Our newest guest, Tilo Bonow is the Founder and CEO at Piabo PR. In this episode of OFF THE RECORD, Philipp and Tilo sat down to talk about the importance of personal branding, how it can help drive success, and the importance of applying appropriate PR strategies to your goals.
Piabo PR (2:44)
When Piabo PR was started, when of the main goals was to focus on all things digital in innovation and technology. Tilo credits this focused decision as one of the key drives towards the companies success. The reason being, they are able to dig deep into one industry.
When you have a focus its clear as to what types of conferences you need to visit and what type of people you need to network with.Tilo Bonow
Besides just having a clear focus, Tilo says he was able to find success through delivering the best product within the sector. Through knowing the industry and the products extremely well, Piabo PR was able to make a name for themselves which is recognized internationally.
However, at the end of the day, it is extremely important to know what is happening within your community. With this Tilo is investing in various companies as a business angel and lives by the ideology that you must give first, before expecting a company to become your client.
Deliver the best product (5:58)
In order to deliver the best product, Tilo takes four stages into account at Piabo PR. These 4 columns of services they provide include product communication, digital communication/visibility (LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.), content marketing (case studies, white papers, podcasts, etc.), and influencer relations (opinion leaders).
The focus on quality and the ‘share of voice’ when deciding what channels to go for. It is an interesting way to understand how much overall coverage there is for a topic and industry.
How to deal with different types of goals from companies (10:58)
Piabo PR is strong in recognizing that companies that do not only vary in their mission but also size, need to apply different communication strategies to gain more recognition.
For example, corporate clients often times need more help with adapting to digital transformation, while startups often need to be more loud and aggressive with getting their business out there.
As every company is different and at different stages, it is important to work with professionals, who can take you by hand and recommend important steps you need to take.
Should you tell when a customer has a wrong goal? (13:53)
Absolutely. Tilo is keen on communicating that Piabo PR is extremely result-driven. For this, he sees no problem in communicating to companies that their goals are wrong or unrealistic followed up by methods that can be applied to help improve.
At Piabo PR it is very important that they work with companies more as a partner and meet each other at a respected eye level. If a company does not have the cultural understanding that the mutual work is to fulfill a goal and achieve a result, then the partnership will not be successful.
What is required for success? (17:02)
In order to build a successful brand, key players need to show patience and persistence. This is because Piabo PR seeks out clients with whom they can work over a long period of time.
Most brands who are looking to become successful need to understand that it is important to try different angles and stories, and keep pushing these again and again. PR should be looked at more like a marriage, rather than a one-night stand.
PR in the US vs. Europe (20:55)
When comparing PR in the US to Europe it is clear to see that the US oftentimes oversells what they are writing about. In Germany, PR releases are more facts and figures oriented with journalists asking about the proof.
When CEOs from the US venture to Europe to hold press conferences or give statements, often times their media training is not enough because European journalists ask extremely detailed questions, regardless of how harsh.
The second clear differentiator in how PR is handled in Germany can be seen in that whenever people think about PR, they think about numerous press releases. However, at the end of the day, it isn’t about the quantity but about the quality and result of one single press release.
What infrastructure is necessary to work with Piabo PR or adopt a successful PR strategy? (26:00)
The mindset in communication is different than it was 5 years ago. Every year communication changes in the tools that are used, however every 5 years the fundamental structure changes.
In 2021, Piabo PR is using more tools that are helping them measure success and networks better.
In addition to adapting to changes quickly, it is important that marketing and PR are working well together.
Personal branding. How to start from scratch? (33:36)
There are four key fundaments that you should apply in order to grow a strong personal brand:
1st: clarity. Find the right position for yourself. What do you want to be known for? What is your positioning? It is important to have a clear positioning in order to remain in people’s minds and profit from that. It’s better to be very good at one thing than being okay in a lot of little things.
2nd: build your credibility. Choose your channels, audience, build your credible environment.
3rd: consistency. Share the same messages and keep a clear structure.
4th: continuity. Don’t give up too fast. You need to keep going and keep your audience knowing you.
Why are you publishing a book? Talking about ‘Light your Fire’ (40:40)
Tilo published a book because he felt, especially in Europe, companies have to keep up with what is working in the US. Many companies and founders are producing amazing products and services, however, nobody knows them. As Tilo does not like the term hidden champion, he wanted to share insights that could help people get out of the shadows.
As a result of the pandemic, there is a high transfer towards people making themselves more visible to the public. With brands being exchangeable, it is important that a good brand doesn’t sell itself, but is bought.
Innovation. How does the future look like? Where do you see innovative heroes? (44:45)
There is no industry or error that is not becoming disrupted or digitalized. Every company needs to face the fact that new technologies are always on the rise and will potentially disrupt what they are doing.
Today, there are many industry fields that could adapt and take on a more digital approach. To discover how digital innovation is taking over the NFT market, take a look at a recent discussion we had, here.
Listen to the full Episode
[2:44] Piabo PR
[5:58] Deliver the best product
[10:58] How to deal with different types of goals from companies
[13:53] Should you tell when a customer has a wrong goal?
[17:02] What is required for success
[20:55] PR in the US vs. Europe
[26:00] What infrastructure is necessary to work with Piabo PR or adopt a successful PR strategy?
[33:36] Personal branding. How to start from scratch?
[40:48] Why are you publishing a book? Talking about ‘Light your Fire’
[44:45] Innovation. How does the future look like? Where do you see innovative heroes?
[52:40] NFT in the art world — Discover the Cherrydeck discussion on NFTs