The economic crisis of the past years has opened a communication chasm between small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the banking sector.

Customers blame the fact that banks are inflexible and use difficult to understand language, and, most importantly, do not grasp the needs of companies. On the other hand, credit institutions complain that SMEs do not come up with realistic projects, so they are unreliable.

There is, however, one word that links companies and banks, makes them carry on and look for new ways to grow – and that word is profit. Therefore, we came up with the idea of bringing together customers, the media, and Volksbank representatives, to discuss how we can make Romanian economy more open for businesses, which button must be pressed to restart growth and profitability, volksbankand what role the banking sector plays in the development of the economy, of the society, and of the business environment through promoting profit. Hence, we decided to organize together with the biggest and most respected name in the financial media, Ziarul Financiar, a series of events that would bring together the parties concerned, to make a public interest issue out of the fact that the business centers Volksbank was about to open in the largest cities of the country were intended to create profit for businesses and consequently to stimulate economic growth in Romania.

The “Romania on profit” communication campaign ran between 11 SScreenshot 2015-09-05 22.52.56eptember and 8 October 2014 in nine of the most important cities where Volksbank had opened offices specifically targeting the SME and corporate segment – Bucharest, Brasov, Constanta, Timisoara, Iasi, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Oradea, and Ploiesti. The events were hosted by the editorial manager of Ziarul Financiar, Cristian Hostiuc, and were meant to set up an interactive framework where Volksbank representatives listened and tried to come up with solutions to the challenges facing entrepreneurs, so that Romanian economy could be restarted. The issues discussed dwelled on macroeconomics, the development of entrepreneurship and improving the local business environment, as well as financing solutions for companies.

The “Romania on profit” campaign brought together over 400 local entrepreneurs. Although the events were planned to take up an hour and a half, on most occasions the talks extended for more than three hours, including other issues than those initially proposed, like the local economy, bad public management and the unreliable infrastructure, or future business opportunities.

From a media exposure viewpoint, the “Romania on profit” events were reflected in 12 stories in print, 5 TV news reports, one radio news report, and 52 articles in the online press. The total audience exceeded 3.4 million people.

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