Serbias Notaries have performed 367,121 free document certifications in 2019

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on February 13th, 2020 under Events | 1 Comment »

Notaries of Serbia achieved remarkable results during 2019, as evidenced by the fact that during that period they issued more than 250,000 documents, in the form of records and solemnization, which implies the drawing up, verification and confirmation of real estate contracts, lifelong support and other contracts in other property relationships.
The 250,000 cases registered in the General Business Register of 197 Serbian notaries are significant not only as statistics but also as an indicator of the extent to which notaries of Serbia have contributed to the increase of legal certainty in real estate transactions and other affairs, said the President of the Serbian Chamber of Notaries Srbislav Cvejic, presenting some of the most important results of notaries in 2019.
Cvejić also said that due to the work of notaries, fraudulent real estate sales were avoided and that the number of court proceedings regarding contractual disputes was significantly reduced.
The SCN President emphasized the great support and assistance provided by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia from the outset, which continues to work on improving the technical capacity of the notary system, as well as on strengthening the position and expanding the competences and network of notaries.
Cvejic recalled that Serbia’s notaries celebrated 5 years since the introduction of notaries in the legal system in 2019, and it is clear that in that short time they were able to fulfill the most important functions – to protect the rights of parties, to speed up and control legal transactions and unburden the judiciary system. In five years, Serbia’s notaries have done more than eight million legal transactions under their jurisdiction, most of them certifications – about 7 million.
The great success of Serbian Chamber of Notaries in Serbia is that in 2019 they were able to complete as many as 367,121 certifications of documents, thus relieving the state institutions, especially during period of high school and college enrollment. In 2019, in June and July, more than 122,000 free copies of documents were notarized across Serbia, while some 245,000 documents were completed in the remaining 10 months.
In addition to the documents for the first enrollment in high schools and colleges, notaries notarized documents for the purposes of the competition for admission to dorms and student standards institutions, as well as for the competition for the use of student scholarships and loans. In addition to certification of these documents, certifications for enrollment in pre-school institutions and primary schools are also performed free of charge, as well as certification of signatures and transcripts or photocopies of documents used for social security, social protection, veterans-disabled protection and protection of civilian war invalids.
Notaries publicly certify, free of charge, documents for providing financial support for a family with children, as well as the documentation for victims of domestic violence. In addition, it is free of charge to certify the documents of unemployed persons necessary for the establishment of an employment relationship, or other rights conferred on that basis.
According to the President of the SCN, the results achieved in the last five years prove the extent to which both the public notary system in Serbia and the work of the Chamber of Notaries were developed in a short time. Cvejic emphasized the efficient work of a large number of notary offices, which were able to speed up the implementation of inheritance procedures, for which they are entrusted by the courts. “Inheritance procedures for public notaries are now effectively conducted, ending in a very short time,” Cvejic said.
The goal of the Serbian Chamber of Notaries is to further work on the advancement of the profession, and to fill more vacancies for notaries, which should be 370, for the territory of the entire Republic of Serbia. “Expanding the network of notaries is one of our priorities. We must work to ensure that public notaries are equally accessible to all citizens, “Cvejic said.
According to the president of the SCN, the Chamber has faced many challenges in the past years, the biggest one that citizens accept them as professionals, lawyers who improve legal certainty with their work. “We believe that we have made great strides in this direction so far, and we can promise that we will continue to work hard in the future and that we will strengthen our network and capacities,” Cvejic added.
The SCN also continuously provides training for notaries and notary assistants and associates, and constantly works to harmonize notary public practice. “It is extremely important for the Chamber to control the work of all notaries. We demand strict compliance with all laws and regulations by our members and sanction any violation of regulations within our ranks, “said Cvejic.

Fonet published opinion editorial about disinformation and propaganda

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on February 8th, 2020 under Articles | 1 Comment »

