My interview on Slavko Curuvija in IFJ Blog

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on April 4th, 2023 under Articles | No Comments »

Excerpt from my interview for IFJ Blog
Who was Slavko Ćuruvija?
“Slavko Ćuruvija is a symbol of brave and independent journalism and must remain written in history as such. I am honored to have worked in his team. In “Dnevni Telegraf” and “Evropljanin”, he brought together some of the best journalists and editors of that time. Slavko stuck to his principles until the end. And when his newspaper was banned and when it was dangerous to criticize the then ruling regime, he did not agree to remain silent. That’s why he was killed. For Slavko, like for everyone else who has been labeled a spy and traitor, that has never been proven in any court process,” emphasizes Aleksandra Hristov, who worked as a journalist for “Dnevni Telegraf” in the 1990s.


Student protests 26 years ago in Belgrade

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on January 30th, 2023 under Events | No Comments »

Twenty six years ago I was part of the student protests  in Belgrade as a reaction to theft in local elections in Serbia, during Slobodan Milosevic rule. As a young reporter for Dnevni Telegraf (at that time not yet banned by SPS, SPS, SRS and Jul) in Kolarceva street. Reuters photo. Milosevic was forced to bring the Lex Specialis only after 3 months of demonstrations and the EU’s reaction to that theft.

Now it has been twenty two years since the formation of the first democratic post-October 5 Government in which Dr. Zoran Đinđić was elected as Prime Minister. Even today, I am proud that I was part of that idea. After two years in the Dnevni Telegraf  independent newspaper, my law professor Gaso Knezevic invited me to be his chief of staff in the Ministry of Higher Education in the Transitional Government, and later in the Ministry of Education and Sports. In September 2002, at the invitation of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, I went to his cabinet as the director of the Center for Strategic Communications of the Government. After two months of conflict with Beba Popovic, I returned to the Ministry of Education and worked in the ministry until May 2003.

Euro for knowledge: Thank you Certificate presented to Aleksandra Hristov

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on December 29th, 2022 under Events | No Comments »

On occasion of ten years anniversary of the foundation “Euro for knowledge”, the president of the governing board Mr. Milenko Vasovic has presented the Foundation’s “Thank you Certificate for connecting good ideas and good people” to Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, CEO of Hristov Consulting, Belgrade, Serbia.

“It is a great honor to receive this Thank you Certificate from the credible people, who for the past ten years have been getting together the organizations and individuals that are eager to invest in knowledge by giving grants to high school and university students. Hristov Consulting as community responsible company, always supports education of the young individuals, and remains available to help anyone whose purpose includes these same goals. I use this opportunity to thank again the Foundation for being consistent in the effort of wholeheartedly investing in education of the younger generation in Serbia, and for recognizing us and our clients as partners in achieving their mission”, said Aleksandra Hristov

Hristov consulting marks 15 years in business

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on December 15th, 2022 under Events | No Comments »

Ethical professional codex, improvement of the team members, services quality advancement, the basis for continuous development

Hristov consulting d.o.o., is the consulting company for the strategic communication and management consulting that offers services of representing, positioning, and risk control in Serbia and the region, has just marked 15 years since establishment.
In line with the practice of adhering to the highest ethical work habits, all members of our team are implementing the Code of Ethics and the principles of professional values as defined by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Serbian trade associations.
“We believe that the professional values such as respecting the public interest, truthfulness in representing clients, expertise in work, independence in providing objective advice to whomever we represent is vital for maintaining the integrity of our profession. According to the Code of Ethics we are loyal to those we represent with the obligation to serve the public interest, while having the honest relationship towards the clients and the media”, says Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, CEO
Hristov consulting is the member of the Management Consultants Association of Serbia, and it is the only certified consulting company for the strategic communication and education in this area. Since its establishment in 2007. our firm worked for individuals, corporations, small and medium size companies from all business sectors, projects, political parties, associations, labor syndicates, public institutions, and organizations, while always avoiding any conflicts of interest.
Whereas, Hristov consulting has the “Chrystal plaque”, the internationally recognized brand of golden creditworthiness excellence, awarded based on results achieved within the past three years, and that provides the ranking among the most prestigious companies in the region. Over the last seven years our consulting firm had business with the best creditworthiness grades, and continuously has excellent results, financial stability and the trust of our business partners.
“Regardless if it is the individual or the large international institution, Hristov consulting approaches each client as the unique case, implementing the appropriate methodology in reference to particular needs. We always create the communication strategy that significantly contributes to achieving the business and organizational goals of the client, including the positioning, media relations, reputation management, public engagements, lobbying strategy, legal disputes, and crisis situations handling, all the areas where we are already well recognized player. Over these years Hristov consulting invested in improvement of its consultants while answering the requirements of the clients and the wider public with the aim to develop, within the law, communication among all the stakeholders for the benefit and understanding of all the interested parties. We shall remain devoted to these goals in the future”, adds Ms. Hristov.
From the beginning, Hristov Consulting continuously invests in the community where it does the business, helping the individuals and numerous organizations, including for persons with disabilities and student’s organizations, to whom our consultants transmitted the knowledge and experience.
We use this opportunity to thank you all for the trust and successful cooperation we had and developed over these past fifteen years. It is now our highest priority to maintain and further improve the quality of our service in the coming years.

