Simona Ionascu (HTag PR): “The personal approach gains ground at the expense of Advertising and Media”


HTag PR is a PR Boutique that started with artists, musical projects and events. In 2018 the agency extended the expertise area communicating also sustainability, charitable projects and the field of sportive automotive competitions. Its large portfolio in the musical industry includes the promoting of international artists such as Sean Paul or Zucchero, international festivals such as HeyDay Tribute Festival or Old Blacks, Rock & More, tours for Holograf and Iris, but also concerts with a concept that insured their  sold-out and memorability, such as “Ca pe Vremuri” (Holograf, Iris, Compact, 2017) or “Vedere de la Costinesti” (Holograf, 2017).

Other artists promoted by HTag PR’s management, PR & communication teams were also Alexandra Stan, Marius Moga or Alex Velea, Liviu Teodorescu, Adda, Alexandra, etc. 

HTag PR was founded by Simona Ionascu, PR specialist, with more than 23 years of experience in journalism and communication, gathered at radio stations (Kiss FM, Magic FM, Kiss TV, Romanian Broadcasting Corporation), PR & advertising agencies (Babel Communication, BBDO Group), music production companies and artistic management companies (ROTON, iMusic).  

How was 2018 for the agency?  

I should admit, 2018 was a very good year for HTag PR. Apart from our collaborations with our long-term clients in music field we expanded our area of expertise and signed 2 new important contracts.

How was the pitches situation?

HTag PR is not participating in pitches, because we are not a standard full service agency, but more a “PR Boutique”. We access clients’ needs and if we see the potential of a collaboration or project we make tailor-made solutions to make possible the impossible.

How would you characterize the local communication industry in terms of budgets, campaigns, creativity etc.? 

It is obvious that we live in the era of social media, key opinion leaders and influencers. Nowadays, I think that classical Advertising and Media budgets are diminished by the power of social media solutions.

What were the most important changes & novelties in the agency in 2018 and how did they come to happen? 

Starting with 2018 we extended our activity from communicating local and international music events to charity and sustainability, but also to electric innovative projects in automobile industry, which are ongoing in the next years.In order to successfully communicate these new projects we involved experts in the related fields, making a team specialized for each project.

What were your most wanted services by the clients in 2018?

Integrated communication campaigns for music events, media relations, copywriting and influencer marketing for special projects.

How is HTag PR positioning on the Romanian PR market?

HTag PR is a PR Boutique that started 5 years ago working in music entertainment. VIP PR, press conferences, art exhibitions, restaurant launches, integrated communication campaigns for festivals and concerts of local and international singers, are just some of our activities in the first years. Now we focus on fewer key clients extending our services to diversified projects and audiences.

What were the biggest campaigns you worked on?

I would like better to tell you about most recent one, that is still running and we are also emotionally involved in that, since is an innovative project which will change the world: the first electric racing car in Romania, which is a prototype developed by Cox Motorsport and supported by Kaufland Romania. A French engineer who works with partners from different European countries converted a regular car into an electric one, made to participate in the most important racing competitions in Romania.

In 2018 the electric car of Kaufland E-Rally Team participated as a representative forerunner of racing competitions all over Romania. All the media coverage and positive exposure till now helped to facilitate the process of introducing an official Electric class in Romanian Automobile Competitions.

 What were the campaigns you admired in the local industry and why?

“Together for Magic Home” was my favorite. It had all the necessary elements to become memorable and efficient: emotion, empathy, coverage, media support, key-opinion leaders. Moreover, taking into account our present socio-political environment, the veracity and personal involvement of the VIP helped substantially.

What trends did you notice on the local market? 

It is already obvious that lately, not only on local market but also on global one, Advertising has been surveyed by PR tactics, advertorials by blog articles and vlogs took a big audience from TV consumers. I really think the personal approach gains ground at the expense of Advertising and Media.

What types of clients are you looking for in 2019?

We will continue to focus on our key clients and in the same time we keep an eye to new ones who could have diverse needs of communication. Also we are already working on international projects such as exclusive conferences,  concerts with international artists and automobile events.

What do you wish for the local industry this year? 

I would like that more clients in Romania understand the need of effective campaigns in terms of budget and timeline. Still many clients expect in shortest time biggest results but are not willing or aware to spend necessary budgets or to have good results in realistic timeline. In these situations our efforts as PR specialists is bigger and we must compensate with creativity and strong networking advantages.

Do you believe a second economic crisis will come?

I’m not an economist, but surely in some time a crisis will come since this is the life circle of economies.

If so, how will it impact the Romanian PR industry?

Definitely a crisis would bring budget cuts, forcing us to use even better our resources, contacts, experiences and creativity. This is exactly what we do already at HTag PR.

How prepared are you for a new crisis?

As I mentioned above, we are used to optimize clients’ needs and budgets, so a future crisis will not be a risk for us, but probably an opportunity to convince more clients about our capabilities and result-oriented approach. We are realistic, but positive-oriented.


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