About me

Dragana Djermanovic is an Internet strategist and lecturer. Currently, she is the Chief Strategist Officer of Bee Premium Group, owner of prpepper social web agency and CEO and founder of BeeShaper.com, Internet marketing platform.

As a representative of The European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and Euroblog Association, Dragana was an honorable member of the jury for the Social Media Awards and a respectable ambassador of WebIT committee of Internet Practitioners of South-Eastern Europe. Additionally, in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 she was a jury member and honorary representative for European ICT awards in Luxembourg. This Serbian entrepreneur is a guest and key note speaker at the world’s biggest conferences and professional events in ICT, such as WebCom (Montreal, Canada), CeBIT (Hannover, Germany), ICT Spring (Luxembourg), DigIT (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Le Web (Paris, France), Rise (Hong Kong), We Summit (Dublin, Ireland), Next (Berlin, Germany) and many others. Dragana is the only Serbian business person enlisted in The Hundert’s top 100 female entrepreneurs in Europe. The list has been confirmed by the renown American magazine Forbes.

Through consulting and in-house trainings Dragana has helped numerous companies establish and improve their online presence. The client list includes brands and companies such as tennis number one ranked player – Novak Djokovic, Zavarovalnica Maribor, Delta holding, Apple, Agrokor, Limundo, Opel, Banka Intesa, Unicredit bank, Telenor, Rexona, L’Oréal and many others.

As a passionate blogger, Dragana is the founder of the NGO “Bloggers’ rights” and BeeBlog, the network of 400.000 bloggers, which represents the most significant blogging network in the whole SEE region.

Dragana is a linguistics professor, with a MSc from the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technical Sciences, where she is currently defending her PhD thesis. She is married and a mother of two girls.

LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER (AND SKIP THE INTERVIEW)

Independent and fast! These are the key words that marked the first half of my life.

It was always important for me to be independent. Already as a six year-old, I earned my first money to buy myself a doll. I wasn’t the best at school, but I was the fastest. I read fast, I learned, finished grades, semesters and jumped hurdles. Independent and fast! Those are the key words that marked the first half of my life. I always had the impression that I was missing something fantastic in life every day if I didn’t build something new and nice into my character.

A rebel with a cause.

I was a headstrong rebel. An NGO activist, a fighter for the rights of the youth and women in a cruel world that surrounded me. I was only twenty years old then. I studied linguistics at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad while working three jobs simultaneously. During those days, my star, my father Slobodan got very ill. For the very fist time, I felt the intense pain that only the fear of loss can throw onto you. However, the clouds faded and the sun came out. I met Nikola, the love of my life, and at 21 I brought to the world our first daughter – Nikolina. During those days, my career path was developing much like my emotional life – fervently. I worked as a radio and television host, a spokesperson for the Civil Initiative of Vojvodina, an organization through which I learned how much the postulates of civil society mean to the civilizational development of every community. I soon graduated and applied for an internship in the PR sector of Vojvođanska Banka.

A framework for a different tomorrow…

Corporate routines, rigid rules, a defined hierarchy of decision-making and strategic development during my youth have shaped my professional world and given it the necessary framework that helped me better understand the world and clients as I continued my career. I believe that without the seven-year experience at Vojvođanska Banka I wouldn’t be able to consult companies and truly understand both their market and internal dilemmas. I left the bank as manager of corporate communications serving the cabinet of the president of the executive board. At that point, I had the career of the youngest corporate communications manager in the bank’s history, with hundreds of organized events, public appearances and trainings, a quality contribution to the privatization process and merging with the National Bank of Greece, as well as the realization of numerous innovative communicational and business projects. I was 28 at the time and had another baby girl. Nina was 6 at the time, while Jovana was two years old. I left the bank because I felt that I was approaching the next step in my life.

I know there was more, and I wanted more!

For a brief period, I returned to the media scene, and soon after that, together with Nikola I started PRpepper which focuses on the Internet and channels of social web communications. PR which I knew as such up until 2007 was now a thing of the past. I knew the future has already arrived! I was a “cyber geek”, a “maniac”, “the computer girl”. It was clear that connecting people with people, people with brands, people with journalists and editor does not only change PR, marketing, politics, arts and media – but society in its entirety! It was important for me to share with my colleagues everything that I’ve felt and learned about fair trade, social business, and placing people/consumers/buyers in the center of every business relationship. Resistance wasn’t important – what was though – was that I was sure that our job will never be the same again! At the same time, I was simultaneously developing my own business.