Undermined reputation leads to monetary loss

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on January 23rd, 2022 under Articles | No Comments »

In her her column in a reputable Serbian daily newspaper Danas, Sunday addition, Ms. Aleksandra Hristov wrote the following article:



Novak Djokovic has landed in Belgrade, Serbia after his deportation from Australia. He avoided the journalists as he decided not to speak publicly about this, for the time being. This is a good policy from his PR team, I would have given the same advice. Very noticeably, at the airport there was no official welcome from the Serbian state officials. We could assume that these have been already noticed from Novak about his planned public silence. The State welcome came down to the light show on the two tallest Belgrade buildings, the night before his arrival. In the situation of a wide Novak support from the Serbian public, this indicates the lackluster governmental response to this event.

It is hard to ignore the impression that at the latest SCDC (Serbian Center for Disease Control) press conference, its member Mr. Zoran Gojkovic has distanced himself from Novak. In response to Reuters and CNN questions about the Covid-19 certificate issued by the government institute for public health “Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut”, he answered that Mr. Djokovic had gotten the absolutely valid Covid-19 document with the positive result in the evening hours of December 16, 2021. And he added that any further inquiry should be directed to the recipient. Furthermore, he augmented his statement by saying that in Serbia there are no sanctions for those breaching the Covid-19 self-isolation rules (!?).

In addition to the convoluted decisions by the Australian government, and consequent wider harassment of Novak, the described “Coup de Grace” hitting Novak from the home turf is the biggest assault on his reputation. From Mr. Gojkovic statement we must conclude that Novak was Covid-19 positive, and he made public appearances while he most probably knew he is putting others in unnecessary danger. Mr. Djokovic apologized for his social mingling after he was infected, but only as consequence of his Covid-19 test leaking into public first. That means he reacted too late. To make matters worse, Novak is still not vaccinated, a very untenable stance for public figure in these times of fighting the dangerous virus.

All this is destined be more detrimental to his reputation than all the courts in any jurisdiction. Lacoste corporation, one of his largest sponsors with the 30 million dollars per year contract has just announced: “We would like to talk to Novak in the coming days to discuss the aftermath of his recent presence in Australia”. At the same time, France decided that all Roland Garros tennis tournament participants must be vaccinated. According to Australian press, as direct consequence of “Novak Djokovic” case, there is increase in number of spectators requesting the tournament tickets refund. It is estimated that these refunds may reach 25% mark. Therefore, both Australia and Novak are at loss. We are now waiting to see how these actors, Australia and Novak, navigate their damaged reputation management.


The “Firm” as the Brits colloquially call the royal family, masterfully manages the reputational risks and prevents the beginning of the reputational crisis. This is the current case of the Prince Andrew (61), the younger son of the British monarch.
The Queen Elizabeth II, for the sake of saving the monarchy “renounces” her own son. She decided to strip him of all the official public engagements duties, the royal and all the military titles, the state annual salary of 342,000 US dollars for the royal household working members. This is all in reference to civil law suit against him put in motion recently by the New York City judge that accuses HRH Andrew for involvement in sexual trafficking of Ms. Virginia Giuffre twenty years ago when she was a teenager. After this latest decision by the Queen, Mr. Andrew is going to have to defend himself as the common citizen.

