Seventeen years ago she joined Colours of Ostrava as head production manager, arranging almost everything – and so today we’d be hard pressed to find someone who understands the organization and operations of music…
She started as a copywriter and SEO specialist, and for a long time she worked in PR and marketing at Aerofilms. In December last year, a majority stake in this well-known distribution company was acquired by the KVIFF Group – where Radka Urbancová now holds the position of Head of Communications. In her own words, she had always had her sights on culture, though film and PR as such were the result of chance more than anything else. And though she admits that sometimes you have to react to stressful situations like a robot, she always puts her entire heart into her work.
One learns from one’s mistakes. What mistake taught you the most, and what, specifically?
I’ve of course made a lot of mistakes in my life. It may sound like a cliché, but mistakes really make you grow, and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. When I look back and think about which things I did were mistakes, I find it hard to define. I have the feeling that even things that seemed like mistakes to me back then, I now see differently. I got into various jams at work, like everyone. I learned a lot from the big ones, and today the small ones are a source of funny anecdotes.
Which work-related decision got you where you are today?
Where I am now is the result of a chain of many various and sundry individual events that occurred in my life and in my work. I never forced anything, I never really had a completely clear goal that I went after like a bulldog. It was more that I know what I wanted from life and work, and what I didn’t. I was always open and rarely said no if it wasn’t something that went against the grain. And when I did decide on something, I always gave it 100 % and wanted to do the best job I could. The greatest challenge is always the one that’s inside me. I want to understand the world and learn my trade properly… And that’s how I got to where I am now. I never really planned it that way, but that’s the way it happened. It’s really no big surprise that I’m working in the area of culture, but I never explicitly aimed for the world of film, or PR.
What inspiring book influenced you most, and should we read it?
Once again I have to use a terrible cliché, but that’s really how it was back then. One usually encounters these initiatory bands or books during puberty, and even if later in life one comes across much more interesting and more important things, they don’t stick with you in the same way. For me, that initiatory moment was The Little Prince. It’s definitely a book to which I return time and again in my thoughts and in my life. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, which I read in high school, were very important to me; it sounds terribly intellectual, but they’re a source of inspiration for me to this day and really changed my perspective on the world.
What is the number-one rule that you follow every day in your work?
To succeed on one’s own terms. That’s my greatest challenge and reward. When something goes right, when I have the feeling that I did my utmost to get something done. What I’d like to learn to do in life is to stay calm and detached under all circumstances. I don’t always succeed. But when I go to work in the morning, my goal is to stay calm. To do things to the fullest, to do them well, but to not let it drive you crazy. There’s more to life than just work.
How can one stay calm when things are getting crazy at work?
I’m lucky that in stressful situations I switch to a kind of autopilot that allows me to quickly sort out priorities and decide what’s important. I become a bit of a robot. I don’t know how pleasant it is for my surroundings, but I think it’s quite functional (laughter). I don’t feel any emotions until afterwards. So in general I’d say that it helps to focus on the material side of things: we know what we want, and we go after it. Another thing that helps me a lot is to define what steps lead to what needs to happen and how I need it to happen. In short, it’s good to not get too emotionally involved with things, not connect yourself with them, to not worry that something didn’t work out. To just learn a lesson for the next time around that this isn’t the way to go, and to ask what you can do so that this time or the next time it goes right. It stressful situations, when something isn’t going right, teams often have the tendency to start looking to blame someone, and focus on that instead of looking for a solution to the situation. I try to find out who’s to blame only if I have the feeling that it will help achieve results. Otherwise it’s a waste of time and energy.
Which of your skills do you work on because you consider it to be the most important in the future?
What seems important to me and what you can’t ever stop working on is relationships with people. I personally feel great room for improvement in this area, which can sound a bit odd from a PR person. But what I mean is that I’m learning to trust those around me, delegate things, and not act like a crazy control freak. And it’s a lifelong task. That I know.
Where do you find inspiration for more ideas?
Definitely in the morning in the shower, that’s my moment in my day I need to function without anyone disturbing me. That’s where I always solve all the problems in the world and come up with a solution for any kind of problem (laughter).
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