Meet Irén Hermann, the editor-in-chief behind Kreatív, Hungary's premier online hub for the communications industry. Discover her insights on the essential journalist traits, navigating the digital landscape, and much more in this exclusive interview.
What essential qualities and skills do journalists need to thrive in today’s media landscape?
First of all, I have to mention that we have to be seen more than ever. I mean that we have to sell ourselves, our achievements and results, mainly on social media. A journalist today has to know and use all of the social media platforms well. It is good to have audio and video skills, not just writing skill, and what is more important: find the way to stand out in the media noise.
What inspired you to become a journalist and how did you get into the profession?
I loved writing, literature and drama. When I was young I wanted to work in a theater, but I failed an entrance exam. It was one of my schoolmates advice to try to get into the Media Faculty. I tried and I got in. This is the beginning of my story with journalism. Since then I realized that I am always searching for the truth, I insist on being objective and I really like to chat with interesting people. These things are really important in journalism, I think.
How important is the relationship between journalism and the creative community, and how can it be further strengthened?
I believe that in journalism you need lots of creativity to be better than the others, so we can learn so much from creative workers. At Kreatív we are starting a new column where creative workers will write reviews about ads. I think it will be a good example to link two sides together.
As a member of the Epica Awards jury, how do you approach evaluating and selecting the best creative work from around the world?
It is simple: creativity, humor and simplicity. I should mention originality but unfortunately I do not know every piece of ad around the world.
What role do you see journalism playing in promoting and advocating for diversity and inclusion within the creative industry?
I can see two possible ways: introducing diverse teams or members in the local creative industry or highlighting ads and communication tools which are based on diversity and inclusion.
What are the most memorable campaigns or creative projects you've covered and what made them stand out for you?
I would mention teams rather than projects. I am really proud of White Rabbit Budapest with their #Flutwein campaign, and one of the biggest ad agencies in Hungary: Mito Budapest.
You took over as editor-in-chief of Kreatív in 2021. What were the first things you wanted to achieve when you started your new job? and what are the latest developments there?
At Kreatív we have an online and a print version of the magazine, and we have to find the best balance between the two versions. One of my first goals was to find that balance, emphasize our online presences, as well. As a team we are responsible for Kreatív’s awards and events, too. We are proud to launch an all-day conference dealing with communication in cultural sectors and a workshop for AI-tools.
Kreatív also runs the Hipnozis Awards, which are the reference for creativity in Hungary. What creative trends did you notice this year?
It is AI, for sure. There are two totally different ways to use AI: use AI-tools instead of humans or use AI as a creative tool. There will be a lot of debate about AI in the creative sector, but I definitely love the second version, when you use it for your purpose, but the idea is yours.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the creative industry today – and how might it be addressed?
Again, it’s AI. It is essential to find a way to use it in a creative and fair way.
Who are your role models or mentors in journalism and the creative world? And what’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
I have not had one role model, but I admire every woman who can handle work in the media sector, especially leaders that manage their personal life at the same time. Best advice? Not giving up being a journalist.
I believe that in journalism you need lots of creativity to be better than the others, so we can learn so much from creative workers.