FoNet, the oldest private news agency in Serbia with the independent editorial policy, has recently published the digested version of my opinion editorial from the leading Serbian weekly Novi Magazin.
p030220.062
SRB- KIOSK – MEDIA
IN THE SERVICE OF CONFLICT
BELGRADE, February 03, 2020
The governments around the world are currently the most serious creators of the fake news and propaganda content, suggests Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, the Internationally Certified Management Consultant in the area of Strategic Communication.
Ms. Hristov, the director of Hristov Consulting, in her analysis „PR in the service of Conflict“, explains  that   the media should work in the public interest, while PR generally works in the interest of its clients. Where these interests overlap, cooperation is both necessary and possible, stated Hristov in her recent opinion editorial for Serbian weekly Novi Magazin.
However, she warned we are often confronted with the situation whereby our profession is used as  an instrument in the hands of those who have their own specific goals, and who do not hesitate to choose any means to achieve them.
As a rule, stated Hristov, those who knowingly agree to be an instrument of the special interests, without following the professional  codes, are eventually always abused and victimized by their own clients.
Whereas, the PR sector, if it does its job properly, is an ally of the media, and contributing to the safeguarding of the public interest and the development of the society as a whole.
Hristov goes on to conclude that the European Union officials very often do not see or understand how much the freedom of the media in Serbia is endangered, including the undermining of the public benefit and the democracy itself. In addition to that, the most of the principles prescribed by the laws and the codes are habitually not applied in practise, or to a lesser extent even abused. When bots, trolls and other “helpers” are added to this, it’s almost impossible to explain to the visiting foreign officials and experts what this is all about.
Referring to the existing EU Study, she notes that elements of disinformation and propaganda includes the information that is designed to be wholly or partially false, manipulative or misleading, or is using the unethical retelling techniques
Ms. Hristov has emphasised that the disinformation and propaganda are always intended to create insecurity, hostility or polarization in the society, or is attempting to disrupt the democratic processes. They are spread and / or amplified by the automated and aggressive techniques, such as social bots, artificial intelligence, micro-targeting, or paid human “trolls”, and are used to increase the public visibility of its sources.
Additionally, she mentions the public statement made by Richard Stengel, a former chief editor of The Time magazine and the undersecretary of State during the Obama administration, who defined disinformation as an intentional fraudulent content used to deceive someone. Furthermore, Stengel connects the raise of the authoritarian leaders to the spread of internet and sophisticated methods of using of the media and information in general.
Leaders in these situations limit the dissemination of information they do not want, while promoting the information they desire, which is a very dangerous combination.
The end 15:24

Mineco Group representatives meeting the Serbian press

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on January 27th, 2020 under Events | 1 Comment »

Hristov Consulting organized a meeting of Serbian media editors with leaders of the British company Mineco, one of the largest investors in the mining sector in the Western Balkans, at the Zepter Hotel in Belgrade on Thursday, January 16th.
Informal annual meeting of the Mineco Group CEO’s with media representatives was held for the fifth time, and traditionally. Mineco Group CEO Bojan Popovic spoke about Mineco’s results last year, while Mineco’s operations director Dominic Roberts briefed journalists on developments in the global market of metals, but also on the use of innovative technological solutions and on the penetration of new technologies in mining.
Invitation for this informal gathering was answered by 30 editors and journalists of the most influential Serbian media, including the economic ones, who expressed satisfaction with the exceptional communication they have with the Mineco leaders. After the meeting, a large number of news articles on this event appeared in the Serbian media.

PR In the Service of Conflict

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on January 24th, 2020 under Articles | No Comments »

