Working in a small-scale regional market such as this one doesn’t rule out quality being recognized on a global level

August 2017
Advertiser Serbia

Ljubica Vukčević, Insight Analyst at Direct Media, gave an interview to Advertiser Serbia.

The reason for interviewing Direct Media’s Insight Analyst Ljubica Vukčević was the international accolade she was recently awarded for her contribution to the International Advertising Association (IAA)… By Snežana Milić.

Ljubica, first of all, congratulations on winning the notable IAA Inspire Award – Young Leader, awarded by IAA Worldwide! The award you received was created as to serve as an acknowledgment of IAA members for their contribution to the Chapter’s efforts, and a twofold one at that. What does actually qualify one for earning the award?

Thank you so much! As for the selection criteria for the IAA Inspire Award – Young Leader, the IAA Worldwide jury gauges both local—or regional—and international professional experience.

In addition, when rating the nominees, the jury also takes into account major achievements within the industry, as well as the nominee’s contribution to the development of the IAA as a trade association.

This award entails a particular nomination process. Could you please tell us more about it?

First of all, only IAA Young Professionals can be nominated for the award. In our country and several others, the age limit for IAA YP membership eligibility is 30, while in some countries the threshold is moved up to 35.

The nomination process is singular because any member of the IAA YP can nominate another colleague, with an appropriate reasoning. This means that it is impossible to be nominated if one’s qualities are not recognized first and foremost by the colleagues from the Chapter, which makes this award especially dear to me.

I was genuinely surprised by the win because I didn’t even know that I was nominated. On top of it, I am very happy that I was nominated by a colleague from Direct Media who has been with me at the IAA YP since the very beginnings of the Chapter. Thank you, Jovan!

You are a member of the IAA Serbia’s Young Professionals Chapter practically since it was founded. Can you tell us what you are tasked with at the Chapter?

Actually, I’ve been an IAA YP Serbia member from the Founders’ Meeting in September 2011, when Jelena Ivanović, CEO of the IAA Serbia, introduced the idea of the IAA YP. By the way, when our Chapter was launched in 2011, it became one of the first IAA YP chapters in the world.

My six years with the Chapter involved various activities. I could mention, for example, my roles as a member of the IAA YP Chapter’s Management Board or organization team leader of IntegracIAA—our Chapter’s biggest conference. Also, last year I had the privilege of being one of the lecturers at AcademIAA—IAA Serbia’s training program.

You’re part of the team at Direct Media, one of the leading media agencies in the region. To what extent and in what way has the experience you gained at this reputable company as an insight analyst influenced your involvement in the IAA YP Chapter?

Since Direct Media is one of the few agencies that recognize the importance of the research sector, which I belong to, and an agency that provides its employees with opportunities for continuous professional development, I have been able to share the copious experience and knowledge from the training programs offered to me by Direct Media with my colleagues at the IAA Serbia—mainly through the work done within IntegracIAA and AcademIAA.

In addition, Direct Media is an agency that recognizes the importance of the IAA YP Serbia’s projects and systematically supports them and helps their implementation.

In addition to all this, throughout my entire career, I had the fortune of having had direct supervisors who were also excellent mentors and who knew to recognize the importance of personal development and sharing knowledge.

Time and again, from Ivana Uspenski—who was the one who recommended that I come to the IAA YP Serbia’s Founders’ Meeting—to Jo Rigby and Marija Matić—who is already well-known for fostering education and support for young people—I was able to learn to appreciate the values that are connecting, communicating, and exchanging experiences with my colleagues, which is also one of the main goals of the IAA YP.

Over a very short time period of only two years, this award once again found its way to Serbia. In 2015, the accolade was awarded to Đorđe Janković. Is this a good sign for the future of market communications in our country, especially if we bear in mind that this is a global acknowledgment awarded by one of the world’s most renowned professional associations?

Both awards from an organization such as the IAA—which has an 80-year-long tradition and chapters in 76 countries around the world—certainly mean very much to Đorđe and myself personally, as well as for the domestic communications sector as a signal to domestic and foreign companies that the agency work in our country is top level, above all, thanks to world-class professionals.

Furthermore, I believe that our awards are good motivation and proof for our younger colleagues who are just entering this business that working in a small-scale regional market such as this one doesn’t rule out quality being recognized on a global level.

Finally, could you share with us—considering you are currently on maternity leave—whether you find the time to think about new business projects, and if so, can you tell us about it?

Although I am currently predominantly dedicated to being a mother, which I truly enjoy, I do try to keep up with the latest news and trends in our industry. Until my return from maternity leave, I might respond to some invitations for guest lectures, but at this time I’m really trying to reduce my professional obligations to a minimum so I can really focus on my family.