After 17 years in corporate communication, in 2013 Ralfs founded the corporate communication and public affairs company Vīlands Associates. Ralfs has specialised in corporate reputation issues, brand improvement, representation of interests and crisis communication. He is interested in geopolitics, quality literature and journalism, good movies, alpine skiing as well as seeing the inner workings of things. During 20 years, advice has also been provided to BP Amoco, Swedbank, and for the accession of Latvia to the EU. At present he is advising Maxima, RB Rail, Uber and others.
Liga joined the Vīlands Associates team in 2014, consulting clients who came mainly from the retail, finance, and IT sectors. She has experience in leading international projects as well as various projects in reputation management and marketing communications within Latvia itself. One of the most significant ones was acting as communications consultation for the retail chain, Maxima Latvija, during the company’s internal changes which are still ongoing. Liga has built up her knowledge in marketing and communications in Latvia, as well as in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Ligita has more than a decade of work experience in the field of communications. Holding a professional Master’s degree in public relations and a Bachelor’s degree for social sciences in political science, Ligita specialises in strategic planning and the management of communications for clients who are operating in the fields of transport, construction, and engineering technologies. Thanks to her long-term experience, she successfully creates content which unifies the interests of both clients and media. Ligita manages the implementation of the communications strategy for the Baltic States’ largest infrastructure project – Rail Baltica.
Elina has over a decade of experience in consulting and managing the reputations of large companies and high level officials both in Latvia and abroad. She has previously led NATO Riga Summit media relations, worked in the team supporting the president of Latvia, and has managed Microsoft EMEA projects in London. Since 2013 Elina has been amongst the leading Vīlands Associates consultants, working in that time with Mobilly, Glimstedt, Volkswagen, Uber, IKEA, and other companies.
Laima has been working in communications for 15 years. She joined Vīlands Associates’ team in autumn 2017. Laima specializes in financial sector communications, advising banks and other financial sector organizations and providers. Before joining VA Laima headed up the Communications Division at the Financial and Capital Market Commission for five years, where she gained significant experience in financial sector and crisis communication. Previously, spent 10 years working in leading PR agencies, managing corporate and marketing communications projects. Laima holds Executive MBA degree from the Stockholm School of Economics Economics in Riga.
Before joining Vilands Associates team in 2019, Marija coordinated communications projects for public and private companies in Latvia and the Baltics. On a daily basis, Marija works primarily with clients from fuel and retail sector, where she is responsible for the brand image and reputation issues, planning projects for both, internal and external communication, as well as coordinating marketing projects. Marija studied communications and public relations at the University of Latvia.
Liene has more than 10 years of experience working in the communications field in Latvia and abroad. Liene joined Vīlands Associates in 2019 advising on international B2B and B2C brands such as RB Rail,the European Parliament and others.
Previously,Liene held a Head of Communications role at a global technology brand Helvar in London,as well as worked with various public relations and marketing projects at FTSE 100 companies such as Bwin and GVC Holdings. Cultural and public sector experience gained in running the Philharmonic Society in Gibraltar.In Latvia, Liene has worked in the field of journalism with news sites such as Tvnet and Apollo.
Liene has almost 6 years experience in managing and working with various clients mainly from technology, FMCG and retail companies.
The spectrum of her expertise covers work with brand awareness and reputation management, marketing communication, implementation of wide range of corporate social responsibility programmes, as well as influencer
marketing and event planning. During this time Liene has worked with companies including Huawei, Maxima, Fazer, The Coca-Cola Company, Akropole and Tele2 Shared Service center.
Kristiāna's stronger sides are event planning and management, based on a well-developed sense of empathy, which helps her to cooperate as part of a team and deal with any unexpected situations. Before joining the Vīlands Associates team in 2015, Kristiāna gained significant amounts of experience in cultural and socially responsible project management and communications. She has successfully managed to combine her professional interest in communications science with work in creative industries.
Kristine has been working in the public relations sector since 2014, starting her career at Ogilvy PR Latvia. She joined the Vīlands Associates team in early 2016 with the goal of improving her professional expertise.
Her strength lies within her excellent sense of empathy towards clients along with a great sense of responsibility. While working alongside her team members with clients such as the MADARA cosmetics brand during the IPO process, AKROPOLE, the European Parliament, LaIPA, Universal Music and others, she has enormously expanded her industry experience and shown impressive professional growth.
