MAXIM BEHAR - We live in a New World with a New Scale of Business Values

MAXIM BEHAR - We live in a New World with a New Scale of Business Values

As the Founder and CEO of M3 Communications Group, Inc., Maxim has seen the communication world evolve from hard-hitting journalism into the current global digital melting pot it has become today. His work and workstyle have changed a lot in the past decade and now it is changing even every day. The communications business changed upside down and have nothing to do with even a couple of years ago. Of course – the main reason is the “tsunami” of social media and its amazing impact on global communications at all levels, but also there are so many accompanying reasons.

Having said that, Maxim is convinced that the base of his business – Public Relations and of other businesses too did not change and will never change. Ethics, transparency, and honesty are needed these days more than ever and all businesses must know this very clearly. From the very beginning of his business, back almost 30 years ago he knew this, and despite all the difficulties and all the shaking times his company was always fair and ethical.

The Challenging Start

At an age when most students worry about their grades, Maxim started to work. The age of 14 was indeed too early, and then after high school, he spent 5 years as a machinery worker, graduated from International Business in Prague, Czech Republic, and started working as a journalist. In 1994, he decided to bring his journalistic career to a close, although he was the Managing Editor of one of the first private daily newspapers in Bulgaria.

Stepping into the new role was an extension of his journalistic career. Maxim decided to start his own business and launched M3 Communications Group, Inc. literally from scratch. “My first office was in a small kitchen, probably between the fridge and the washing machine… But those were the times – in the post-communist era, Eastern Europe was total chaos, nobody knew how to do business at all, and I started a business – Public Relations, which was not known in Europe yet, excluding the United Kingdom, of course. Then I was not thinking about success, profits, professionalism, or teamwork… I was alone, with no partners, no money, and no idea what I want to do, except the fact that I knew it will not be easy,” reminisces Maxim.

30 years into the business, Maxim believes that everything is still a challenge, and every day has its own challenges. Not being stalled by these challenges and finding a path is the key to success. The most important factor, per Maxim, is to create a good working team to make clients happy and to respect their job. And this is 365 days a year project to be exact.

Leading with Empathy

As the founder, Maxim dons’ multiple hats at his company. His role, he says, is mainly to motivate the team of the company, to take care of all major clients' projects, and to keep a delicate eye on all team members in different departments to be treated fair and equally, to have the necessary education and creative comfort. Last, but not least – to remember every single day one of his main principle in business – good leaders create more leaders. And today, he feels, this is a must – leaders decide everything from development, profits, and clients to ethics. Not managers, but leaders! As he wrote in one of his latest books, written during the pandemic “The morning after” today everyone in the office must be a leader – on his desk, with his clients, teams, and projects!

Another key factor to his success as a businessman and leader is the emphasis he gives to innovation. In fact, innovation, says Maxim, is the keyword of each business, but especially of the business of public communications. He reads a lot! “I start my day with a strong espresso and news from the night, read an obligatory everyday couple of interesting articles about my business, sending them either to the whole team or only to selected managers. The world of social media has its innovations every day, if we miss even one or two days, it may mean we are already old-fashioned,” says Maxim.

Maxim opines that businesses today must realize that the world had changed enormously during the past decade and that we live in a new world with an entirely new scale of value and professional targets. The moment we realize that then all business projects will go much easier.

Practicing Professionalism

Maxim fails to understand the much ado about diversity or inclusion. For him, from the very first day of his business, he has never cared about the origin, sex orientation, religion, or the color of the skin of his employees. The only thing that matters to him is the performance of the team and how they can understand each other in the office. This is why for him all those messages are quite strange. “We are humans and in business, nothing else than professionalism must have any impact. This is my definite understanding.,” he asserts.

Maxim believes that as a professional, the important thing is how you do your job, and what attitude you have towards your life and your colleagues. The rest of the factors simply shouldn't be a bother at work.

A Celebrated Leader

Throughout the years, the company and Maxim have received a huge number of global awards. There is not a single year, even a single year in all its 28 years of history that M3 Communications Group, Inc, does not have an international award. The company was announced by Stevie Awards as The Best PR Agency in the World many times, PRWeek also recognized it and by the same magazine, Maxim was announced as Best PR Professional in Europe for 2022.

Maxim is also the President of the World Communications Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Chair for International Growth, and past President of the International Communication Consultancy Organization (ICCO). He has been awarded many titles, among them Best PR Professional in Europe by PRWeek for 2020 and 2022, Manager of the Year by Manager Magazine, and Communicator of the Decade by the Indian Association of Business Communications. A global citizen, Maxim is also the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Seychelles in Bulgaria.

“I know all those awards are great recognition for our work, but for us always the best recognition is the attitude and satisfaction from our clients and also our positioning on the market,” he says.

Words of Experience

We asked Maxim what he would like the budding entrepreneurs to know and understand. This is what he has to say: “A couple of years ago in one of the Davos Communications Forums, my presentation was entitled “A PR man never gives up…”. So, this is a very simple and necessary message to all, especially during all those difficult times. No matter who you are, no matter what the business is, if you ride the bike, just do not stop, and try to do your job correctly and creatively, and success will come…”

Looking Forward to Another Great Year

“My expectations from my team are very simple, and I know they will happen – a more united, more innovative, and more successful team. And I know very well that it will not happen overnight, changes always take time. But now they must happen as soon as possible and what is more important – sustainable and steady,” concludes Maxim.

Published in The Ciotimes magazine