V+O Communications and Deree; a successful synergy

“Tonia Gogou (D ’93), General Manager of V+O Communication in Greece”

Choosing the right employee can be one of the most challenging business decisions.

V+O Communications is an interesting case. It is one of the largest public relations agencies in Greece and has a high employee retention rate. How does it achieve this?

As detailed to Touch Base by Tonia Gogou (D ’93), General Manager of V+O Communication in Greece, V+O bases its success on the family bonds the employees build. The employee selection and retention policy, coupled with an internship program, among several other factors, has led to building a successful team.

There are common qualities that V+O looks for in potential partners. Although a strong CV is important, it’s the qualitative elements that V+O is looking for.

Applicants must be passionate about the job as well as be able to recognize their mistakes and successes. Similarly, taking ownership of their actions is paramount, while a restless spirit, with the ability to analyze and not take situations at face value, makes for an ideal candidate.

Finding talent from an early stage is key. Providing internship opportunities to the Greek youth to work at major companies, such as V+O, not only is important to V+O, but is also part of the company’s culture.

When starting to work, interns have a clear picture of their training process, their role within the company and their responsibilities. It’s this clear focus that has made solid relationships possible and, in the case of many interns, to continue as employees.

This common understanding and shared vision leads to employees remaining for more than three years, with an overall retention rate of 65% over the last 5 years, as there is a dedicated career and development path for each employee.

“Interns should have it in their character to seek out challenges”, Tonia Gogou reflects. “Most importantly though, they need to have the drive to succeed. Being a good student is simply not enough.”

It’s exactly these characteristics that make Deree students ideal interns. According to Ms. Gogou, Deree’s educational system and organizational structure facilitates an all-rounded personal and professional development which is crucial for tomorrow’s workforce. Deree is not only an institution that provides knowledge, it builds character”.


As the selection process for employees and interns is identical, thanks to these characteristics, Deree students and ACG alumni have a competitive advantage.

Testament of the successful connection between V+O and Deree, are two students, Zafira Atsidi (D ’12) and Thanasis Kostakis, who started as interns, and have now been with V+O for 6 and 5 years respectively. We asked them of their time at Deree and V+O:

What are the three key aspects of success?

ZA: “Love for what you do, the constant desire for evolution and improvement, ethics.”

TK: “Passion, dedication and of course the love for what you do.”

How did your time at Deree help you adapt to V+O?

ZA: “The high level of studies, the specialized staff, the way of operation and assessment based on the best educational standards, all create responsible students and future professionals. They help students gain judgment, perception, critical thinking and responsibility.”

TK: “My studies there helped me develop valuable skills and acquire knowledge. The level of studies, the high level of faculty and staff, as well as the faculty’s organization, guarantee the creation of responsible students, and thus successful future professionals”.


“Thanasis Kostakis, Account Manager”


“Zafira Atsidi (D ’12), Account Manager”

We thank Ms. Gogou, Ms. Atsidi and Mr. Kostakis for their time and wish them to continue being sources of inspiration.