Orysia Helps Innovative Start-ups and Businesses Gain Media Attention

What’s your story?
I was supposed to become a journalist, and to that end, obtained a Masters degree in Journalism. I ended up working in public relations (PR). Ironically, a professor on the faculty tried to persuade me that working in public relations is a deal with the devil and it’s the worst thing that could ever happen to a journalist. I have been working in PR now for 7 years, helping the most prominent startups gain coverage in Global media outlets such as Forbes, The Verge, Mashable, Tech Crunch, TNW, and the Financial Times. 

For three years I worked at IT Arena, one of the biggest tech events in Eastern Europe, where I promoted the tech market in the Ukraine. For the last couple of years, I have shared with the world stories about great products that are made in Ukraine and other countries. Perhaps now, I can persuade my professor that PR it’s not only about puffery and political manipulation. You can do plenty of good stuff with it if you have such an aim. 

What excites you most about your industry?
PR is all about people, their unique stories and bringing those stories to the media. It’s not about irritating and bothering reporters constantly. It’s about helping them understand the message or idea. 

I find it amazing how a single article can radically change a business or a life. Overnight, one could wake up famous! I feel fired up when there is a perfect match and I help great people find each other. 

Ukraine’s tech market has huge potential and I feel devastated to see only negative news about my country, due to political issues. PR helps to change that perception by telling the world unique stories about the most innovative startups and businesses. Yes, these are small steps, but I feel I’m doing something worthy and important and there is no better feeling than that.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I worked with a few businesses in Asia and I’m the world’s biggest fan of Asian food, if that counts as a connection.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore! I have always dreamed of visiting this city, and I still don’t get how a huge business centre can be one of the hottest exotic travel destinations, at the same time.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Stop whining and do sports, a lot.”  This works 100%, in almost every routine-life situation.

Who inspires you?
My mom, as she proved that patience and positive thinking can bring unbelievable results. Also, my fearless friends who started their own business in their twenty-something years, and have already succeeded. Some of them have their own media, cafes, startups and IT companies. I find this fascinating and brave. They inspire me to thrive.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That I enjoy podcasts. I used to truly hate them, but now, every morning, I seem to find something groundbreaking. I listen to podcasts on my way to the office or the gym. It’s great to use 40-50 minutes of travel time so productively.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. Even If I made mistakes or wrong choices, it has taught me something. It’s a priceless experience. There are people who know how to learn from the mistakes of others. I tend to learn from my own mistakes. I think the best thing one can do is change their attitude towards mistakes. Accept them, and value the experience, without regrets.

How do you unwind?
Mainly by participating in sports like snowboarding, crossfit and jogging. I also like to travel. Morocco and Albania took my heart away.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali is on my wishlist – surfing all day and enjoying sunsets and beautiful beaches, sounds like heaven to me.

Everyone in business should read this book:
“Crystallizing Public Opinion,” by Edward Bernays. This book defines and explains public relations.

“Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ,” by Daniel Goleman

Shameless plug for your business:
Even if you think you or your business doesn’t have a unique and newsworthy story for the media – I’ll prove you wrong!

How can people connect with you?
Via e-mail or Facebook or Linkedin

Twitter handle?
@orysia_khimiak

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews

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Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.

Connect with Callum on Twitter and LinkedIn
Download free copies of his books at www.callumlaing.com