Alexandra Drobysheva is a multilingual communications professional with a proven track record in developing and delivering strategic communications for leading international and Russian corporations. Based in Moscow, Alexandra opened up HINT after finishing her education in the United Kingdom where she works with clients like Crate & Barrel.
How did you get started in PR?
I moved from the UK to Moscow in 2009 after graduating from university and immediately dived into the local public relations environment. I started my career at the state nuclear corporation but left after couple of years due to bureaucracy. Afterward, I worked at local PR agencies and absolutely fell in love with the agency atmosphere. At some point I knew I want to launch my own agency where I could focus on lifestyle communications and create a unique work culture. This is how HINT was born.
How is your HINT structured?
We fully immerse ourselves in our client’s business and act as an extension of their team. Each project is run by the Hinter (project manager) who manages clients’ accounts on a daily basis and pushes campaign boundaries. We also have digital analysts, copywriters, assistants who help with the projects depending on the scope and set goals.
What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?
Client service is my priority. I also oversee new business opportunities, manage our social media accounts and mentor the team. The mood is adventurous. Everyone takes an active part in forming our client list and nourishing corporate culture.
WHAT IS THE MEDIA LANDSCAPE LIKE RIGHT NOW IN RUSSIA – WHAT PUBLICATIONS, SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT?
My favorite publication at the moment is The Village. It not only covers local cultural news but also tells stories through people living in the city.
What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?
We love to experiment with content. Just recently created a series of illustrations with a popular Russian artist for an international hotel chain about careers in hospitality. The reach and engagement on social media was absolutely fantastic!
Most meaningful moment in your career thus far?
Signing our first contract with a client. It made the dream feel very real.
Each project is run by the Hinter (project manager) who manages clients’ accounts on a daily basis and pushes campaign boundaries.
Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Attending a charity ball organized by the wives of ambassadors based in Moscow and supported by our client – Crate and Barrel. It was 1920s theme and took place at Metropol – is a historical hotel in the center of Moscow built in 1899 in Art Nouveau style.
Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Back in 2014 I was working at Olympic Games in Sochi. As part of the project I was responsible for organizing interviews with celebrities, including a British violinist Vanessa Mae. On the day the camera broke so we had to record and stream a live interview via iPad, which was not very professional.
PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?
No one likes to fail. But failure is a normal part of a life and sometimes it is important to just let it go. At the end of a very stressful day I usually go to Sanduny Bath House in Moscow. It is a place of peace and relaxation where I can get my thoughts together and re-charge.
What are three current favorite tools that help you to do what you do?
Adobe Scan makes my account management easier – it captures phone images and transforms them into versatile PDFs.
Also love Bear App and Telegram, a Russian messenger for its chat groups about the latest industry gossip and news.
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
Not everyone in our market really understands how important PR is for business growth; that it is much more than just media relations. I hope that this will change.
What are you excited about right now?
I’m excited by the increased speed of communications, new platforms and technologies.
What’s the biggest challenge facing fashion/lifestyle communicators right now?
Customer behavior and needs are constantly changing, faster than ever before. The main challenge is to adapt to these changes, be ready to experiment with content and communications in general.
What advice do you have for your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, life is about learning.
Anything else we should know?
If you are planning to visit Moscow give us us a shout, we will be happy to show you around and tell more about specifics of doing PR in Russia – firstname.lastname@example.org