The plan was clear. I had it then and I have it now.

Throughout the first year, I shook up the regional blogosphere with provocative posts on my blog. During the second year, I showed my passion live to a large number of colleagues at conference. And just like that, some PR manager from a bank in Novi Sad has become synonymous with the trade, as well as an ambassador of this industry within the Internet community. At that point I began to do everything that I wrote and spoke about throughout the first two years. In the years of the crisis and decelerated development in almost every industry, new jobs and opportunities arose coming in mostly from abroad. These include guest-appearances, lectures, as well as new opportunities that allow me to acquainting myself with new trends and colleagues from around the world, who much like myself, found themselves in a new setting changed by new media. Compared to numerous colleagues in the region who also started riding the Internet wave back in the now distant 2007, in the years which followed I perfected my knowledge through practice. Online crises, SERM and online reputation management, creation of online identity and establishing a proactive two-way online communication between organizations/companies/media/brands/public figures have become my everyday business practice.

I have become what I represent – ready for change, it being the only constant in business and in life.

I became a member of Europe’s most eminent juries for awarding the most innovative Internet projects, an author of a large number of professional and scientific works on the topic of new media and online relationships with the public, a spokesperson on regional, European and world congresses. I have become what I represent – ready for change, it being the only constant in business and in life.

The projects that I am most proud of include: project “Novak Đoković The One” – a complete Internet communication strategy on a global level, project: “Young Leaders” – implementation an innovative strategy aimed at selecting HR personnel for the company “Delta Holding”, project “Trust and financial institutions” – appearance strategy for “Zavarovalnice Maribor”, the second largest insurance company in Slovenia, as well as “PROceni web – Social media Industry report” – conception of a methodology for tracking and evaluation of the overall appearance of ICT companies.

Dragana Djermanovic and Novak Djokovic, world tennis champion

I had the honor to lecture at eminent professional gatherings and conferences. I will list some of them, but the most important and dearest to me among them include:

  • IEDC Bled, Republic of Slovenia, 2012 – Keynote speaker on the subject of “Online reputation management”
  • London School of Public Relations, Belgrade, Republic of Serbia, 2012 – Keynote speaker on the subject of “Social web – opportunities and challenges”
  • Faculty of Economics, Belgrade, Republic of Serbia, Faculty of Organizational Sciences, Belgrade, Republic of Serbia, 2013, 2014 – Keynote speaker to student organizations.
  • American Chamber of Commerce, Belgrade, Republic of Serbia, 2012 – Keynote speaker, “Web revolution and its business application”
  • All we conference, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, 2012 – Keynote speaker, “Social web trends”
  • Digitalizuj.me conference, Podgorica, Republic of Montenegro, 2013 – Keynote speaker, “All about C”
  • Sample conference, Ljubljana, Republic of Slovenia, 2012 – Keynote speaker “Social web”
  • Dig.it conference, Ljubljana, Republic of Slovenia, 2012 – Keynote speaker “All about C”
  • National democratic institute, Zagreb, Republic of Croatia, 2012 – Keynote speaker “Politics and social web”
  • Web.com conference, Montreal, Canada, 2012 – Keynote speaker, “New business models”
  • Mokra Gora School of Management, Mokra Gora, Republic of Serbia, 2013 – “Social web, business changes in practice”

At this point, I am working on a project that will most certainly enhance the application and understanding of new media at a level extending the boundaries of Serbia. I am managing the strategic online communication for brands that I only admired in the past, and I am personally developing while also developing my two daughters and my family. I received my master’s degree at the Faculty of Technical Sciences, majoring in industrial engineering and management. I founded the company Buzz Solution in the United States, created the BeeShaper service, set up a service that measures online presence of companies within the project “PROceni web”… Above all, I’m a friend, a mentor and manager to my PRpepperteam which already counts 18 members.

In life we can do as much as we wish to do. I always wanted a lot, that’s why I have a lot.

I was very lucky! Some say that luck is a moment where opportunity meets preparation. Whatever it may be, some wonderful people showed up along my way at the right time and helped to change myself in order to enhance my life. Thanks to myself and them, I am happy and endlessly in love with every moment that I live! In life we can do as much as we wish to do. I always wanted a lot, that’s why I have a lot. I am no longer impatient and fast, neither am I a rebel nor a revolutionary… now I am a peaceful young woman that is completely focused on the present with enough space on the horizon to clearly see the future which I often successfully predict.

And a whisper of advice for the end… The secret lies in hard work!

Dragana Đermanović