The Royal biographers had already noticed that this son is commonly perceived as his mother’s favorite. However, the 95-year old monarch during her long reign has always insisted that the duty, office, honor, and preservation of monarchy are the highest priorities.
Obviously in sharp contrast to the Balkans, where the family members of the politicians and public figures are habitually defended in spite of their involvement in the scandals while being adults, the British monarch, irrespective of anyone liking her or not, does everything in her power to ensure the smooth continuity of her society and state. This is one of the elements why the Great Britain has been one of the most respected and powerful countries in the world for centuries.


Just a few days ago, after quite some time, the SCDC has re-emerged with its presumed own decisions about the pandemic. My well respected colleague is jocularly suggesting that we should start calling SCDC by the name of just “Desk” because of their loss of credibility and ability to influence the public opinion. The management of the pandemic crisis in Serbia became self-parody of what this process is supposed to be. We cannot even safely qualify this as the wrong communication in crisis, since there are intermittently semblances of some strategy attempts, however displaced. The problem is that it is finally clear that the “Desk” is lacking the true power, as it is micromanaged from elsewhere, similar to any other public and crisis communication, pertaining invariably to every governmental institution in Serbia.

The goal here is not to antagonize the majority of the voters, and of course, to gain the most votes in the coming general elections this Spring. The sincere communication and the honest approach to health issues are of secondary importance. This is going to come back for payment. In my opinion, for this kind of resolution we should not wait for long. It is likely that I would have a different prognosis if our Serbian government and the “Desk” went public, and like the Israel officials said: “Our aim is to allow mass infection of the entire society and therefore create the collective immunity”. That would be the correct approach towards own citizens. However, it did not go that way, the professional part of the “Desk” wants tougher measures, its political part is against this. In the meantime, the Serbian public is rapidly getting medically sicker by the day.

The days of my own isolation and healing from Corona-19 virus are going by, this is my second such infection since the pandemic beginning. My illness diagnosis was correctly guessed even before the test by my physician from the City Tuberculosis Hospital, one of the unsung female heroes of this global health calamity. She was able to estimate “Omicron” based just on my SMS list of symptoms. It was Omicron indeed, the quick-test done at the private laboratory finally confirmed. Although still feeling relatively feeble and recuperating, I nevertheless started seeking some answers to reasonably logical questions, the ones we were never able to get from the State and the “Desk”:

- Since I have tested at the private laboratory with the quick-test, is my positive result now part of the 13,693 number of officially infected on January 11, 2022? My colleague, the journalist who follows this subject says yes, I am not sure.
- Is my result now becoming part of the State count, necessary as the basis for renewing my green travel certificate? The same colleague says no!?
- Tomorrow, should I go to the state health field ambulance, wait there for couple of hours to be recorded by the official system, hoping both that I am still positive, and that I shall not infect anyone along the way?
This is evidently illogical and inhumane to the citizens of Serbia.
How is it possible that these private ambulances got the State accreditation, but that same State does not recognize them as relevant? Perhaps there is some higher interest, maybe charging of the tests kept in the closed circle between the manufacturers and the State?
What am I and my compatriots supposed to do?

After this, I cannot get for some time the third vaccine shot, and my green certificate shall expire soon so I shall inevitably enter the “grey zone” for traveling and moving around. This is also irresponsible from the State.

The physicians employed by the State are at the end of their line. They should be commended on their effort, courage, and patience, whereas as a private entrepreneur I do not mind paying them. Why the State does not recognize the results from the private sector that must be paid to obtain? For example, the necessary DDimer category of results is not offered by the State, those have to be obtained at the private establishments.

Concurrently, the chronically ill patients are unable to be serviced by the public health system. Most of their scheduled regular checkups are cancelled due to the overcrowding during the past two years. The patients with deeper pockets are going to private medical doctors. This leaves me, the member of the private business community, to regularly pay my obligatory health, pension expenses, and taxes in order to fill the public funds for all the citizens, and maintain the bloated government bureaucracy while forced to still pay the private medical checkups for my family. This is the classic case of senseless and inhumane treatment of the citizens.

