Eraldo Carneiro, international head of corporate comms at Petrobras and chairman of ABERJE, talks about the growing importance of PR in Rio.
Why is Rio de Janeiro hot?
Rio hosts the headquarters of some of the largest and most important Brazilian companies within the oil and gas, mining, entertainment, and telecoms sectors, among others. Petrobras, Vale, EBX, Oi, Embratel, and also some global companies that operate in Brazil, including Coca-Cola, Shell, Telecom Italia, and L'Oréal are based in Rio. The creative industry, especially, is booming in the region.
The city has a post-modern profile, combining both work and pleasure. Due to its friendly and easy-living atmosphere, Rio has drawn young professionals from all over the world.What sectors are experiencing the most growth?
Oil and gas, telecoms, mining, energy, cosmetics, and entertainment are seeing the most growth. I see no substantial changes in investments in PR and communications caused by Brazil's temporary economic slowdown.
There is a growing corporate maturity regarding the need to enhance reputation through strong and long-term relationships with stakeholders, despite the market oscillations.
1. Rio de Janeiro Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Rua da Assembleia, 93-4 Andar Rio de Janeiro, RJ 200011-001
Tel: (55 21) 2532-0089
2. O Globo (news organization)
Rue Irineu Marinho, 35 Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 20230-023
Tel: (55 21) 2534-4300
3. Rio 2016 Organising Committee
Avenida das Américas 899, Barra da Tijuca, RJ 22631 000
Tel: (55 21) 3433-5777
How developed is the PR profession in Rio? Do brands feel PR is an important tool to use to grow revenue?
Owing to our diversity and complexity, our communication requires a strategic professional, able to manage expectations and perceptions of different stakeholders on a global basis.
In many companies, the corporate communications head reports directly to the CEO or to the board of directors.
There is a strong associative movement that reinforces the importance of the corporate communicator role, stimulating knowledge exchange and fostering the development of new skills.
The Brazilian Association for Business Communication (ABERJE) has about 1,000 members, 200 of which are from Rio. Companies based in Rio value and recognize the role of communications, not only in growing revenue, but also chiefly in building a solid reputation in the long term.
In the context of reputation, Brazilian people really appreciate those companies that transcend business through actions such as investments in social, cultural, and environmental projects.
What impact do you see the forthcoming 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games having on the Rio communications/PR industry?
Both events will bring much more visibility to the communications and PR industry, not only in Rio, but also the whole country. We will certainly see more communications strategies that translate globally.
These events will draw so much attention to Brazilian companies and the country itself that we will very likely see a stronger association with Brazil as a brand.
Companies will need to learn how to play with the attributes of the Brazilian brand to their advantage.Has the rise in social media affected how brands are communicating in the region?
People from Rio de Janeiro are very warm and sociable, so there is a high potential to develop brand experiences through social media.
At the same time, social media has also been used to catalyze brands' efforts to engage with "cariocas" [people from Rio]. People in Brazil are spending more time on social media.What do you love most about Rio?
First of all, I love Rio's lifestyle because it balances family, community, work, and entertainment very well. We really manage to aggregate all these dimensions in a way that makes our daily life lighter and more productive.
We have one of the most amazing urban landscapes in the world, which integrates beaches, mountains, forests, and lagoons. It has beautiful and appealing scenery that inspires us to create, produce, relate, and communicate intensely. I am a fan of Rio's genius loci - its unique talent and distinctive nature.
Our city has a striking character, a blend of sensations, experiences, and cultures that makes it a very cool and universal place.