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HIM Public Affairs

HIM Public Affairs: Enhancing Business Relations

Enabling efficient networking and sustaining collaborative relation is a must for a business in order to top the leaderboard. In such a scenario, it is noticed across the corporate community that professionals are invested to meet the ends meet and establish strong relations across the business, government and also socio-corporate realm.

This approach of utilizing social capital to the mutual benefit of corporate, consumer and allied stakeholders has been very well understood by the organizations of contemporary times.

One such leader—Managing Partner of HIM Public Affairs, Iulian Harpa, stands out from the crowd with a novel approach to client-centered services to facilitate business interaction with vested interests while building and maintaining a productive relationships.

HIM Public Affairs also provides Business Representation and Development, Non-refundable Financing Consultancy, Digital Marketing, Strategic Communication, Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability, Corporate Events Management and Marketing, and a variety of other training facilitating professional development.

To know more about this passion driven firm, below are the interview highlights.

Iulian, please brief our audience about HIM Public Affairs, its specialties, and how it is currently positioned as one of the most promising consultant companies in the competitive market.

HIM Public Affairs is a consulting firm in the field of public affairs, operating mainly in the energy sector, but not only. In 2014 was set up the company, it aims to build relations and consolidate customer reputation on its way to performance and success. The concept was created, to provide consulting services, exclusively in the energy sector, an area in which I was experienced, and I had been carrying out my activity for over 14 years at the time.

Specifically, HIM Public Affairs provides integrated services of strategic communication and business representation, consultancy for attraction of non-reimbursable funds (governmental, European, and Norwegian), social responsibility projects, research & reporting, and professional training sessions.

The fact that we are constantly striving to grow professionally and to represent clients at the highest level, with personalized and quality services positioned us as one of the most promising consultant companies in the competitive market. It is not always easy, especially for companies with short-term projects, but that is where our role comes in, for better communication and sharing with our partners the expertise accumulated in international commitments helping to implement projects, based on sustainable strategies.

Kindly enlighten us about the vision and mission statements of your company.

Our main goal is to become, in the medium and long term, the first choice of clients operating in the energy sector – which we consider the most competitive sector of Romania’s industry. We have a proactive approach to delivering personalized and senior-level services that help businesses determine the stakes and navigate their way to success by meeting their business strategic goals.

Tell us more about the service offerings of HIM Public Affairs. What makes them unique and effective in the market?

The ability to analyze the needs of clients is an asset acquired by our team and that helps us to adapt to the requirements regardless of the level of difficulty, which can be challenging sometimes. When I say adaptation, I mean the capacity of being able to customize the services to fully satisfy the client.

Given the broad nature of Public Affairs, we take this opportunity to highlight that our approach is focused on developing the type of relations that helps the business interact with many interest groups, whilst building and maintaining mutually beneficial relations. We offer diverse client-focused services such as Business Representation & Advocacy, Corporate Governance, Strategic Communication & Digital Marketing, Non-refundable Financing Consultancy, ESG Sustainability Reporting, or CSR Projects Development & Implementation.

Please brief us about your journey in the industry and how you have made the company excel in its niche market.

I gained international experience in the oil and gas industry, with operational and financial audits on all continents, and various intercultural experiences and after all these I chose entrepreneurship.

As soon as I returned to Romania, at the end of 2013, after a three-year commitment in the US, and 15 years of activity in the corporate environment, I took up the challenge to start a project in the entrepreneurial area. Being a competitive person, after almost 15 years of operational and financial business analyses – may be in the most complex business, the oil & gas industry – I set out to use the knowledge gained and try to combine the corporate principles with the entrepreneurial side, thus resulting in a hybrid business solution: planning and strategy on the one hand and communication and human dimension on the other.

International experience has helped me add to the professional portfolio a global understanding of the business environment: the Austrian thoroughness with the American pragmatism and optimism, the culture of Latin countries and the Middle East, the Asian reliability, the African pace of development, and, not least, the German fairness and British commitment.

