Iliada Evangelia Kothra, founder of Living Postcards tells us about a global platform that showcases “The New Face of Greece.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Iliada Evangelia Kothra: The coronavirus epidemic may cause insecurity and worry. But we are taking good care of ourselves. We try and maintain a regular everyday rhythm, particularly as regards sleeping and eating. Even if our daily life has changed significantly, for the time being, keeping to our ordinary daily routines gives us a feeling of security and helps our mental well-being.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Living Postcards.
Iliada Evangelia Kothra: My background has to do with business. My studies were in the field of marketing, sales, and advertising.
On one of my trips to London, I noticed a lot of local food products in elegant food stores. I suddenly realized that as a country, we had something more to offer other than the typical “Greece”, more than the typical “moussaka”, “souvlaki” and the picturesque beaches of the Greek islands. When I returned, I decided to make a global platform that would showcase “The New Face of Greece.” Deep in my heart, I wanted to prove that Greece is not a country with lazy people but a blessed place with tones of vision and creativity. New fashion and jewelry designers, small boutique hotels, local food products, Greek cosmetics, artists, musicians, all the things that were born in the middle of the financial crisis. After 8 years, Living Postcards is the greatest database about this “new face,” and we are very happy about the concept!
How does Living Postcards innovate?
Iliada Evangelia Kothra: A natural evolution of the Living Postcards was the planning of more interactive events, media sponsorship, business seminars, and global presentations. These actions supported and expounded the energy and dynamic of the new Greek entrepreneur and afforded the attendees of these events to meet and interact with these individuals and their products and services.
We have organized 22 events and conferences in order to promote new brands and inspire people to follow their own business trips.
After 2 years, we created the “Living Postcards Agency,” a digital agency for small brands.
We work on their branding, their marketing strategy, and their digital presence generally.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Iliada Evangelia Kothra: Since we are a digital agency, we had more work to do than ever. A lot of clients wanted a fresh webpage, an e-shop, but we had to think about where to focus. This was a challenge for us.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Iliada Evangelia Kothra: Well, I have learned a lot. If I could choose my biggest lessons during a pandemic, I would say that I have in mind basically 3 of them.
-Our health Is our most valuable asset…
-We should challenge what we think we know.
-We must pause when we need to… but not for long.
Yes, I had to make difficult choices. I had to see clearly the future of my company and take it to the next level.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Iliada Evangelia Kothra: We use a lot, but above all, we focus on our clients and our partners. Communication is a staple of crisis management. No one will ever complain about being communicated with too much during a crisis as long as communications are clear, concise, and timely. And we should never forget that COVID-19 is forcing world leaders to practice crisis management in its purest form.
Initially, crisis responses tend to be constructive and characterized by decisiveness, effectiveness, and maturity. People tend to switch into emergency mode and become laser-focused on the immediate situation.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Iliada Evangelia Kothra: We have a lot of competitors. But as I always say, “there is always something out there for everybody.”
Your final thoughts?
Iliada Evangelia Kothra: Millions of small-business owners faced a challenge due to coronavirus. To stay afloat, owners had to adapt their way of thinking and find creative ways to change their operating models.
Still, many small businesses have failed. Others have survived and plan to use innovations adopted during the pandemic to drive revenue and generate new opportunities as the economy recovers. It is certain that without adaptability, there is no evolution. We need to see clearly the new opportunities in entrepreneurship and get the best of them.