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Communication is important for any business and that’s something companies in the betting space cannot ignore, according to international betting company Parimatch.
“That’s why I don’t see any difference for a betting company, compared to any other company. Communication is the key pillar that holds up interaction in any business,” says Andrii Suslenko, chief communications officer at Parimatch.
Here, Suslenko discusses Parimatch’s new approach to communications.
Paddy Power, owned by Flutter Entertainment, is arguably the world’s biggest betting brand and has grasped the art of communication through different channels to reach its audience, especially on social media where it’s instantly recognisable.
Suslenko says that this an outlier in the industry and that the attitude towards communications need to change.
“Most betting operators think that their communications should be reserved, because it is a very sensitive topic, they have to be defensive about it. We, as well as Paddy Power, disagree, and try to be active,” he says.
Parimatch has been undergoing a transformation of late, shifting its focus to be more of a tech-focused operation. This mission extends to the company’s communications strategy too, and getting the message out about not just its new products – but its modus operandi.
The chief aim, he says, is to bring greater clarity and transparency to Parimatch’s communications: “To make it so that the brand was more transparent and understandable both internally and externally.”
The means building out a new team with the ability to react quickly, and is flexible and adaptive to address not just communications about products and service, but to provide guidance around gambling and those who may have a problem.
“The basic challenge was to build the communications department from scratch. In May 2018 there was nothing,” Suslenko says.
“These skills are finely distributed among different members of the team. By the way, they correspond with our company’s values, and they allow us to timely, successfully, in an adaptive, flexible, honest, transparent and open manner, work with the information and to complete our mission.”
Parimatch has sought to cultivate an international image for a broader audience – this can be seen in its sponsorship of UFC.
“Today it is a bright, public and open brand that communicates on time and in a clear manner. Of course, it is a very serious change, a notable result. It was a very serious challenge,” Suslenko adds.
This year ushered in many changes and in 2021, change will continue to take place so companies and the communications teams need to be prepared for that, he says.
This year, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a flood of online events as companies tried to keep their brand name in people’s minds. This presented its own set of unique challenges for communications departments. How do you keep people engaged? That will be the challenge for all companies.
The other side of the coin is internal communications, which brings its own challenges for a company with 2,000 employees and operating in many different markets, including people working remotely.
“Another issue is the remote interaction between teams. This hybrid version is a real challenge for internal communications, namely how to keep the level of employee engagement high,” Suslenko says.
“It became obvious to us over the year 2020 that the internal availability of strong media products, as well as having a platform for distractions, entertainment, sharing, debates etc. in a team is very important,” he says. “That is why it is necessary to invest in this type of communication, which is what Parimatch is successfully doing.”