Post COVID Israeli PR Phenomenon

Companies such as the Minkovsky Group, which are among Israel’s growing media groups, have identified growth opportunities despite COVID.

Eido Minkovsky (photo credit: SHLOMI YOSEF)
Eido Minkovsky
(photo credit: SHLOMI YOSEF)
The Corona pandemic and the accompanying closures and social distancing caused an economic crisis, but some knew not only how to cope, but to how to identify growth opportunities – for example, companies such as the Minkovsky Group, which are among Israel’s growing media groups. The group consists of several companies, but two of them are attracting attention in the media industry: Minkovsky Communications, led by Shir Boiko, a former IDF Central Command spokesperson in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, and Media Force Unit, jointly owned by Eido Minkovsky and Colonel (Res.) Oded Hershkovitz, former IDF deputy spokesperson, the company’s CEO.
Minkovsky began his professional career managing nightclubs in the Haifa area and the Krayot, then served as an IDF academic reserve soldier (Atudai) in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, where he finished his service at the rank of major. In 2009, he became communications advisor to then-Minister of Public Security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, and later joined as a partner in a public relations firm that operated mainly in the Jewish world, before becoming a spokesman for the Haifa Municipality.
After Yona Yahav’s victory in Haifa’s mayoral election, Minkovsky finished his post and waited to join Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party, and participated in the party’s victorious campaign. At the same time, he was a partner in the “Toma” bar in Tel Aviv. One evening he met Or Ofer, CEO of SimilarWeb, a mid-sized startup relative in 2015, who asked him to help with a recruitment project, which paved the way for his successful venture. In one of the interviews he gave, Minkovsky said that “my life changed after Ofer and SimilarWeb’s proposal.” Minkovsky founded Minkovsky Communications, which quickly became a PR sensation in Israel’s high-tech scene. “Minkovsky is an acquired taste,” a veteran publicist tells us. “Most people love him, but some people can’t stand him.”
The group he founded received an added boost with the establishment of the company with his partner, Oded Hershkovitz. “Customers like Gindi Holdings, Black Cube, NSO, Wolt, and more are the best example of the unrelenting way in which these guys operate. Even if the whole world is against them, they will do anything to change the narrative. These are examples of companies that have succeeded. For them, business is like war, and they have a ‘take no prisoners’ approach.”
In recent years, the company has grown in vertical markets such as high-tech, capital markets, real estate, worker’s committees, consumerism, retail, infrastructure, and nonprofits. Nevertheless, the company benefitted from high-tech branding, which helped it survive the Corona crisis. Today, companies such as SimilarWeb, AppsFlyer, Salesforce, Echo, MyHeritage, IronSource, Payoneer, and Kaltura are an integral part of the group’s portfolio. “They don’t get near politics even though they’re in touch with a lot of politicians,” an industry official tells us, “It’s a clever move, because even though they are giving up big money in campaigns, they can maintain neutrality and aren’t committed to any public entity, which can cause a lot of complications in this market despite the many opportunities.”
Minkovsky and Hershkovitz’s group currently has about 30 employees located in Alon Towers in Tel Aviv. More than 90% are graduates of the IDF spokesperson’s unit like CEO Minkovsky, “They’re in a  hiring frenzy, and are trying to recruit the whole market,” says a veteran publicist, “They use very aggressive methods. Recently, they offered a 20% increase in salary to prospective employees over what they were receiving in their previous job. They even offered to hire officers currently serving in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, and pay their exit penalty for leaving permanent military service.”
Translated by Alan Rosenbaum