Aleksandra Hristov article in the leading Serbian weekly magazine: Novi Magazin
In our public domain, we often hear the assessment that European officials coming to Belgrade do not see or understand how much the freedom of media in Serbia is endangered, including undermining of the public benefits and the democracy itself. One possible explanation would be the fact that in their countries this is no longer a topic they are dealing with, and in Serbia all this is “formally – legally” – all right.
The new media strategy is about to be adopted, despite the big battle currently underway for the survival of the Press Council, a self-regulatory body that is currently the only such entity doing its job professionally.  Existing media laws and codes have been drafted to European standards, while everybody is questioning the functioning of the Electronic Media Regulatory Body (REM) and of the public media service (RTS).
The fact that most of the principles prescribed by laws and codes are not practically applied, or to a lesser extent even abused, it is difficult to present this case to those in whose countries the mainstream media, the courts and the public are functioning in a democratic manner. When bots, trolls and other “satraps” come up, it’s really almost impossible to tell strangers what this is about.
THE CONFLICT OF TWO PRINCIPLES
The main focus in their countries, as well as in the European Union as a whole, is how to deal with propaganda, misinformation and spreading fake news on online platforms and how to resolve the conflict between two principles underlying democracy, namely freedom of speech and the right of citizens to be timely and objectively informed. It is difficult for them to explain that in our country there is actually a problem in the main pillars on which the informing of our citizens rests, which is the traditional media where our society is mostly informed for the time being.
According to a survey by the Plum Mark agency at the end of 2018, 4.2 million citizens of Serbia are online, of which 73 percent are from urban areas. The majority of citizens, according to a survey by Ipsos, still receive information through television, or 5 million. According to a December 2018 survey by Ipsos, the internet reaches up to 4.9 million people, radio up to 3.6, magazines 2.5 and daily newspapers reach up to 1.3 million. However, Serbian citizens are following the trends when it comes to online information, which is constantly growing as a source of information.
The European Union is solving the problems of misinformation and propaganda, but mostly in the sphere of social media dissemination. Thus, one study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs was “Disinformation and Propaganda – impact on the functioning of the rule of law in the EU and its Member States”. This study examines the effects on the functioning of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights.
THE ELEMENTS OF DISINFORMATION
According to the Study, elements of disinformation and propaganda are information that is designed to be wholly or partially false, manipulative or misleading, or is using unethical retelling techniques; deal with an issue of public interest; are intended to create insecurity, hostility or polarization in society, or is attempting to disrupt democratic processes. They are spread and / or amplified by automated and aggressive techniques, such as social bots, artificial intelligence, micro-targeting, or paid human “trolls”, which are often used to increase public visibility.
Additional manipulation of the domestic public is the misrepresentation of data on global trends advocated by some agencies and individuals in the PR sector as if things had already been resolved and that the whole world, including the media, was engaged in creating this PR content and marketing. However, the world media such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian have reformed and strengthened their online sphere due to the decline in print sales, but have returned primarily because of their insistence on the credibility and reliability of information. When you read the text online at The Guardian, you get a window asking: “We have chosen a different approach. Will you support it? Unlike many news organizations, we have decided to keep all our independent, research texts and reporting free and accessible to everyone. We believe that each of us, worldwide, has access to accurate information with integrity at its core. At a time when factual reporting is necessary, the support of our readers is crucial to preserving the editorial independence of the Guardian. This is our model of open and independent journalism. If you can, support Guardian today with at least 1 euro.”
On the other hand, the fight for the status of online platforms like Facebook is well underway and the outcome is uncertain. So after many years of resistance, the company had to defend its position before the US Congress last year, and only two weeks ago had to announce on its blog that it would still be removing videos that were modified by artificial intelligence known as deepfakes. “Deepfakes” are computer-generated clips designed to look real. Facebook will remove videos if it realizes that they have been edited so that they are not clear to average person, or if they have misled the viewer into thinking that the person in the video said words that they did not actually
INFORMATION WAR
At the same time, Richard Stengel, a former editor of The Time magazine and secretary of state for the Obama administration, in his latest book, Information Wars, describing his experiences with propaganda and misinformation on the internet, believes that Facebook, like other social media, should bear the responsibility for publishing content and it is not enough to remove content that promotes violence. According to him, recently reported on CNN, online platforms, although they do not provide professional content as media, it does not mean that they are not the publishers of that content and that Facebook is the largest publisher in the history of mankind and it has an obligation to remove fake content, hate speech, deepfakes, and speech that incites violence. In his view, this implies a change to Part V of the Telecommunications Act passed in America in 1996, or Section 230 (Communication Decency Act), which grants immunity from liability to providers and users of “interactive computer services” who publish information from third parties.
Also, according to Stengel, companies should say whether someone is a “bot” or a human, who is buying information from them and for what purposes, and all political ads should be completely transparent. In his book, he distinguishes between “disinformation” and “misinformation” and “fake news”.
He considers disinformation to be intentional fraudulent content used to deceive someone. He considers misinformation an inadvertent mistake, while fake news is somewhere between the two terms. What is really worrying is misinformation.
Stengel links the emergence of authoritarian leaders to the development of the internet, but also to the sophisticated use of media and information. Leaders in these situations limit the dissemination of information they do not want, while promoting the information they want. It is, according to him, a very dangerous combination. This has not been done before and it is very scary. Every society must deal with it and combat these phenomena.
Countries in the world are currently the most serious creators of fake news and propaganda content.
ROLE OF PR
There are laws and codes in European countries that regulate the media and therefore the boundaries within which all those who cooperate within them move. This includes political parties and politicians, companies, civil society organizations, including individuals engaged in PR, agencies and PR services.
All the postulates that are valid in the world, especially in Europe, apply very little here in Serbia, probably until the European Union forces us.
Working in the communications sector in Serbia relies on good contacts with the media, placing marketing news for clients with advertising, and avoiding confrontation with the political actors currently in power. This is crucial in order to obtain jobs and to achieve permitted, or illicit, goals for bosses, clients, and to sell services (ads) at any cost. This model has worked in Serbia for decades, with an increasingly brutal character. The basic postulates of the PR profession, as well as the codes, do not exist at all, even though we have a formally domestic code of profession, with the ICCO (International Communication Consultancy Organization) Helsinki Declaration of more than 3,000 PR agencies from 66 countries.
According to the Sector-wide Declaration, all professionals are required, among other things, to adhere to the highest professional standards in public relations and communications practices and to never engage in the creation and dissemination of fake news. Also, professionals are obliged to respect the truth, to treat employees, colleagues, clients, media, government and the public in a fair and transparent manner and to always show who are the true sponsors and advocates of particular interests. They should never engage in troubling activities such as bot-ing, and should use social media responsibly.
SANCTIONS FOR UNETHICAL PR BEHAVIOR
Although it is not obvious to us that there are sanctions for non-compliance with these standards, around the world there is an increase in sanctioning for violating the basic postulates of the profession. Thus, due to unethical behavior and the so-called “black PR”, ICCO has expelled from its membership one of the most influential and powerful PR agencies in the world, the British multinational PR firm Bell Pottinger, which went bankrupt in 2017. The company, according to BBC and Guardian reports, has been accused of spreading racial hatred in South Africa and producing fake news, including running false Twitter accounts, when working for a client (a private company).
It is the duty of the PR to point out to clients where the boundaries of media collaboration are and to always reject clients who demand unethical behavior. Both local and international codes of conduct are bound by this premise. In Serbia, we also have Article 51 of the Constitution which states:
Everyone has the right to be truthfully, fully and timely informed about matters of public importance and the media are required to respect that right.
The fact is that the media should work in the public interest, and that PR should work in the interest of its clients. Where these interests overlap, cooperation is both necessary and possible. However, it is often the case that our profession is only an instrument in the hands of those who have certain goals and do choose any means to achieve them. As a rule, those who knowingly agree to be an instrument, without following the code, are abused and eventually victimized by their clients.
The PR sector, if it does its job properly, is an ally of the media, contributing to the safeguarding of the public interest and the development of society as a whole.
The text is part of the “Propaganda as Enemy, Communication as Media Ally” Project, where the New Magazine seeks to promote the importance of implementing media laws and codes, as well as the need to apply international standards in media-PR relations, whether from political parties or from businesses. The project is funded by the US Embassy in Belgrade.

