I wanted to title this "An Open Letter to the Serbian Government: Fix Your PR & Branding" but I don't think that many characters will fit in blog posts here.
I know little about politics and even less about Serbian politics; however, as a 25-year pro, I know heaps about PR, marketing and branding. As a PR and media pro who is a big fan and part-time resident of Serbia, it's incredibly painful to see how badly your PR is being bungled, and your story mis-told over Kosovo in the international press. Knowing a bit of Serb history, it seems this PR bungling is a national
On Sunday night, a couple of local friends stopped by our little house in Sombor, Serbia with their 13 year old daughter. After half an hour of polite attention, she began to slump in her chair, bored, bored, bored with all the grownups chatter. "Rosemary, I bet she would like to play on the Internet. Show her your computer," my husband ordered. Armed with a plateful of chocolate cookies, I led her into my home office to go online.
She honestly had no idea what to do online (something unimaginable in a 13 year old US girl but typical of her peers here I've found). So I
And now for something completely different from current politics... and yet, sadly, just about as depressing. A few B92 blog readers have emailed me asking if I have any tips on teaching their wives/girlfriends/boyfriends Serbian. Here's what I know - if you have any tips to add please do.
#1. Be nice. Serbian is a very hard language to learn.
In the first throes of love or infatuation, your new partner will inevitably volunteer to learn your language. Then he or she will actually try to learn some. Unless he or she is a language-genius or you live fulltime in Serbia surrounded
This is my first post to B92 (thanks for inviting me Dejan!) and I feel rather self conscious about it. Which proves to be inspirational because that is the way I think most Serbs feel about America. According to most of my Serb acquaintances, America as a country hates Serbia. America is a big mean bully, glittering with gold, nuclear weapons, and Hollywood celebrities, that personally hates Serbs and wants to cause problems for them.
When I married my Serb husband, none of his family and friends from Serbia came to the wedding in the US even when we offered to pay for all travel.
Yet again Serbia's image -- and much of its political and economic future -- is being decided vividly in headlines in the Western press. For example, the hugely influential and (usually) highly credible Washington Post just ran an editorial headlined, "Serbia's Thugs".
As if the headline is not bad enough, the editorial is completely one-sided and simple-minded, basically saying Serbs Yet Again Suck, but not giving any reasons why or background into how the US government may have (heartily)
Over the past nine months, since I've begun blogging, no fewer than five Western businesses have approached me wondering if I'd like to work for them in their new Serbian office. None of them knew anything about my skills, education, experience, or had even met me in person. They only knew I was an American businesswoman who now lives part of the year in Serbia. They've ranged from bio-tech companies to Internet firms.
Although Western companies do, on occasion, aggressively headhunt top qualified candidates for key positions, pinging random bloggers to see if they want jobs is not
Last week I mentioned here in passing that I liked architecture in Serbia. A commenter replied, "Architecture? Which architecture? Many years ago famous architect Le Corbusier said about Belgrade that it is the ugliest city built on one of the most beautiful locations".
This is just one of many times I've heard or read Belgrade-based people use the words Belgrade and Serbia interchangably -- as though they are two words that mean the exact same
I had one the absolute happiest times of my life these past two months in Serbia... the air, the greenmarket, the architecture, the friendly and social people, the air of relaxation (after routine 80 hour work weeks in the US). Serbia is a wonderful place. I just wish it was happier for its citizens.
According to a 2004 study (ok it's dated and Serbia has come a long way since 2004) of global happiness, Mexicans were the second happiest nation on the planet. Surveyed citizens said they were
I'm not a Serb myself, just married to one. So I only understood about 10% of the jokes on these sites... but they seemed fairly funny to me. I showed them to my step-children who laughed hard but wouldn't explain anything, "You have to be a Serb to understand." Well, ok, you guys are Serbs, so maybe you'll understand. Are these funny or not? And are there any better funny sites about being a Serb? Because, you know, sometimes we just all need a laugh.
#1. You Know You're
I conducted a quick experiment a few days ago. I went to all three of the US presidential candidate's official web sites and searched for any mention of Kosovo or Serbia. Nothing. Next, using their online forms I wrote each a note explaining that I am a blogger covering Serb-American affairs for two blogs and did they have any position on the US recognizing Kosovo's independence that they would like to share with my readers?
Within 24 hours I received form letters, the gist of which was, 'thanks for your interest, but I am too busyto answer your question. Please contribute to my