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Posts tagged ‘business results’

Social Media Powers Up Language Education and Communication Development in the Balkans

Belgrade, Serbia – February 20, 2012 – PRODIREKT today announced that its communication and language network Verbalisti exceeded an important 10,000-member mark for its Facebook business page. PRODIREKT recently celebrated another landmark when its Verbalisti YouTube media channel logged 100,000 video views, the barrier that was broken only two years after the channel inception, with the video views connected mostly to the communication network authored content. The success of the Verbalisti social media came after some regional media already proclaimed network Verbalisti in 2011 as the fastest growing language education network in Southeast Europe.

Verbalisti Speak Your Mind! media segment

Speak Your Mind! media segment, featuring celebrity interviews, is the most popular on Verbalisti Facebook page

Speaking of the impact social media had on PRODIREKT’s business, Dejan Trpkovic, managing director, said: “Our Verbalisti Facebook group is growing larger by the day. Social media and the Internet have allowed us to grow fast our language education business through word of mouth. This is probably the best recognition one company can get, and for an educational consultancy or an educator, it is also the most desirable. A good part of our target audience is young learners and professionals, and they mostly communicate through social networks, sharing their views, language travel experiences and forming opinions. In 2011, about one fourth of our language travel bookings came from recommendations.”

The Pie News, the British online publication for international educators, in its January 8 analysis report (How is international education embracing social media?) points out that most educators realize they need to be active in social media, but many don’t really know where to focus, after having possibly set up their own Facebook page. This is despite the fact that the target audience of the international education sector is often a young demographic. Verbalisti have found the winning formula. The communication network has forged important media partnerships (the sponsorship of the show program Pop Idol and regional Nisville Jazz Festival, cooperation with Taramount, Cinefest and Tuck movie distribution houses, to name few). Moreover, during the past two years, Verbalisti conducted more than 100 interviews with celebrities and prominent business people, making it stand out not only as a social media platform, but as a potent media house as well.

Social media competition - Verbalizuj se!

Social media competition – Verbalizuj se! There were 240 competitors who verbalized their photos, coming from no less than 18 countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, Nepal, Egypt, Ukraine, Cameroon, Slovakia, Philippines, USA, Italia, Turkey, Uganda, Germany

“It is important to motivate our customers to share their experience, yet, it is equally important to present high quality, entertaining content to keep customers, partners and “by-standers” involved and active. When we launched celebrity interviews with Speak Your Mind! media segment we knew it was going to become the most popular on our Facebook and YouTube; however, it also helped us attain our main goal – education through entertainment. And, nowadays, entertainment and engaging content rule. This is the test most social media fail. If a business isn’t engaging and interacting with customers, the silence is deafening. I believe we managed to strike the right balance in our social media with the education content that is often entertaining.”

In addition to its Facebook page and YouTube channel, the communication network Verbalisti maintains its media presence with the two language specific blogs – stranijeziciblog.com in Serbian, and stranskijazici.com in Macedonian, both enjoying the high support from the local online community.

About PRODIREKT LLC and Communication Network Verbalisti (Verbalists)
PRODIREKT provides strategic management and executive education and training in the Balkan region. PRODIREKT’s innovative solutions for corporate management, marketing and international business communication offer a bridge between strategy and education, while its business group, with the communication network Verbalisti, dedicated to language studies, professional training, translation and interpreting services, helps young professionals and corporate clients achieve their objectives in international communication.

The communication and language network Verbalisti (www.facebook.com/verbalisti) has been created for language lovers and all those wishing to improve their communication skills. Furthermore, Verbalisti are the answer to the growing demand for the regional standardization in foreign language studies. Verbalists offer quality language courses for students of all ages and levels according to their various budget needs.