Mineco Group has fulfilled its Plans for 2019

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on January 16th, 2020 under Events | No Comments »

The British company Mineco Group, one of the largest mining investors in Serbia and the Western Balkans, is pleased with the results achieved in 2019, as it fulfilled its investment plans and the mines in the Group had certain sales of products.
“In terms of Mineco results in this region during 2019, this was a year of great and many small challenges. First of all, it was successful because we managed to provide certain sales of the products from our mines and to maintain the level of planned investments, although the situation on the market for the metals we deal with, became even more complex due to disruptions in the US-China trade relations”, said Mineco Group Director Bojan Popovic in Belgrade today.
Popović reminded that Mineco achieved the best results in 2017 since its establishment, while in the second half of 2018, prices on the international market of non-ferrous metals decreased, which directly affected the mines resulting in lower revenues. “This trend continued into 2019, but it did not slow Mineco’s development programme,” he added.
The mines operating within Mineco Group at full capacity – Rudnik Mine and Flotation near Gornji Milanovac, Veliki Majdan near Ljubovija and Gross Mine near Srebrenica, have continued a number of successful years – having fulfilled their production plans, continued exploration works and confirmed mine reserves.
Popović pointed out that Rudnik Mine on the Mountain of Rudnik achieved a special success because it managed to discover and confirm new mineral resources. “Four years ago, geological services followed with concern the diminishing reserves in ore bodies, but with great effort and millions of investments, new mineral resources have been found and now they are already being exploited. Now, this old mine has reserves confirmed for at least another ten years of production of lead, zinc and, to a lesser extent, copper concentrates, while future explorations will be focused on verifying the existence of other ore bodies based on new indications”, said Popović.
According to him, the impetus in the mineral exploration activity has inspired Mineco to include this activity in its regular business operations over the past two years – by purchasing sophisticated rigs for drilling at depths up to 500 meters, but also by engaging expert staff and retraining new personnel to perform these site work activities.
These expert teams have facilitated accelerated explorations on the Rudnik Mountain and at other sites, primarily near Foča in the Republic of Srpska, where Mineco has a concession for exploration and mining of lead, zinc and copper ores.
Mineco Director also said that he was particularly pleased that the construction of a brand new cerussite mine, lead oxide mineral, in Olovo, north of Sarajevo and a Plant for processing of that ore into lead concentrate was completed.
The first new mine with underground exploitation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last 30 years was opened almost two years ago, but for the processing of ore in that mine it was necessary to construct a completely new gravity separation plant, which was purchased in South Africa. The delivery of this equipment to the mine was very complex and kilometres of forest roads were built. “Now all of the individual systems are installed in one technological unit at the mine site, and the production of concentrate has been commissioned and our experts are currently optimizing production parameters and the further training of operational personnel is underway“, said Popović.
As for another mine in this region that Mineco is developing, the Bosil-Metal mine in the Municipality of Bosilegrad, Popović recalled that a year and a half ago, a pilot project for flotation ore processing was commissioned, and a Feasibility Study Concerning the Construction of Commercial Lead, Zinc and Copper Ore Flotation Process was ordered and prepared during the last year.
“During this year, the Main Mining Project for the Bosil-Metal mine and the Environmental Impact Study will be prepared and all necessary approvals of the competent ministries of the Republic of Serbia for the construction of a commercial plant will be provided”, said Popovic, noting that the construction work has been planned for the third or fourth quarter of this year, in order that the commercial operation of the Mine could commence during 2021.
Mineco Director also estimated that 2020 might not bring a significant rise in metal prices on the world markets, but it is important for this company to successfully control the development of its projects. “This will give us an opportunity for two major capital projects to move into the revenue phase, which is an excellent basis for further development of other projects in the coming years,” said Popović.