Based on these examples, it is no wonder that we have every right to continue to refer to SCDC as the “Desk”. The management of the crisis situations by issuing the contradictory messages always produces the loss of integrity, reputation, and leads to diminishing of any meaningful influence.

Online Lecture “Crisis Communications”

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on January 16th, 2022 under Events | No Comments »

Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, director of the consulting firm “Hristov Consulting”, certified for the strategic communications and education, held the online lecture “Crisis CommunicationS” at the invitation from the professor Ms. Milica Slijepcevic, Metropolitan University, Belgrade, Serbia.

The students have been introduced to the latest trends in strategic communications and crisis management, the field with the increasing importance for the public institutions, companies, and other organizations.

To review the whole lecture on Serbian language follow the link:

MET TALKS / MENADŽMENT WEBINAR – Krizne komunikacije

Discussion on “Educating for democracy” Harvard Graduate School of Education

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on December 14th, 2021 under Events | No Comments »

Aleksandra Hristov, director of Hristov consulting, as the member of Harvard Club of Serbia participated in discussion on “Educating for democracy” with Professor Meira Levinson (Harvard Graduate School of Education) with Harvard Alumni from Central and Southeastern Europe.

Mineco continues its scholarships for the best students at the Faculty of Mining and Geology

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on October 29th, 2021 under Events | No Comments »

Mineco congratulates Marija Petrović and Branko Kostić, students at the Faculty of Mining and Geology in Belgrade, for their award of this year’s Mineco-funded scholarships from the Euro for Knowledge Foundation.

As one of the largest mining investors in Serbia and the region, Mineco has for the past six years been donating funds for two non-refundable scholarships with a sum of 100,000 dinars to the best students of the Faculty of Mining and Geology.

The winners of this year’s Euro for Knowledge scholarships, donated by Mineco, are Marija Petrović from Velereč near Gornji Milanovac, with an average grade of 9.10 and Branko Kostić from Belgrade, with an average grade of 8.90, both fourth-year students at the Faculty of Mining and Geology in Belgrade, studying deposit exploration in the economic geology module.

Marija Petrović thanked the Euro for Knowledge Foundation and Mineco for the scholarship.

“Besides the financial support, this scholarship also means to me a confirmation that the work I have been putting in is not in vain. My thanks to Mineco for appreciating science and investing in young people”, said Marija and pointed out that it means a lot to her that she will have the opportunity to learn in practice how an important mining company operates in Serbia.

Her colleague Branko Kostić said that the scholarship he received would help him continue his studies just as successfully or even more successfully than before.

“I chose economic geology as a challenge, and this scholarship, donated by a mining company, confirms I was not wrong. Thanks to Mineco who decided to help in this way I hope that I will be able to reciprocate with my knowledge when I finish my studies”, added Branko Kostić.

This year, the Euro for Knowledge Foundation decided to award a total of six student scholarships of 100,000 dinars each in the school year 2021/22. This Foundation was established in 2010 to invest in knowledge, primarily in the education of young people.

Mineco donated funds to this Foundation for the sixth time, and since the selection of scholarship winners was again successful this year, it intends to continue its support in future.

Politics takes the lead

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on October 3rd, 2021 under Articles | No Comments »

Foto – Zoran Mrdja

BELGRADE, October 1, 2021 (FoNet news agency) – The current Pandemics is often misused for the political purposes, the consultant for the strategic communication Ms. Aleksandra Hristov says for FoNet series Destination, adding that in the crisis it is always forbidden to attempt to score the political points or otherwise attempt to profit, whereas it is essential to continuously communicate with the population. The following are Ms. Hristov’s main thoughts on this matter.

On the subject of the consequences of the corona pandemic for the society in general it has to be highlighted that sending the uneven and contradictory messages remains one of the main problems in the communication of the Center for Disease Control in Serbia (CDCS) towards the citizens (in Serbia).

The general public has noticed that the political part (and not the professional) of the CDCS always prevails, and consequently the trust in their measures is eroded.

