Tasia Yiannara
Co-founder and CEO, Partners VMLY&R, pr:partners and Byte The Digital Agency

‘Partners’ mission has always been to excel in whatever we do. We are self-proclaimed game changers. We are there to guide and support our clients to achieve their goals, to change the game in their own field. Through innovation, creativity, strategy, and market intelligence we create trends and initiatives. By nurturing talent, we have the most empowered and professional team in the market. Being a game changer brings about impact and generates motivation – this is our mission for 2022’

Tasia Yiannara has been in the communication field for over 30 years. Having gained extensive experience over the years, Tasia provides supervision and guidance in strategic management, concept development, public relations, and account handling, with a strong focus on the development and growth of a company through consultation on various business development projects.

“Our industry is one that continuously evolves, and as such, I find that openness to innovation is essential in my role. I am an avid believer in the power of digital and embrace technological advancements in our field that will propel the industry forward.”

Tell us about your company.
“Partners is an integrated communications group that thrives on creating work that brings people together. We harness creativity, technology, and culture to create connected brands that drive value and impact the world.
Our main body is an official affiliate of one of the world’s most iconic global marketing agencies, VMLY&R, equipped with a unique combination of an international knowledge hub, paired with our deep insight of the local market. With more than 26 years of success stories and home to some of Cyprus’s biggest local and international brands, our philosophy combines brand experience with brand advertising. Based on bulletproof strategies built on human truths and insights, visualised by unique creative and executed through a set of experiences that are a natural extension of each brand.
In our role as a valuable partner to our clients, the Partners VMLY&R group consists of two sister companies with which we coexist and cooperate closely for the development of communication strategies that create truly connected brands: pr: partners, specialising in all areas of public relations, and Byte – The Digital Agency, a team of young professionals focusing on digital communication.
We are partners – with our clients, our associates, our team, and the society with which we live in. We are rebels with a cause. We are visionaries, continuously resisting the usual with game-changing ideas.”

What is the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
“Failure was never an option for me. I come from a humble, yet very proud family. I always see opportunities, solutions, and ideas in front of me! And if they are not immediately obvious, I create them. I believe this mindset has contributed significantly to whatever I have managed to achieve all these years.
I enjoy working in teams and I see the good and potential in the people around me. I am ambitious and very hard working, love change, advancement, and new challenges.
I always had a very strong support system for which I am very grateful for: my family, my business partner, Loucas Gregoras, and the Partners team.
I am in one of the most creative and fulfilling professions. Communication is fascinating. We create every day, and you get to watch the result of your work every night on TV, on a billboard, and on social media. Working in advertising, public relations and online communication puts you on the map. You create visible business results, trends, and social impact.”

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?
“Admittedly, I have never faced a significant barrier in my career because of my gender, even when I started a business in an Arab country. I started my career 30 years ago when there were mostly men in dark suits in managerial positions and on the board. Barriers exist; however, it is how we face them that matters. I have always believed in making an impression when you enter a room – that is what defines you, creates opportunities or raises barriers. Irrespective of one’s gender, if you enter with confidence, you will succeed in your goal.”

What are some patterns you have noticed over the years about women at work, and things they could be doing better to advance their careers?
“Why is it that organisations benefit from having more women at the top? Companies are not intangible things. Successful companies are the result and the work of human beings, of teams of people working together. Therefore, such teams should be composed and operate in harmony with both women and men. Women in leadership roles have proved to be hardworking, committed, engaged, multitasking, visionary, inventive, and they pay attention to the finer details. They have proved to be great mentors and team players. Communication is a field with a big percentage of women in key positions but not at CEO level, and we need to see more women in top positions.”

Do or did you have a woman leader as a mentor or are there specific women who inspired you and why?
“I had many mentors in my career. I love to observe older entrepreneurs, leaders, business people, and learn from their wisdom and sometimes from their conservatism. I have employed and worked with many business coaches and trainers. I am a firm believer of continuous learning and evolution.
A female mentor that has certainly inspired me in the past was a Lebanese Banker/Consultant that worked in Switzerland and London. I had met her through a programme of EBRD led by the Cherie Blair Foundation that was bringing together women from all over the world, and through this initiative, I had the opportunity to develop my role as a leader and see business from a totally different perspective.”