Hristov Consulting on media language at the Serbian Chamber of Notaries Symposium

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on December 15th, 2019 under Events | No Comments »

Serbian Chamber of Notaries Symposium, over the weekend of 14th and 15th December 2019, at the mountain Kopaonik (Serbia) resort, had their Fourth yearly symposium where they discussed the rules of the notaries practice, their role in taxation process, and creating and use of the electronic documents.
Within the format of the symposium, the Hristov Consulting consultants, that have cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Notaries since June 2018., gave their presentation about the results of their work, and on the subjects of the language of the media and the professional attorneys’ terminology in media environment.
“Ever since we collaborate with SCN, jointly and within the media deadlines, we have responded to more than 40 journalists’ requests, and we had created and distributed 15 press releases about NPA and notaries activities”,  Gordana Lazarević, Hristov Consulting consultant said.
Ms. Lazarevic added that Hristov Consulting has received a positive feedback from the journalists following NPA, who all agreed they regularly receive timely and precise information without any avoiding of answering all the questions.
However, journalists stated that on some occasions the answers tended to be overly complicated and elaborate, fact that motivated Hristov Consulting to, on this symposium, devote attention to the questions of the language in the media and use of the professional terminology, with intent to limit its use and explanations.
There was also a debate in reference to the language style related to the particular media profile, and how to avoid any confusion among journalists and wider public while following the various media.
At the symposium the notaries and their assistants from 133 offices in Serbia were present and actively took part in various panels.

Serbian Chamber of Notaries Symposium, over the weekend of 14th and 15th December 2019, at the mountain Kopaonik (Serbia) resort, had their Fourth yearly symposium where they discussed the rules of the notaries practice, their role in taxation process, and creating and use of the electronic documents.
Within the format of the symposium, the Hristov Consulting consultants, that have cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Notaries since June 2018., gave their presentation about the results of their work, and on the subjects of the language of the media and the professional attorneys’ terminology in media environment.
“Ever since we collaborate with SCN, jointly and within the media deadlines, we have responded to more than 40 journalists’ requests, and we had created and distributed 15 press releases about NPA and notaries activities”,  Gordana Lazarević, Hristov Consulting consultant said.

Ms. Lazarevic added that Hristov Consulting has received a positive feedback from the journalists following NPA, who all agreed they regularly receive timely and precise information without any avoiding of answering all the questions.
However, journalists stated that on some occasions the answers tended to be overly complicated and elaborate, fact that motivated Hristov Consulting to, on this symposium, devote attention to the questions of the language in the media and use of the professional terminology, with intent to limit its use and explanations.There was also a debate in reference to the language style related to the particular media profile, and how to avoid any confusion among journalists and wider public while following the various media.
At the symposium the notaries and their assistants from 133 offices in Serbia were present and actively took part in various panels.

The fourth yearly symposium of Serbian Chamber of Notaries: Work on regulating the notary practice

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on December 14th, 2019 under Events | No Comments »