Ieva worked at Riga Stradins University Student Council during her Master’s studies in programme Communication and Media studies, she successfully got her diploma in summer 2016. To expend her experience Ieva spent half a year in Germany, in Universität zu Köln studying culture and literature. Before joining the Vīlands Associates team in the beginning of 2017, Ieva perfected her skills at Vīna Studija, where she also gained the first significant experience in marketing and communication.
Ieva's strengths are conceptual thinking, accuracy, the ability and desire to analyse and finish the entrusted task till the end
Experience in communications and public relations Krista has acquired by working in different student organisations until in 2018 she joined the Vilands Associates team. Krista obtained the Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business at Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and broadened her experience at Paris School of Business studying marketing and luxury industry management.
Katrīna joined Vīlands Associates in August 2016. She started her career at airBaltic, in the corporate communications department, as well as assisting the loyalty programme PINS, in the area of queries related to international PR. Graduated from “RISEBA” University of Business, Arts and Technology, she has bachelor degree in public relations, as well as she has gained experience whilst studying in Vienna, Austria with a focus on corporate communications. Katrīna prefers travelling, old literature, and an active lifestyle.
Vineta joined Vilands Associates team in autumn of 2017 to gain new experience and knowledge in public relationships after working in marketing field. In Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management of Riga Technical University she has obtained Professional Master’s degree in entrepreneurship and management. Vineta is very persistent and will always achieve her goals, despite the difficulties and obstacles in the way. She prefers to spend her free time traveling to near and far destinations.
Dārta joined Vilands Associates in the Autumn of 2018. After working in journalism and education consulting fields, she challenged herself and fulfilled her dream of working in a PR agency. Dārta has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and she also has gained experience about media field at the Stuttgart Media University in Germany. In her free time Dārta enjoys cultural activities – she visits theater and plays music.
Rūta joined the team in 2019. She has a BS in Communication and Media from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and MA in Health Communication from Gannon University, USA. She has gained professional experience at the Shriners Hospitals for Children-a nonprofit hospital network, and at League Network, PBC-a youth sports media and fundraising platform.At Vīlands Associates, she works with clients such as Rail Baltica, the European Parliament, Mastercard, ŠKODA Transportation and Bolt. As an ex-basketball player her interests lie in the sports world and determination to reach goals and be a part of winning teams comes as second nature to her.
Lauma joined Vīlands Associates team in Autumn 2019. Lauma has a Bachelor’s degree in International Marketing and currently is working on her Masters degree in Business Administration. Previous job experience and knowledge is more related with marketing field. In field of public relations Lauma gained experience in Riga Stradins University student’s council and working in PR agency. Everyday interests include exploring and gaining new information about artificial intelligence, reading books, travelling and spending quality time with friends.
Katrīna became a part of the Vīlands Associates team in spring 2018. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in European Languages and Culture in 2015 and still continues to improve her skills by participating in local and international projects. Her previous professional experience was gained while working as a manager assistant in hotel industry and various NGOs as a project coordinator and public relations worker. In her leisure time Katrīna enjoys reading books, writing and spending time actively with her friends.
Baiba joined Vilands Associates team recently after a long experience in merchandising. Working with clients in technology and retail fields, her best assets are organizational and prioritizing skills alongside staying focused in hectic situations, which comes in handy during different event planning. Baiba assists in creating marketing campaigns, conducting media research and analysis. During her time at Vilands Associates Baiba has worked with clients like Huawei, Maxima and Modus Group.
In her free time Baiba is a passionate snowboarder, but fashion has been dear to her heart since childhood.
Since 2020 Vilands Associates is a member of global PR agency network Convoy to represent it in Latvia. Convoy is a handpicked group of independent PR agencies that share a common approach to business, quality and excellence in client servicing. The global network now comprises more than 30 agency partners, covering over 50 countries and six continents. It offers clients full service PR consultancy in their sectors of expertise. It was founded in 2010 by global B2B tech PR agency Red Lorry Yellow Lorry.
