Hello! What’s your background and what services you or your agency provide?
Hi! I’m a Berlin born and bred PR expert who now lives in between Berlin and Athens. I had a 3 years training in the real estate industry, was highly involved in Berlin’s art scene and studied journalism before I started the PR agency The Coup in Berlin back in 2010.
What motivated you to work in the PR profession? What’s your typical work week like?
I am getting a thrill when it comes to a launch of something that has been carefully developed. I want to shout it out to the world, basically. And find the right angle to get other people excited about it. Berlin has been the place to be for this the last 10 years, with exciting creative entrepreneurship, a thriving startup scene and all sorts of international people coming to the city to start innovative businesses.
Right now, this is where Athens looks at. The capital of Greece is flourishing after an exhausting time of recession – Greeks now recover and launch their new businesses in Athens. Millenials are highly educated, and take their luck into their own hands by starting ventures instead of searching for employment. The resources of the city are tremendous in terms of cultural heritage. Creative businesses that use this as an advantage – e.g. in the hospitality sector or think Greek design, as well as investment businesses who reach out internationally, have all options open. Nowadays I am more in Athens than I am in Berlin. My work week is based on promoting Athens based businesses to Germany and international investors with PR campaigns.
How have you attracted new clients and grown your business?
Initially, I started promoting the creative ventures in my friend’s circles. From the media successes there, all future clients were based on recommendations. I also got clients from the real estate industry based on the knowledge I got in this specific industry from my 3 years training. Clients’ sizes grew steadily over the years.
Entering a completely new market in Athens now, I do cold acquisition where I highly focus on the benefits I can bring to Greek businesses. In the current economic phase, what they need right now is international investment and exposure. I am also working based on commissions or revenue shares, since I believe in the growth of the city as a market, and start with them although they do not have the PR and marketing budgets right now.
What are some of the big challenges for PR in the art sector?
Doing PR for artists has to be done with passion. Artists need a concept that you sell. You will have to observe their work very closely, then decide what to launch based on which concept and angle can be of emotional value to society. You should not be afraid to launch something provocative, and to handle mixed reviews /opinions.
What are your favorite PR tools that you cannot live without?
We basically developed our own PR resource platform with PRontheGO.com where we share publicity options for creative businesses as a DIY option. When I would work with a startup or fashion designer, I myself look at the category on this website to find all the links and ideas we had over the years to publish those businesses.
Anewstip.com is a go-to tool to acquire journalist contacts for specific topics, and to pitch directly. We observe journalist enquiries from HARO to match the stories the media is working on, with our clients serving as sources within interviews and quotes.
What are some of the best things about living or doing PR in Berlin and Athens?
Berlin has been on such an exciting journey the last few years, with a growing economy and flourishing entrepreneurial spirit combined with relatively cheap living costs. Add a sunny beach, and you got Athens now similar to what Berlin was 10 years ago.
Whilst Berlin is now settling, Athens just starts to get busy. You got open minded entrepreneurs, welcoming any opportunity offered to them. Lunch breaks are a feast, with Greek food being overly delicious (plus cheap!). Greeks love to go out, so do Berliners. You work together, and you enjoy life together.
What’s a client story that you’re most proud of?
I will give you an extreme example. Back in 2012 we launched a highly provocative artwork from two (by the time) art students from the University of Arts in Berlin. It reached international exposure over all continents, and has been sold within 4 weeks for $2.3 Million to a collector. The project is called “Die Guillotine” (German for “The Guillotine”).
All international press clippings from this exceptional 4 week art campaign can be reviewed here: https://thecoup.de/Die-Guillotine-press-book.pdf.
What’s your advice for PR pros who are just starting out or entrepreneurs doing PR on their own?
Anyone can start PR who is passionate about the product they’re selling. You can acquire resources like contacts by getting out there, attending industry events, and start meeting with potential multipliers to introduce yourself and your work to get your network rolling. The resources you need are good writing skills (get a copywriter if you’re an average writer!), being able to review visual material critically (e.g. for the selection of images for your campaigns) and some technical skills to take advantage of in a highly digitalized world. I learned coding with codecademy.com some years ago, and now, for example, am able to build landing pages for promotions. Any other resources you can also acquire yourself, e.g. video editing, social media skills, with all the online courses out there.
Where can we learn more about your work or life as a PR pro?
Get in contact with me via LinkedIn, and meet me for a coffee whenever you’re in Berlin or Athens!
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