Serbian Chamber of Notaries – SCN, over the weekend of 14th and 15th December 2019, at the mountain Kopaonik (Serbia) resort, had their Fourth yearly symposium where they discussed the rules of the notary practice, their role in taxation process, and creating and use of the electronic documents.
“This symposium marks the continuation of the work on professional improvement of notaries practice”, said Mr. Srbislav Cvejic, the president of SCN, assessing that this gathering, as every year, represents the opportunity for notaries  to clarify the doubts in reference to the application of regulations.
At the symposium opening, the notaries of Serbia were greeted by deputy justice minister Ms. Jelena Deretic, as she congratulated SCN on the work done to date, and emphasized the need for further development.
Ms. Jelena Deretic has announced the improvement of the electronic tools used by the notaries, and emphasized that these betterments shall bring even larger results of the notaries, and of the judicial security of the citizens.
At the symposium the notaries and their assistants from 133 offices in Serbia were present and actively took part in various panels.
The president of the SCN has reminded everyone present that the notaries this year in September have marked five years since the notary service had been introduced to the Serbian judicial system, and continued to say that the notaries within the short period of time have built the respectable organization that has a prominent role in the system of law.
“The notary profession has succeeded in its basic function – to protect the rights of the citizens, speeding up and control of the public transactions, and lessening the burden on the courts. Thanks to the work of notaries, the double selling of the real estate has stopped, and the number of court cases related to contractual obligations has decreased very significantly”, Mr. Cvejic had pointed out.
The president of the SCN has thanked the Ministry of Justice for its great support that the notaries have received from the beginning, and also pointed the outmost role of the Professional board at SCN with its judicial experts that constantly work on further improvement of the notary system and regulating it’s practice.
In five years since the notaries were introduced into the judicial system, the notaries have done more than eight million judicial jobs for which they are duly authorized. The majority of the cases go to notarization of the documents, almost seven million. The solemnization of the licenses that included the checking of the content of the real estate contracts was around 900,000 cases.

Crisis communication lecture to Faculty of Economics students in Belgrade

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on November 13th, 2019 under Events | No Comments »

Aleksandra Hristov, director of Hristov Consulting, the only certified consulting firm for communication strategy in Serbia, gave a lecture on crisis communication to the students of the fourth year of the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade, at the invitation of Professor Galjina Ognjanov.

Students had the opportunity to hear from experienced professional and practitioner in the field of crisis communication, whose consulting firm has successfully solved more than 50 crises of its clients. At the same time, they learned about crises, whether and how could you prepare for crises, how to manage crises, or to be a successful navigator in crisis, what can be learned from crises and why it is important to manage reputation.

“I am very pleased to be at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade for the fifth time and to share my experience with young people. Hristov Consulting is socially responsible business, and its consultants are always willing to give lecture to students on the strategic communications topics, which is our company’s expertise. I would like to pay my respect to professors such as Galjina Ognjanov who recognize the importance of inviting practitioners to be guest lecturers in order to allow their students to gain first-hand experience and thus contribute to the development of Belgrade University and society as a whole.” said Alexandra Hristov.

Hristov Consulting  https://hristovconsulting.com/ also helps associations of persons with disabilities, as well as individuals who contribute to the development of society. Hristov Consulting is engaged in management consulting in the fields of reputation, media relations, crisis management, law and PR, public affairs and lobbying.

Propaganda as the enemy, communication as the ally of the media

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on September 21st, 2019 under Articles | 1 Comment »

This article was published on September 19, 2019, in Novi Magazin, Serbian weekly. Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, the director of Hristov Consulting, a certified consulting firm for communication strategy and education in that area has spoken about the illicit connection between various actors in the society and the media that exists for years and makes it difficult to be independent and work in the public interest. This same matter was also commented by Mr. Dragan Janjic, the chief editor of Beta media agency-

Following is the article in its integral version:

“Propaganda as the enemy, communication as the ally of the media”

The cooperation of the media and the public relations sector naturally influences the newspaper texts that are reaching the public on a daily basis. However, the ethical and the judicial boundaries that are meant to protect the public interest during that cooperation are overlooked all too often. The companies, organizations, institutions, political parties, and individuals that appear in public and are influencing truthful and objective informing instead of protecting the public, and they become themselves the tools of disseminating untrue data in creation of the distorted picture of the reality.

“The media and the Public Relations (PR) are two different jobs, with different priorities. The media, journalists and the chief editors, should emphasize their task of protecting the public interest, whereas PR offices want to promote the corporate or organization’s interests for which they are working. In any case, the public interest should be cared for, with the awareness that with some professions such as journalists and public agencies such interest should be the first priority. That is nothing unusual as this is done this way throughout the world. The problems arise when different roles, and the priority goals get mingled, and when the media agrees to put, instead of the public interest, the interest of the company or organization served by its PR, on the first place. That happens either by mistake, when the journalists and the chief editors do not recognize that the public and corporate, organizational interests diverge, or when they do it deliberately”, says Mr. Dragan Janjic, the chief editor of the media agency Beta.

