Inside PIABO: Fabian Zeitler about zeitgeist and the tech scene, PIABO’s rapid growth and high-quality standards

Fabian was born in Berlin and is a permanent member of the PIABO team since May 2014. As Senior Communications Director he is mainly responsible for B2B topics such as SaaS or Corporate Financing. His current clients include HR software company Personio, Silicon Valley Bank and influencer marketing platform ReachHero.

Fabian in our unique phone booth called Pluto. © Robert Lehmann

Taking the plunge into Tech-PR 

Before I joined PIABO, I had already gained experience with various agencies, service providers and companies. All of these stations had to do with the topic “digitalization” in one form or another, but in retrospect, I would say that the start with PIABO 2014 was a jump into the cold tech PR water.  Even back then, we, as an agency, had made it our mission to be ambassadors for technological innovations of all kinds. A goal that we still pursue today. For me as a PR consultant, this also means always having my finger on the pulse of the tech scene somehow – to observe how some hypes arise only to collapse again a short time later, while other topics have come to stay. This makes working at PIABO particularly exciting for me. 

Speaking of “cold water”: I started as a trainee a good six years ago.  Because we were a rather small team back in 2014, I had to take responsibility from the very beginning. This also meant that I took on my first international customer within two weeks. Applause, a US start-up that was still rather unknown at the time, had just started on the German market and needed support in making the brand and product portfolio better known to CEOs, CTOs and developers. In the meantime, the young company has become the world’s leading provider for remote-based, decentralized testing of software products and I am a little proud that we at PIABO still support the Framingham-based team today. 

The PIABO Tech experts at our PIABOAT Summer Party 2019  © Robert Lehmann

PIABO stands for high quality

But even though I have benefited a great deal in my further career from the fact that I was able to manage customer projects independently from the very beginning and have borne responsibility accordingly, in recent years, with growing team strength, we have tried once again to tailor our trainee program much more closely to the needs of the individual employee and structure it accordingly. Such quality standards are important because in over 14 years of PIABO not only PR has changed a lot, but so have we: the demands on our own work have grown steadily, and that is exactly why we want to pass on all our know-how in a targeted way. Each trainee is assigned a dedicated mentor who is both support and professional contact person. In addition, regular feedback meetings are held to discuss both personal and professional development opportunities. But one thing has remained the same over the years: At PIABO, independent work is still essential and you learn a lot in a concise time.

The duties of a Senior Communications Director

As Senior Communications Director, I now manage several accounts independently and provide strategic support to the respective teams. I am responsible for the independent support of the customers – from contract negotiations to onboarding to the strategic part of the operative business. At the same time, I have also been increasingly involved in the acquisition of new customers for some time now. Discussing positioning options with established companies and educating PR newcomers about the various facets of a communication strategy is just as much a part of this as honest expectation management at eye level.

Fabian with teammates Katharina (l.) & Henni (r.) during the PIABOAT Summer Party. © Robert Lehmann

The further upswing in a new feel-good atmosphere

After six years, I can personally say for myself: I have grown together with PIABO. While in 2014 we were more of a pure start-up agency, today large and well-known corporations as well as medium-sized companies trust us. In our Technology Unit, we can see this above all in the large number of Accelerators and Innovation Units of large companies such as Metro, Telekom and BMW, which we have been able to support over the years. 

Since moving to the Gendarmenmarkt about a year ago, we have continued to grow strongly. This new office probably best represents the positive development that PIABO as a whole has undergone: On the one hand, we have retained a certain start-up character with flat hierarchies, modern communication, flexible working hours and corresponding catering benefits, while on the other hand the premises have become much more spacious and representative. I see this as a valueable confirmation of our successful work in the past years.