Strategic Approaches
Kyiv Moscow Istanbul

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to Willard's creative village and our Freedom approach to how we work and how we deliver for the best clients in the world.

I am Willard's new Kyiv CEO, and I'm part of a dynamic executive team that includes Roman Diukarev, president of Willard PR and Tania Spiridonova, president of Willard Advertising.

Oh, and yes, there's also that Michael Willard guy up in the chairman's office, what he calls the Crow's Nest, thinking big thoughts, writing books, publishing a magazine, and dispensing senior counsel to our clients and our team.

At Willard Kyiv we recognize time can not be confined to typical office hours. We developed the 24-hour workday that allows professional staff to work at a time they are most effective, day or night, at home, office or a wired coffee shop.

Additionally, we are an all mobile office, the only such office in Ukraine that depends entirely on mobile communication. We believe this keeps all our people closer to clients and more responsive.

Overall, 2009 was a tough year. But we're a pretty tough bunch at Willard Kyiv and with a little ingenuity and a lot of energy we not only came through the crucible but learned a lot as we grew our business in several directions.

We realized early that the landscape had changed, and we needed to adjust to the budgets and needs of our clients who were feeling the impact of the recession. It didn't hurt to apply some of the lessons from the 1998 crisis.

In my view, the key word here is flexibility--flexibility in fee structure and flexibility in giving value beyond the terms of the client contract. We felt a long-term relationship would be better than short-term monetary gain.

We didn't make as much as we would have liked during the year, but we did have a marginally profitable year in a deep recession.

At the same time, we added services in new or digital media, expanded our media out-reach operations, developed a solid health care practice, and launched a monthly magazine, Willard Marketing Monthly.

We added to our reputation as being one of Eastern Europe's premier package designing companies with creative solutions for various FMCG companies, including Kraft, Bel-Shostka and Philip Morris.

Not everything was a success. Our corporate publishing business fell off due to the difficulty of selling ads during a downturn. We stayed ahead of the market in new media, but often could not lead clients in this direction. We see this changing.

In the third year of being an independent advertising agency with world class experience, we became even more comfortable in this position, often working with multi-national companies that found our work top notch and affordable.

In 2010 we will continue to promote both new and traditional message delivery platforms for both advertising and public relations as we add a webcast studio and more digital firepower.

Our plans are to strengthen with additional resources every area of our business with particular emphasis on new media, public affairs and governmental affairs, and new and ground-breaking advertising directions.

After 15 years in Ukraine, we remain realistic optimists. We want clients that have the same attitude. Together, we will succeed in building a better Ukraine, one that will encourage new investment and a bright future.

Olga Willard
Chief Executive Officer, Kyiv 

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