At our recent Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) meetings in Dubai, I was chatting with Gabor Jelinek of Goodwill Communications in Budapest, Hungary, about media in our respective countries. One thing led to another and our #MediaMonday today features Marton Galambos, editor in chief, Forbes Hungary.
Marton, time to share:
How did you get into journalism?
I was 23, when working at a media agency, I realized I would like to spend more time with Word, than with Excel. I wanted to do something I can believe in. So I contacted a trade publication for the communication and marketing industry titled Kreatív, where I used to work as a student. I spent three years there, and the spirit of the young team inspired me to get into journalism. The next step was a year stipend at the communication department of the Frei Universität Berlin in Germany.
How is Forbes differentiating itself in the Hungarian market?
We are telling stories, instead of writing articles. We are informative and entertaining. We are focusing on success stories (not 100%, of course), and we take it seriously that we are a magazine: we use powerful images, good design, etc. It isn’t anything revolutionary, but we focus on quality and the needs of our readers.
Where do you see the business environment in Hungary now and in the future?
We are definitely in a risky period, dependent on the world markets. 2015 was a good and solid year. What lies ahead is really an open question, leaving Hungary very vulnerable to the global markets.
What challenges do you face in your role?
Our magazine is only 2-1/2 years old in Hungary. Pretty young, but already not newborn. So we have to focus on not losing our passion and enthusiasm we had in the very beginning. We had a very successful start, and it’s a challenge now to keep it up.
What’s your view of PR professionals?
I was never one of those journalists who had problems with PR professionals. It is really good to work together with a good PR person who understands what your publication is about and gives you useful tips and information. Not all PR people are like this, but not all journalists do a great job either. PR people who are defensive and making things complicated instead of making it easier are annoying – but this is part of our job as journalists, I guess. Maybe the only thing I would love to skip, are PR people, who are actually more cautious than their clients. You need to be cool and open to risks if you are working with the media. It’s a pity when clients are like that, but their PR consultants stop them.
Anything else you’d like to add?
There has been lots of negative news about Hungary in the past months and years. There is a reason for this: unusual and sometimes really freighting things are happening in politics in Hungary these days. Some of the directions and decisions are clearly wrong. Nevertheless there is a strong business community in the country, with a clear European identity. The civic courage is also getting stronger and stronger, one good example was the days and weeks of the migration crisis. (Check out this article!) Budapest – our lovely capital city – is currently enjoying its best years since the fall of the iron curtain.