Continuing our series of founder Q&As, meet Liz Rozenblat, CEO and founder of Shachar MC, our Brands2Life Global Network partner in Israel.
What led you to set up your own agency?
I founded Shachar Marketing Communication in 2000 to provide quality services that are unique to the tech sector. Back then there were many PR agencies but only a few that specialised in technology. I saw the rise of Israel as an advanced technological and startup nation and understood there would be a need for PR services in this field.
Today, more than 20 years later, Shachar Marketing is known as one of the leading companies in Israel for public relations and marketing communications, with rich experience in every technology sector. Most of our customer activities are based on our areas of expertise covering a wide range of topics such as high-tech, cyber, cloud, virtualisation, Apps, Data, AI and consumer devices.
What inspires you each day?
My inspiration are the people I meet and work with. Israeli high-tech executives and experts are driven by an aspiration to always innovate, lead and succeed. So, for me they become an inspiration as the people I should follow.
In Shachar-MC, we believe in the B2H method – Business to Human – and so we emphasise the personal connections and the personal touch. I also get inspired and learn a lot from the journalists I am working with. I find them to be knowledgeable, but also always wanting to learn something new and to hear about the next step or level in local or global technology.
What are the common misconceptions around doing comms in your market?
Today, with the internet being so accessible and instant, many people believe they will see an immediate increase in sales after PR or social activity. But to brand your organisation correctly you must understand good PR and digital activity takes time and needs to be built with a clear and smart strategy. As a business leader you must be patient when you create the messages you want and to gain public familiarity. In Israel, connections are the most important thing in doing business, so you will need a PR agency with good connections and a reliable image.
Another important thing is that PR and social promotion do not happen in a vacuum. Business leaders need to keep in touch with the agency, and alert and inform about their activities on a daily basis. Plus, they need to enlist their employees to be engaged in the social media as well.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in PR since you founded your company?
Unfortunately, in more than 20 years as the CEO of Shachar-MC, we have witnessed the weakening of the Israeli press. Many newspapers have closed and too many journalists have lost their jobs. There aren’t that many daily or business newspapers, and most of them rely more and more on paid content. This means filtering has increased and we have to be much more creative to get in there.
On the bright side, the internet revolution has influenced our profession and provided more channels for us to operate and specialise in. Now we have many more opportunities to reach a wide audience in a creative way with podcasts, videos, webinars and more, and of course through social media channels.
I have also seen the rise of the high-tech sector in Israel and the growing attention it gets from the local and global media. Israel is a very political country with many news stories, but tech is one of the topics that continues to interest Israelis on a daily basis.
What would you say is the major thing you learned from adapting to working during a global pandemic?
The pandemic has not been easy and has required quick adjustments. But thanks to our creative team we have been able to adjust our customers‘ messages to the current situation.
We learned how resilient our market and our customers are, and how well they adapted and were prepared for this situation. Their confidence made me more confident, and of course helped their customers and partners to get through this time on the best way possible. I learned that processes that should take years can take just a few months thanks to their advanced technologies.
I’m sure it’s not the end of the story and the future will continue to surprise and amaze us.
Which campaign are you most proud of having been involved in / what is the biggest impact you have had on a client / a campaign has delivered for a client?
We represented an Israeli software company that specialised in ERP. Due to its size, it could not submit to public sector tenders because of high threshold conditions that only global companies could meet. We decided to get in contact with the Chairman of the technology and science committee of the Israeli parliament, and she agreed to come to visit the company’s management in their offices, a visit that resulted in a high amount of coverage. In this way we combined PR with lobbying, which led to the cancellation of the threshold conditions in the next tenders.
After 25 years in the industry, what is your #1 priority right now?
Over the years, we learned that most companies in the market can be treated as tech companies, even if it is not their core business.
Therefore, we decided to expand our target audience by contacting CIOs and CTOs in the various organisations and offer them branding services.
As they manage their own IT division, they need PR services inside the organisation and outside, in particular for their Boards, so their work will be valued and budgeted for. The company’s PR agents are not always aware, nor understand the world of tech or the company’s tech achievements.
We can offer them our cooperation to extend their goals and exposure.
What do you enjoy most about being part of Brands2Life Global?
Shachar MC specialises in global high-tech companies, so it is very important for us to be part of a global agency network, and especially one with agencies that we have worked with for so many years and with whom we share expertise, connections, and efficiency. A big part of our job is working with people from all over the world. I have learnt a lot from the years from this experience – and I keep learning. It keeps us in closer touch with the current trends that are happening in marketing, PR, and social media today around the world, and we gain many great ideas and inspiration that way.
Shachar MC is a longstanding partner of the Brands2Life Global Network and has worked with VMware for many years.