According to his assessment, in the first case, when the mistake was accidental, things can be fixed relatively easily, however, in the second case we are witnessing a potentially dangerous collusion that can be detrimental to the society and damage the public interest. “The drastic example with the tragic consequences occurred recently, during the 1990-ies, when the propaganda machineries of the sides in the war conflict in the former Yugoslavia acted as the deliberate war mongering vehicles, and the majority of the media was transmitting whatever was served to them”, Mr. Janjic reminded us.

The task of the PR sector that is representing the companies, organizations, institutions, political parties, and individuals should be, above all, to communicate with the media that are free from the pressure related to their media business. In practice that means that the task of the PR is to enable the free communication between the media and PR clients, to provide them with the truthful information, while media has the obligation to check all the facts, ant to release to the public the information that is important to the public interest.

Ms. Aleksandra Hristov, CMC, internationally certified business consultant in the area of the public communication, believes that the practice of the illicit collusion between various actors in society and media exists for years, and must be stopped immediately. “It is truly important that the media and PR sector become aware that at any moment they have the obligation to work in accordance to law, ethical codes, and international standards. This is the only way to avoid the errors that can be dangerous to the public interest”, says Ms. Hristov.

According to her words, the PR sector has an obligation, moral and judicial, regardless of what it does for the client or the boss, to respect the facts, truthful data, therefore the public interest, as it is always meant to be the case with the media in general. “In that business, the media and the PR should be allies”, added Ms. Hristov.

The mainstream media domestically (in Serbia and the region) and in the world are going through the crisis, trying to adjust to the digital age and endless competition brought by the internet. That competition, no doubt, has not brought the quality yet. However, it brought the high dependence of the media on advertisers, and those want to send their propaganda messages not only through the classical advertisements but also through the informative content, albeit without the professional journalistic handling of the matter.

Answering the question whether the propaganda is the enemy of the enemy of the public interest, Mr. Dragan Janjic believes that it is not always the case, because the propaganda is the tool for dissemination of any particular ideas or messages . “When the ideas or the messages are those that are indeed in the public interest, propaganda is allowed even in the media. Therefore, PR can help the media and the public reach various information content with the positive effect to individuals and society, however, the contrary is also possible. The main transmitter of the information is the media, and they should be the filter and the guarantor that everything stays within the perimeter of public interest”, says Mr. Janjic.

With this theme he is in agreement with Ms. Aleksandra Hristov who points out that we are often confronted with the public campaigns that are surely in public interest. “There is no problem when the organizations and businesses want to promote their results and community service based on facts. Serbia has PR outlets that are perfectly equipped and creative to handle such campaigns. The media, very often has ear for such campaigns. The problem arises when the client does not realize that his particular narrow interest is not in public interest, and as a consequence, some PR sectors start propagating the falsehood. That is not an allowed behavior by the PR, and the media itself before anyone, must react and deny such propaganda the media space without fear such action can produce the financial harm on them”, adds Ms. Hristov.

In any case, much work remains to be done in defining both better and clearer rules for the PR and media relationship. Implementing the laws and professional codes of conduct pertaining to media and PR is the key that should bring the quality to this area. Mr. Janjic emphasizes it would be ideal to somehow separate these things, if PR activities could be centered on drawing the attention to the importance of some product, idea or decision, without the indirect or direct influence of the companies or organizations on media business policy.

One thing that should be excluded from this two way communication between the media and PR is the blackmail, that if the media filters the PR content, it loses the client who pays the advertizing space. Furthermore, it should become unacceptable that the media without any checking or sanctions releases the false information whereby misleading the public and hurting the wider interest. The step toward respecting the clear professional rules is needed on both sides. This is in every citizen’s and wider public interest.

http://www.novimagazin.rs/vesti/propaganda-kao-neprijatelj-komunikacija-kao-saveznik-medija/0/nedeljnik436

The article is part of the project “Propaganda as the enemy, communication as the ally of the media”, that is going to include the analysis of the conditions in this area through the opinion articles from the PR experts, and journalists contributing their views and own case studies. Through this project weekly Novi Magazin wants to promote the awareness about the importance of the media laws and professional codes of conduct implementation, including the imperative of applying the international standards in the media and PR interactions regardless of their own relationships with the political parties and businesses. Novi Magazin project is financed by the Embassy of the United States of America in Belgrade, Serbia.

