Sandra Sinicco

is Director of Abracom,
the Brazilian Association
of Agencies of Communication.
  She is the CEO of GRUPO CASA, which started as a Public
Relations agency in 1987, and grew to become a holding of 7 companies, acting
within the field of event organization,
, Social Responsibility, Telemarketing, Cultural Marketing and Global
Strategies. CASA is an IPREX member since 1996.
In 1999, Sandra was awarded the Russel Fund Train prize, 
for her work with Ecopress, an environmental news agency, also devoted
to training young journalists in this field.

Can you describe the evolution of PR in the last 10 years?

Sandra Sinicco: In Brazil, PR has faced many phases. Since the boom in the 70s
we had some crises, up and downs, and now I feel that big and medium companies
are looking at PR tools in a more respectful manner. But the market is still

PR in your country a strategic resource or are they only viewed as a Marketing

S.S.:  It depends on the size of the company. Bigger the company is more
value it gives to PR. The smaller it is , 
most difficult is to make entrepreneurs understand the importance of
such tool in their businesses.

do you expect the development of the profession to be for the coming 5-10 years?

In Brazil, I feel that we are going to face a new phase with growing perspectives,
but in a very careful way. If the economy grows, probably the speed of development
of this area will grow in the same rhythm.

you outline the profile of the ideal PR professional in your country?

S.S.:  Planner minded, strategically thinking and cost benefit mentality.

We have learnt about cases in which PR agencies are replacing Advertising
Agencies, in the sense that they are handling a company’s communications holistically.
What’s your view about this? Can we speak of a tendency?

In Brazil I think this tendency will be a strong reality in the next years.
My company is an example of that. We have a holding with 7 companies offering
a full service when integrated or simple services ( commodities) when demand
wants that.

In many
countries the tendency is that many companies rely on outsourcing for the PR
Department What’s the situation in your country?

S.S.:  Nowadays, there are two tendencies – big companies are composing
their departments aiming to reduce costs. Medium companies are maintaining outsourced

Has the situation in Argentina affected PR policies in your country?

S.S.:  Argentina and 11 September affected the Brazilian market. Besides
that we had a Presidential election . Can you imagine the big mess!!!!!!!! I
think PR policies had been affected after Internet grow in all world .

in your opinion, strengths and weaknesses of PR university courses of studies
in your country

S.S.:  In Brazil, they do not prepare people to act as strategic professionals. 
They form technicians.    
What they teach students is too far from reality…. I would prefer to hire someone
with a strong background in  Administration, Marketing and then specialized
in PR.

What are the
most frequent complaints from undergraduate and just graduate professionals?

S.S.:  Their curriculum . But in Brazil there is another problem called
Education, or lack of high level Education.

the Brazilian market perception of Argentine PR practitioners?

S.S.:  You act in a different manner as your market is smaller than ours. 
But you have good professionals . I cant make a comparison as our cultures
are so different !!!!!!!

does the layperson view the PR officer? Do you think there are prejudices against
these professionals?

S.S.:  PR are commonly misunderstood as people that do contacts in restaurants
and promote night parties. 
I don’t think there is
prejudice, but misunderstanding and complete lack
of information about our companies and professionals. And we are to blame, because
we do not invest too much in communicating our abilities, our skills and the
advantages of hiring a PR company for companies that care about their markets.

you feel there’s still something missing in the LatinAmerican market?

miss changing ideas with LatinAmerican professionals . I think we would need
to be more united and try to build up an image and an understanding of our skills
in comparison to professionals of other countries.
We have a lot to learn but we also can teach a lot to developed countries. Specially
regarding our culture!!!!!!!!
I would enjoy meeting people from all LatinAmerican countries and discuss about
our realities.

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