Corporate culture and values / Dialogue with interested parties and communities / Analysis and research / Communication strategies / Internal communication / Relationships with media and opinion leaders - in Latvia and globally / Sustainability / Change management / Consultations and training from management / Training for media and messages / Communication of management change / Communication in court proceedings / Planning and training for crisis communication / Communication in crisis / Business rebirth after crisis.
Analysis and research / Analysis of political situation and interests / Roadmapping / Developing argumentation and messages / Dialogue with interested parties and communities / Dialogue with decision makers / Training for media and messages / Relationships with media and opinion leaders - in Latvia and globally.
Analysis and research / Branding / Brand communication / Relationships with media and opinion leaders / Content marketing / Digital catalogue / Public events for reinforcing brands - from developing an idea to execution / Entering the market
Finance is one of the most difficult topics in society because it’s directly linked with welfare. Society’s expectations for providers of financial services keep growing, but they don’t always meet the increase of society’s responsibility. As fintech companies have entered and become more active, the area of finance has faced future challenges. Vīlands Associates has experience in consulting commercial banks, as well as corporate and investment banks.
Our specialists have the most significant experience in communication in Latvia that aims to attract capital. The experience began during the period of privatisation by providing services to the Riga Stock Exchange. It continues to grow with the IPO of Citadele Bank, organized in Riga and London. The communication of an initial public offering is very regulated and requires special precision. We have enriched our experience by cooperating with one of the world’s leading financial communication groups FTI Consulting. We developed, planned and implemented communication campaign for JSC MADARA Cosmetics IPO in 2017. This is the most successful initial public offering in Latvia since 2004.
Special knowledge and skills are required to follow and understand the development of technology and IT in real-time. Which will be the leading platform in the future and will change our quality of life and habits? How to attract new professionals to this field?
Digital platforms, GPS and phone battery life have given the opportunity for a new form of providing services – collaborative economy. It allows any one of us to share our personal, unused resources for fair compensation. We consult the company Uber on implementing legislation regarding ridesharing.
Currently telecommunications and media are experiencing disruption. Telecommunications without content become providers of technical services, but the content must provide new opportunities to return investments. New platforms make the content geographically non-specific, so the competition in content offers becomes global.
The success in this field depends on a strong, modern and successive brand story, and also on innovations! The competition becomes more and more powerful and global. In the FMCG field the continuity of quality is mandatory - any mistake is very costly. That’s why this is one of the fields that requires preparation for scenarios that seem impossible. We have consulted the company Kārums in the long-term.
One of the fields that has the biggest pressure from competition. Fragmentation in retail has ended - now everything is determined by the efficiency of process and brand appeal, as well as dialogue with customers, suppliers, subcontractors of suppliers, citizens, neighbours and other significant interested parties. We consult one of the biggest retail companies in the Baltic region - Maxima.
The start of production is related to environmental and work safety regulations. In conditions of decreasing demography, the reputation of an employer and staff recruitment can be the determining aspects for business growth.
How to show that you are different if the content of services is very similar to current market offers? How to explain the differences to professionals who have higher achievements than the average in the field?
Our professionals have experience in consulting airports, airlines, railway and logistics companies. Each field requires an in-depth understanding, especially the field of regulated air transport. Since last year we are partners in a new transport field coming into Latvia - ridesharing, and we represent the company Uber. This year we started consulting RB Rail - the company that is implementing the largest infrastructure project in the period of independence of the Baltic states - Rail Baltica.
There are ongoing fundamental changes in health care information. The traditional one-way communication is replaced by an open dialogue between patients, doctors, researchers, tax payers and regulators. Whereas the regulation of pharmacy trading in the European Union is related to challenges in the future.
Most of society supports investments because the general state of mind determines that investments increase our overall welfare. This sentiment can be strange to those that are close to realization of an investment project. Communication in dialogue with different interested parties on investment projects requires special piety and empathy. We consult the most modern trade centre and one of the largest investment objects in Latvia - Akropole.
Connected to regular reporting to society about results. These projects have the largest chance of being criticized by society, so it’s important to be productive and have the ability to demonstrate the benefits to society.
Requires focused communication and reputation in a smaller audience. Awareness of a larger audience doesn’t have a determined meaning. But there are moments when the opinion of a larger audience can be important.
For innovative start-ups the story is very important, so that it speaks to people and makes clients and investors want to believe.