This has a very detrimental effect to what is to be achieved, namely the protection of the population against the transmissible disease as the practice of CDCS of criticizing the citizens behavior must be condemned.

In the past several days the vast majority of medical doctors have again warned about the dramatic increase of newly infected with the corona virus while for the past three weeks the CDCS pompously announces the introduction of the Covid-19 certificates, whereas at the same time one of its own board members says that this particular measure is not necessary.

Serbia currently does not have the strong anti vaccination movement but the population nevertheless does not trust anyone anymore as it is one of the results of the wrong way of public communicating.

When promised, it is imperative that all the rules are put forward and implemented together with the defined sanctions for those who fail to comply, otherwise the citizens continue to behave as they find appropriate.

In principle every action is loaded with the responsibility, and CDCS evidently does not feel the moral obligation to resign because their recommendations are either not implemented or produce the low numbers of vaccinated individuals.

Almost all the individuals are capable of understanding practically any situation but they need to be communicated to properly with including the education effort and detailed explanations, without the key information being concealed, scoring points and contradictory messaging.

The strong impression is that the CDCS uses only one channel of communication (official state news outlets), and always talking to one particular part of the public and not to the entire population.

In the past the CDCS news media conferences used to be organized, and that has now ceased, whereas the social media networks followed by the younger generation have always been uniformly neglected.

Today you can say that everyone follows a different news venue option, consequently it is necessary to cover all the target groups, no discriminatory news companies selection for announcements is advisable, including the selective appearances of officials in just a few particular outlets.

Thanks to such selective approach the CDCS looks as if always talking to the same targeted group of people, showing that its own board members have not thought through how to communicate with the citizens.

The CDCS could improve its public communication effect by using all the channels available towards all the target groups.

Aleksandra Hristov at NOVA.RS portal on the merits of the state crisis council

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on July 30th, 2021 under Events | 1 Comment »

The consultant for the strategic and crisis communication Aleksandra Hristov points out that the various countries have managed this pandemic in different ways, and the effects in each case can currently be seen in the attitudes of the public in abiding by the prescribed measures and their enrollment in the vaccination effort.
“That is undoubtedly one of the parameters of the success in managing this crisis. At the beginning of the pandemic the entire Serbia every day at 3 PM was watching the press conferences from the State Crisis Council (SCC) headquarters, and the public widely believed them. However, the contradictory messages from the SCC, especially coupled with the opposing opinions from the political and expert part of the Council, and with the political part always dominant in decision making, we are now witnessing that during 2020 the public trust was lost towards getting any information from that important source. One of the main effects of such crisis management is the general mistrust among the majority of citizens. Consequently, in spite of having the abundance of each of the four types of vaccines offered in Serbia, very few individuals opted to be vaccinated”, says Hristov.
She stressed the fact that trust once lost is very hard to earn again.
“At the same time, despite the widely held correct belief that the crisis always carries new opportunities, in the crisis you can not design a successful plan to score the political points by intent, and that pertains to any organization or country in any crisis. The crisis is managed by systemic and consistent implementation of the singular set of well thought through messages”, adds our interlocutor.
“If we exclude the measure of mandatory vaccination, that by law here exists, the solution is to change the body in charge of the crisis, which is now hard to do because the trust has been largely spent. For the efficient change of the atmosphere during any crisis, together with the attitude of the majority of the participants and observers, the key is not only in the new actions proposed, but more importantly who is proposing them. Only that can produce the rapid turnaround and the situation change. That new body (new SCC) must be made of the credible individuals who have not damaged their reputations during the crisis, and only those therefore have the necessary authority to come up with the believable economic and health prognosis, and to decide about the actions to recommend to the state to implement. Those newly appointed persons must have the coordinated slogans so that the public can understand how to a behave and what is beneficial to their and theirs siblings’ health and wellbeing”, continues Hristov.
She added that unfortunately, the individuals with the personal and professional integrity very often refuse or very much hesitate to participate in solving the crisis if invited by those who already squandered the public trust and are profoundly responsible for creating the bad situation.
“In addition to all this, it is necessary to organize the vaccination campaign geared towards the younger population by using the communication channels that are familiar to them, such as social networks and peer education”, emphasized Hristov.

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