Five years of notary public profession in Serbia

Posted by Aleksandra Hristov on September 14th, 2019 under Events | No Comments »

Notary Public profession has succeeded in its primary function to protect the rights of its clients, increase the efficiency and control of the legal transactions, and to lessen the burden on the judicial system, all stated at the Celebration academy on the occasion of the fifth anniversary since first notaries public had opened their offices in Serbia.
In the presence of the minister of justice of Serbia, Ms. Nela Kuburovic, invitees from the judicial bodies of Serbia and the region, delegations from the notary public organizations and chambers, the president of the Notary Public Chamber of Serbia (NPCS), Mr. Srbislav Cvejic has pointed out that the notaries public have achieved within the past five years the outstanding results, and today we can say that the introduction of the notary public profession has improved the legal security of the citizens of Serbia.
The minister of Justice of Serbia, Ms. Nela Kuburovic, representing the government of Serbia and the ministry of justice, has personally congratulated the jubilee to notaries public, and added “with certainty we can say that the notaries public had fulfilled the expectations, and significantly lessened the burden on the courts, including increasing the legal security to higher level”.
Ms. Kuburovic highlighted that we are presently witnessing the widening of the perimeter of work of the notaries public, the consequence of their current scope of activity being done conscientiously and responsibly. She has also underlined the role and the advancement of the notary public profession during the last year, when many things have changed, and the notaries public have gained the access to many public official registries.
According to her, the notaries public will face many challenges in the future, especially in the area of implementing the Law of privacy protection.
“Your work and professionalism shall determine your stature and the future of notary public trade, and the Ministry of Justice shall strive to give you all the help necessary”, said Ms. Kuburovic.
The president of the NPCS stated that the notaries public of Serbia, in five years, have done 8,167,075 legal cases for which they were duly empowered. “Out of the respectable number of legal jobs, the vast majority are notary public authentications, numbering 6,705,983, and solemnizations of documents, numbering 871,768”, added Mr. Cvejic. According to him, thanks to the work of the notaries public, the double selling of real estate has dramatically decreased including the legal actions related to contractual transactions. Reminding that the Law of notary public profession has been brought in May 2011, and after two delays in implementation, finally became official in September of 2014, Mr. Cvejic has added that the beginnings were difficult, but the NPCS received the stable and clear support, above all, from the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia.
At this time, in 198 notary public offices in Serbia, in addition to 198 notaries public, employed are 1,226 individuals, among them 69 notary public deputies, 90 notary public assistants, 450 apprentices, and 618 administrative staff. Following the Guidelines jointly issued by the Ministry of Justice and the High Court of Cassation in 2016, we witness the substantial increase in receiving the inheritance proceedings, so the notaries public so far had 362,808 such cases, half of which are the cases of putting together the official death notices.
The statistical data shows that on 173,218 inheritance cases solved there were 718 complaints filed, only 0,4 percentage points. The change occurred only in 31 inheritance cases. “This truly speaks volumes about the high quality of our notary public service. With pleasure we can say that the inheritance cases are handled efficiently, and the citizens are able to exercise their rights in the shortest time, proof that this whole system has significantly improved”, Mr. Cvejic pointed out.
According to the available data, notaries public, during this past Summer from June 01, until July 15, had done 122,031 free of charge notarizations of the documents needed for the enrollments into the High schools and universities. Mr. Cvejic has stated that the role of the notaries public has especially come to prominence since the Law of Real Estate Titles and Infrastructure Titles was brought. This law mandates that the notaries public beginning on July 01, 2018, can electronically send such Titles to the government agencies to be put on the official record.
“This procedure additionally secures the rights of the citizens by diminishing the possibility of officially recording the titles based on the falsified documents”, said the president of the NPCS. Furthermore, the president of the NPCS has also highlighted the big help that the notaries public of Serbia had from their colleagues from Europe and the world including the international organizations. “We lacked the wireless experience, but the biggest and the oldest notary organizations had selflessly shared their knowledge and achievements with us”, added Mr. Cvejic.
As the matter of the outmost importance, Mr. Cveic emphasized that, in October 2016, the NPCS  has become the 87th full member of the International Union of Notaries (UINL), and in June 2017 became the member of the  Notaries of Europe (CNUE) in the capacity of the member observer. The Serbian Chamber got the access to the European Notary Network (ENN) that enables the connection of the notaries from Serbia with their colleagues from the other European chambers.
At the Celebration academy the Thank you Plaques of the NPCS have been distributed to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia, High Commission of the notaries of France, Notary Chamber of Germany, and to the notary public from France, Mr. Stefan Zecevic. Whereas, the Plaques of NPCS have been presented to the law professor at the University of Belgrade, Mr. Dejan Djurdjevic, to the first president of NPKS, Mr. Miodrag Djukanovic, and to the notary public from Belgrade, Ms. Natalija Adzic.
Whereas, the plaques of the NPCS have additionally been given to the representatives of the notary chambers from Republic Srpska of Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Germany, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus, and Russia.

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