Ten quick questions with Myron Wasylyk, CEO for Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan & the CIS at PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

Describe the past 12 months in four words.

Never a dull moment.

Complete this sentence: “For the comms industry, 2017 will be the year of…”

Market growth coming from strong demand for creative solutions that bring tangible results to corporate and brand challenges.

How serious is the “fake news” problem, and how should the industry address it?

Fake news is serious because it purposefully obfuscates facts, which, given the speed of the 24/7 news cycle and always-on social media, makes it difficult to fact check. Moreover, fake news undermines the fundamental value that PR specialists strive to achieve: trust. Addressing fake news requires using high journalistic standards safeguarding against misrepresentations in our communications channels; authentically conveying brand truths; monitoring against the fakes; and invoking personal integrity by working towards the comeback era for truth.

What is your professional ambition for the next 12 months?

To work with my team across three very dynamic yet different geographies to continue being market pioneers, capturing business opportunities by staying ahead of issues and trends.

Is the uncertain geopolitical climate good or bad for the PR industry – and why?

For those of us focused on the corporate business sector, the geopolitical climate is more like background noise and clutter. It influences the corporate environment, but does not change the fundamental task of meeting varied stakeholder expectations. For those PR professionals in the political consulting business, I imagine the current geopolitical climate is a great opportunity.

Will PR exist as a separate profession in five years’ time – or will it be merged into marketing or UX?

Of course it will be a separate profession. Building trust among stakeholders requires not only keeping up with the technology used in new communications channels, but developing trust-based personal relations that wield influence in decision-making. I can’t imagine that important personal touch being covered by the marketing team.

How can PR resolve the gender pay gap?

By commitment and taking real steps to close the gap.

Who is the most influential PR professional in the world?

Jack Ma and Elon Musk first come to mind as pioneers expanding global opportunities by changing the way we think and act based on the products and services they’re creating and offering.

What was your favourite campaign of the past year?

My favourite campaign is the work my team did in Russia on popularising Instagram with print and glossy media. When we started, nobody used Instagram photos in their publications. A year later, almost everyone did. My second favourite is my team’s work in Ukraine for Google and in Kazakhstan, popularizing YouTube: creative, interesting, results-oriented and changing the way people think and act.

What is your favourite film that features PR?

The Devil Wears Prada. I love Anne Hathaway’s attempts to manage her boss. And, on a more serious note, Wag the Dog, which is the precursor to today’s fake news.

This interview originally appeared in PR Week.

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