Journalist and co-founder of Chic-Elite.ro
Mirela Paduraru: Dana, your career as a journalist took an important step when you began to sign the first HR column in Romanian business media. Why HR?
Dana Tudor: At the time, even I asked myself why ☺
In 2002, HR was at its very beginning in Romania, I didn’t know what this acronym meant! And now I can say that I am maybe the only Romanian journalist that has witnessed the local HR history rising and development, from its beginning until the present time.
I remember that in high-school my favorite books were celebrities’ biographies (Napoleon Bonaparte, a great leader, being one of them).
We could say these are the predecessors of leadership books and theories, not available in our country at the time☺. This domain brought me close to the business elite in Romania, to everything that was new in this field, to all the international experts in business and leadership that came on stage in our country, to the best trainings available on the market, which contributed a lot not only to my professional excellency but also to my personal development (before the concept even existed here).
What drove you to succeed as a journalist?
I have always looked for the best in people. Taking it out of them and giving to others, my readers, in order to inspire or even help them somehow. For years, I didn’t look at my curiosity, enthusiasm and passion to discover people’s talents as resources. But now I know they have pushed me every day to really look and listen to the person in front of me in order to discover his / her inner treasures and fulfill my mission as translator of ideas, concepts, trends etc.
You have been in charge with launching and developing the first Romanian site dedicated to women, Eva.ro. What did this project mean for you?
For 7 years, eva.ro was the perfect playground for all the challenges that I was willing to take and one of the biggest growth opportunities I had in 23 years of work. Beside content coordination and development, I enjoyed very much to think the concept and copy-writing for banners, to create and execute PR campaigns (there was no one else to do them☺), contests and may other things. And I was where none of my competition reached (events, interviews, meetings, presentations etc.), as in the previous story, with the HR column☺. With hard work, it’s true, and 10 times more passion. I wrote ideas on napkins, in restaurants, at dinner, on notebooks first thing in the morning, when I woke up. To have a flavor of this creative flow, in maternity, on the first day after delivering my baby, I was texting article ideas to my colleagues☺
Which was your next important professional challenge after that?
It was very difficult for me to identify a bigger challenge as employee, so I decided to continue as a freelancer. You know, to measure my own forces, to see if the safety net really appears if I jump, as a memorable quote I wrote in upper letters, after an interview with a successful British entrepreneur. I jumped towards my own projects in plain summer, in plain economic crisis, without anything else but my experience and my name. It was august, 2010. And the net appeared instantly. It turned out that I am not a dreamer for nothing, that my big passion for people is not build only on my own perceptions and believes but also on real facts: a few beautiful, amazing people have been my guardian angels in my new, difficult challenge and I don’t exaggerate with anything when I call them that way. I thank them every day and they will be in my heart forever. Including one of the members of Chattoir team☺
What do you do now?
My purpose is to be the best „translator” and mediator of information that assists a company/a project to interact with its public in a meaningful, powerful way. I support people and businesses to communicate about what they do, in order to stand out on the market and attract the attention of their public, through tailor-made solutions.
I do this with the help of resources I have developed in my 23 years experience in business and life-style communication, in print and online media: a reach business network, excellent media knowledge, good understanding of different markets and businesses, intuition, curiosity and the ability to gather, organize and deliver information.
I bring my content mastery experience to create written or video content and B2B or B2C magazines. I also activate as a consultant in media & communications, personal branding, employer branding and I share in workshops what I have learnt about these areas.
As a concrete example, I give Chattoir readers an exclusive extract from one of the most recent projects I have been working on: a fragment from a series of video interviews with people that reach mastery in their field of activity, meant to inspire and help freelancers. They are part of a pioneering project in our market: Lance Hub, online platform for independent work, to be launched soon. You are the first viewers that watch this moving and powerful interview with Lavinia Tanculescu, human capital consultant & psychotherapist, courtesy of Diana Cernaianu, Project Manager, and Rock House Events, the video production team, who edited this fragment especially for Chattoir.
Which would be your dream activity?
I already checked a few activities I put on my wish list at the beginning of my projects as Chief Inspired Officer. I wanted to be a freelancing editor-in-chief for a magazine, which was pretty revolutionary thinking at the time. I was and not for one, but two: a luxury monthly magazine and a B2B magazine in agriculture, a fascinating domain I discovered thanks to some amazing projects I was involved in, as PR specialist. I also wanted to dive into the video journalism and take my beloved interviews, this time on camera, which also happened, thanks to Business Days, the biggest business event in Romania, and LanceHub, the first Romanian online platform for freelancer that will be launched soon. A very dear dream that came true is Chic-Elite.ro, the first online platform for personal development dedicated to women.