English UK, the World’s Leading Language Teaching Association, Recognized PRODIREKT as a Partner Agency

Belgrade, Serbia – January 25, 2012 – English UK, which works with the British Council to operate the English in Britain Accreditation Scheme, recognized PRODIREKT as an educational consultancy that successfully promoted the UK as an English language teaching destination in the past years. The recognition and accreditation of PRODIREKT as an English UK Partner Agency came as a result of PRODIREKT’s strictly adhering to the principles of the agency code of conduct, while providing language education services since 2002.

PRODIREKT has been recognized by the English UK as a Partner Agency

PRODIREKT was the first in the region to be recognized by English UK as a Partner Agency

“We are delighted to be the first company in the region to be recognized as an official Partner Agency by English UK, which is known for its independence, reputation and strict monitoring of its members’ work in the local markets,” commented Dejan Trpkovic, Managing Director of PRODIREKT. “This recognition is a great reward for our hard work during the last three years, the period that was also marked with the regional success of the communication and language network Verbalisti. The English UK partner membership will certainly be viewed by our clients and partners as an extra mark of quality of PRODIREKT services, and is a good start in the regional standardization of foreign language studies and recognition of high quality local agencies,” said Dejan Trpkovic.

Review the English UK media release in January 2012:  English UK’s newest Partner Agencies

English UK web site PRODIREKT profile:  PRODIREKT English UK Partner Agency

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About English UK
English UK is an independent organisation which works with the British Council to operate the English in Britain Accreditation Scheme. As the world’s leading language teaching association,  English UK has more than 450 members – all accredited by the British Council – including private language schools, educational trusts and charities and language centres in further education colleges and universities.

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Verbalisti Mark the End of the Year in Style

Pancevo, December 28, 2011 – Prodirekt and its communication network Verbalisti, together with the language school Academia, threw a New Year party to remember in the famous club Coupe on Tuesday. More than 150 guests enjoyed the entertaining program, which included the performance of the best Serbian stand-up comedians.

Jasmina Saric, Prodirekt’s Director of Educational Programs, briefly looked back at the most significant achievements of the language network Verbalisti, part of Prodirekt’s business group. Prodirekt has been the first company in Southeast Europe to be awarded the accreditation for the language education travel and Work-and-Travel program abroad by the two most important European associations – the EnglishUK and German ICEF. Ms. Saric pointed out that the language network Verbalisti, which enjoyed the support of over 120 foreign language teachers, grew into 11,000 member community. The two foreign language blogs, in Serbian and Macedonian, were promoted in 2011 (with 430 followers), and the Verbalisti YouTube channel had almost 100,000 video views in less than a year.

As the night drew to its end, there was a Christmas Bingo organized with Verbalisti’s partners, film distribution companies Taramount and Cinefest. The main prize – a free English language course went to Doroteja Urosev from Pancevo.

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PRODIREKT Education Consultancy has Met Strict Standard of Quality of German ICEF, PRODIREKT Recognized as ICEF Agency

Bonn, Germany – November 21, 2011 – German ICEF today formally recognized PRODIREKT as the Agency and educational consultancy that met ICEF’s strict standard of quality. PRODIREKT successfully completed a quality assurance screen during 2011 and has become a preferred Agency of ICEF.

Language study abroad and Verbalists students in LondonPRODIREKT Director of Educational Programs Jasmina Saric said, “The global population of international students has grown dramatically over the past decade, and all signs point that the same is happening, albeit at the slower pace, in Southeast Europe. This also means that our customers are becoming more demanding and knowledgeable about the opportunities in international education. Therefore, we must be transparent in our practices and be more accountable how we conduct our business. Our company, with the support from the Western educators, created the Verbalists Language Network in 2010 to meet this growing demand for the regional standardization in foreign language studies. The popularity of Verbalists and its fast growth to a 11,000-member strong community in less than two years is the best evidence that the regional customers needed one credible opinion forum and education market place they can trust. With ICEF’s recognition of PRODIREKT’s high quality education services, we continue to show our commitment to improved practice and professional standards”.

