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Marketer Interview: Power of PR & Communications

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Bianca Dorobanțu, founder & CEO at Tale21, was interviewed by Steve Dinelli from Marketer Interview, the leading blog for insightful discussions with top marketers worldwide, about startups, technology, and storytelling. 

Can you share how you transitioned from journalism to PR and communications with us? What attracted you to this field?

The move into PR & communications is common for a journalist, so it was a natural transition for me. Once you understand what makes a good news story and how the media works, embracing a PR career is not difficult. I wouldn’t have been a good PR professional if I hadn’t been a journalist.

Back in May 2020, I thought it might be the right time to start the freelancing journey, which has taught me the most powerful lessons, both professionally and personally.

Although PR is a challenging industry, especially when you are self-employed, I enjoy the variety and excitement of my work. Teaming up with many companies on challenging projects keeps me learning and growing, allowing me to put ideas into practice.

I have always been a storyteller and curious, so 3 years ago, I took a new turn in my career. As a PR professional, I still tell stories from a different perspective. Telling the correct narratives can inspire other ambitious people to change our world.

With your experience at renowned business media outlets, what key lessons did you learn about effective storytelling for brands?

Brands use storytelling to create a unique identity, connect with their target audience and differentiate themselves from the competition.

One of the lessons learned about storytelling is that authenticity is essential to building trust with audiences. If you are a business owner, be transparent and honest in your storytelling. Avoid exaggerated claims or misleading information, as consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and can quickly spot inauthenticity.

Journalists want to know the ‘why’ behind the business, what problem it can solve, and what makes it unique. They are also interested in the founder’s unique vision on a particular issue and the struggles and insights into the journey. Facts and figures are also essential.

As a PR and communications consultant, what unique challenges do startups and tech companies face in building brand awareness and reputation?

Challenge #1 is limited resources

Startups often have limited financial and human resources compared to established companies. Building brand awareness and reputation requires some investment, which can stretch the resources of a young company. But it also means that teams can find innovative approaches and ideas to achieve their goals.

Challenge #2 is facing incumbent competition

The tech industry is saturated with established players with strong brand recognition and customer loyalty. Competing against these well-known companies can be difficult for startups trying to carve out their niche.

Challenge #3 is information overload

Now, consumers are bombarded with information from multiple sources. Cutting through the noise and getting your message heard can be a challenge. Overcoming these challenges requires a well-thought-out brand strategy, innovative marketing approaches, and a commitment to delivering on promises.

How do you craft a compelling brand narrative for a startup or tech company? Are there any specific strategies or techniques you find particularly compelling?

First, I ask many questions and do a lot of research to understand what the company does (in the start-up world, this can be a real challenge) and how the competition communicates. Then, I use a guideline with some specific techniques that include:

  • Defining the brand identity: start by clearly defining your brand identity, including your mission, vision, values, and unique selling proposition (USP). Understand what makes your company different from the competition and what value you bring your customers.
  • Knowing the audience: understand your target audience’s needs, pain points, and aspirations. Tailor your brand narrative to resonate with their interests and create an emotional connection.
  • Creating a memorable story: tell how your company was born, the challenges you faced, and the passion that drives your team.
  • Focusing on communicating how the company solves a specific problem: highlight the problems your product or service addresses and show how your innovation can positively impact people’s lives or businesses.
  • Using customer success stories: show real-life examples of how your product or service has benefited your customers, such as success stories, testimonials, and case studies.
  • Avoiding technical jargon that can alienate non-expert audiences: craft your brand narrative using simple and accessible language that everyone can understand. Focus on establishing a clear and coherent message that aligns with your brand values and positioning.
  • Being authentic and transparent: As mentioned above, authenticity is critical to establishing trust with your audience. Be genuine and transparent.