What can you tell me about your professional achievements as a freelancer?
As a PR and media relations consultant, I have had the great satisfaction to work for outstanding projects, as the building of the new subway line in Bucharest or Business Days, the biggest business event in Romania, where I have a multiple role: editor-in-chief of its business magazine, media & content consultant, moderator of workshops and video interviews with top business representatives from our country and abroad. It is also very satisfying for me that bold and inspired entrepreneurs chose me as their communication and content consultant for their businesses, which give me the chance to be connected to different industries from law services, HR, education, construction, agriculture to beauty or fashion. Very dear to me is my collaboration with a top PR agency in Romania, where I bring my journalistic eye to promoting projects developed for the local braches of some of the biggest companies in the world.
As a trainer and facilitator, I brought my personal branding and life-style expertise to the corporate world, to multinational companies, through my workshops “The Power of You” (about how employees can become powerful ambassadors of the company through their personal brand) and “Superbrands in HR”, which is a unique training in Romania, about how companies can transform the wellbeing programs they develop for their employees into powerful brands. This came to life thanks to Learning Network, online platform for the Romanian learning and development community, whose very experienced and professional team gave me their full support in organizing this workshop, received very well by HR professionals. We had wonderful participants, from very important multinational and local companies, and these days we are working on a new edition, scheduled for mid December, 2017.
After meeting hundreds if not thousands of business people, in events or interviews, I’ve come to use this experience to work one –to-one with CEOs, antrepreneurs or specialists who want to build and develop their personal brand, realizing that this is a powerful resource for their success. Seeing a personal brand be born and grow, supporting a valuable person to reveal its special talents to the world, be quoted by the media or be invited to events as a speaker is something unique. Our society needs healthy models and it’s not just a business objective, it is also a social contribution to decide to speak up and let the light be on you, not only on the people who make a job to promote themselves, without having much to say.
One of the projects I am very proud of is Chic-Elite.ro, an online platform dedicated to the professional and personal development of women. It is always a great joy to discover people that fight for their truth, for their dreams and bring their contribution to make a better world for us and our children. Each time I meet such a person, I take her or him an interview in which I try to bring out her / his essence. Reaching to that point, I remember taking an interview to Romania’s most known violinist. What questions are there to ask that haven’t be asked to such an appreciated celebrity? Well, I found them☺ And I got the feed-back that he was impressed by my approach and the questions that no one addressed him before. In time, I found that asking the right questions is an ability and it’s not something that anyone can do.☺
It’s a great satisfaction for me that I have the honour to collaborate with top teams and professionals in Romania, with leaders that embrace innovation and with market changing projects, never done before here. They push me to further develop and learn, while contributing to their success.
How can anyone interested in a collaboration with you can contact you?
For personal branding coaching delivered to artists or other specialists abroad, a very simple way is through Skype. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone can write me there and we decide together on the best formula of work. I can deliver my trainings in personal branding, media relations or branding corporate wellbeing projects in Romania or around the world, as they are also available in English.
Why personal branding, beside journalism, PR and employer branding?
A Nielson study shows that only 33% of buyers trust messages from a company while almost 90% of customers trust recommendations from someone they know. Ninety-two percent of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over companies. 82% of people are more likely to trust a company when their senior executives are active on social media.
Personal branding is becoming less of a competitive edge and more of a requirement for anyone looking to grow their business, get that dream job or take their career to the next level.
"All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You", said Tom Peters, an international business guru that I had the chance to interview. Shortly, personal brand is a „must build” nowadays.
What can you tell me about Dana – the person?
In my self-discovery journey, I am lucky to be in a complex one-to-one program that combines coaching with mentoring, psychology and a lot of other methods, applied in a very personalized manner, called LifeFit. Among other very profound things, this program led me to discover Life Journey Map, the first instrument available in Romania that helps you find out your values and how you can articulate your life meaning through them. That happened in a period when I had been for days with a blank document opened, only two words written on it: My Values.
And with the daily question ending my evenings: which is my life purpose? Can you imagine?
I think that it would be interesting for your readers to know that the very dedicated and passionate team of Human Developer, that researches this domain for 10 years, offers for free a short version of a report showing a person's main 6 values, which can be really life-changing to find out. So, dear all, do you want to connect with what's most important for your soul? Send an e-mail to email@example.com in order to access the tool and receive the report, before setting your 2018 resolutions, if you want them to really happen☺
Photo: Daniel Faluvegi
Make-up: Mirela Paduraru, Aesthetic Consultant / Cosmetics & Profesional make-up Trainer.