grow better consistently by looking at the three key functions - marketing, sales and customer service - and how they should be creating a delightful customer experience at each key stage they take care of - attract, engage and delight.

Dharmesh started with a personal story of how he got to spend a whole dinner with Elon Musk. 

As the evening was progressing, Dharmesh asked Elon an important question, namely "How do you work towards solving really big problems?"

Here's how Elon explained it:

"Let's say you're trying to get your company from point A to point B. Every person on the team is a vector. Your progress is determined by the sum of all vectors." 

Now Dharmesh was a bit puzzled and of course, got to do some thinking around this.

Let's look at this a bit.

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