This is how I made HIM Public Affairs stand out in a niche market.

Share with us your company’s core values and strengths.

To exceed our client’s expectations every day, we offer services based on the following values: passion, innovation, and integrity. We believe that working with passion makes us drift through life achieving good results, innovation transforms our knowledge into beneficial impact and integrity leads to long-term partnerships.

All these values give us the power to make the best decisions and to build upstanding professional relationships and work ethics.

In your view, what are the existing challenges faced by the public relations and communications consulting service providers in your region? And how are you strategizing your company’s operations to tackle them?

From my own experience, the lack of predictability is one of the biggest challenges for Romanian consulting firms. Even if the professionals in the field could predict the trends of clients, the market, and mainly the overall picture, very often they are not attentive to details such as cash flows, profit margins, financing, etc. Thus, to face these challenges, I think it is important that all consultants have a solid professional education.

Another challenge faced by them is monitoring the company’s performance by using a significant set of performance indicators. If entrepreneurs had in-depth knowledge about how to monitor performance and develop KPIs, it would be much easier to make good and quick decisions, identify ways to communicate values more effectively, and know what needs to be changed in their organization.

As an experienced leader, what would your advice be to those budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the consultancy business?

First, I would like to assure all young entrepreneurs in the consultancy field, that to lay the foundations of a business with potential, they will have to believe in themselves and their idea. They must be authentic, invest in their professional development continuously, and not miss opportunities and challenges. For those enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the consultancy business, I would advise building a solid business plan, with clear objectives, development strategies, and forecasted budgets.

There is much important advice related to business management and continuity, but I strongly believe that the most important for a manager is, to be honest. Beyond any experience and management skills, colleagues feel that you are a fair person, before being a manager. You can influence and manipulate the team with excellent short-term results, but for sustainable success, any company manager must aim to work side by side with the team, be a teammate and therefore be able to inspire.

Another important aspect is to permanently communicate within the team and be prompt in answering requests. Any manager must do it and I have recently learned from an article, published on a professional platform, that the most demotivating factor for employees is the lack of prompt answers from management. Finally, in terms of responsibilities, I would refer to the culture of an entity. Beyond any deadline, periods with a heavy workload, and stress, I believe it is a must to permanently ensure respect in the group, cultivate a sense of humor, and not forget to discuss at least quarterly one-on-one with each colleague in your team.

The success of a company reflects in reaching the proposed targets and, through a well-structured implementation strategy, all the desired goals will be reached. For instance, at HIM Public Affairs, success can be measured by the feedback received from clients, by maintaining and developing long-term partnerships, and, finally, by the continuous professional development of each member of the team.

How do you envision scaling HIM Public Affairs’ operations and outreach in 2022 and beyond?

The first step for expanding the company’s operations, I think, is to increase our team by attracting professionals in the field in which we operate, people who fit our organizational culture, and who have the same perspectives as the other team members.

Now we have a wide range of services, which I believe we can improve. It is important for us to keep our perseverance and to organize our time very well so that we can manage as much work as possible.

For me, expanding the company means:

– increasing skills and expertise

– team expansion in line with organizational growth

– we will continue to be close and to correctly understand customer requirements – ‘tailor-made products

– we will not give up the principles and ethical values of the business.

Please give us a few examples of certifications/accreditations/memberships that accurately highlight your organization’s position in the market.

One of the peculiarities of our company is represented by the obtaining of international certifications by each member of the team, the obtaining of accreditations from certification bodies, and belonging to relevant business communities.

Until now, in our team, some members are certified by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants ACCA, and other holds a certification in the field of Digital Marketing granted by Digital Marketing Institute or holds a GRI Standards accreditation for sustainability reports.

In addition, this year we became members of AmCham Romania, a leading business association in advocacy and business development, and obtained a certificate regarding the quality management system according to the requirements of the SR EN ISO 9001:2015 standard.