Along with our well-established quality assurance screening for agents, ICEF has for some time followed strict guidelines for educators participating in ICEF Workshops. All institutions that attend the ICEF Higher Education Workshop must be fully accredited in their home countries.

About ICEF
ICEF logoICEF’s industry-leading quality assurance processes are increasingly recognised worldwide as an important qualification for agencies who have been successfully vetted for, and participated in, ICEF Workshops. In 2010, ICEF launched a formal recognition programme, acknowledging agents who have met ICEF’s strict standard of quality. The ICEF Agency status is conferred for a two-year period and is renewed through ongoing quality assurance screening and participation in ICEF Workshops.

About PRODIREKT
PRODIREKT’s innovative solutions for corporate management, marketing and international business communication offer a bridge between strategy and education, while its business group and social network Verbalists, dedicated to language studies and professional training, helps young professionals and business people achieve their objectives in international communication.

Learn about ICEF’s services and listen to educators from around the world talk about how ICEF impacts their international education and language travel:

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The BAS Program of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Featured PRODIREKT Business Advisory Services as One of the Best in Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia – December 20, 2007 – Meteor SN Biro, a company based in Belgrade, a Canon representative and one of the major regional players in office-equipment sales and distribution, approached Business Advisory Service (BAS) in Serbia for consulting and financial assistance in restructuring its business operations. The BAS grant is a key component of BAS Program assistance, thus helping financially constrained enterprises, such as Meteor SN Biro, to access prime consultancy services. The new market economy and growing competition put pressure on this 15-year old company to improve organizational efficiency, and to restructure the company so that further growth – and the business relationship with the main supplier, Canon – could be sustained.

On April 17, 2007, Meteor SN Biro retained PRODIREKT, a management consultancy and HR development firm accredited by the BAS program, to help the company improve its operations. PRODIREKT developed the project, with the goal to implement two separate business improvement processes within  60 days – a business audit and a series of introductory HR training sessions.

Meteor SN Biro

PRODIREKT conducted a series of introductory HR training sessions to improve communication and organizational efficiency in Meteor SN Biro

PRODIREKT completed the project on time, while providing Meteor SN Biro with the detailed description of the company’s current state, and the recommendations of how to improve the business processes and management structure. During the business process audit, PRODIREKT considered the macro and micro aspects of Meteor SN Biro: strategic and goal setting process; planning function; connections between the company’s departments; reporting structure and involvement of employees at various decision making levels; staffing; ties between job descriptions, incentive systems, activities, and processes; performance evaluations.

Upon the completion of the second stage of the business audit, PRODIREKT conducted a series of introductory HR training sessions, namely:

  • Business Communication and Human Behaviour
  • Organizational Behaviour and Work Efficiency
  • Team Management & Leadership

The main part of the training was devoted to all company employees, aimed at improving verbal and non-verbal communication internally, within the company, and externally, with the suppliers and customers. The second part of the training concentrated on enhancing employee work efficiency through team building, better time management, better problem solving and decision making, etc. The last part of the HR development, related to the team management and leadership training, was provided for the company management.

The HR training was received extremely well by the employees and management of Meteor SN Biro, and showed immediate, positive results regarding internal personal relations, and the communication process.

Meteor SN Biro gave the business advisory services of PRODIREKT the highest remarks in the BAS Program’s consultancy work evaluation, while BAS Program in Serbia featured PRODIREKT’s business advice and services to Meteor SN Biro as one of the best projects performed in 2007.

About BAS Program
Business Advisory Service (BAS) is the program of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which has successfully implemented 6,600 projects in 22 countries. The program backs the development of small and mid-sized enterprises in transition countries by providing business advice and services, as well as the development of domestic consulting market. The Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands has been a donor of the BAS program in Serbia, and until November 2011, it provided donations in the amount of 3 million Euros. BAS supports local private companies in all industrial branches in various segments of management and business consulting. An approved project is supported with a grant amounting up to 50% of the net costs of the project, while the total grant cannot exceed 10,000 Euros.