Inside PIABO: Simone Krist on team success, corporate culture and the pioneering spirit

For our blog series called “our longest-serving employees” we spoke to Simone Krist, Unit Director B2C, about her role as a manager at PIABO. The result was a lively conversation about PIABO’s corporate culture and she provided plenty of insights into the teams and collaborative partnerships, and why it is so important to work on an equal footing with partners. Simone offers an exciting look at PIABO’s growth and talks about her experiences in the tech industry and her enthusiasm for the PIABO team.

A team with personality

I started my journey at PIABO five years ago, when a headhunter directed my attention to this innovative tech PR agency – and it immediately sparked my curiosity. The first meeting with CEO Tilo went so well and was so stimulating that I wanted to work with him right away. His energy and positive drive combined with PIABO’s fresh start-up thinking immediately excited me. 

In fact, at PIABO personality plays an important role. In my case, we jointly considered in advance how I could use my personal expertise to benefit PIABO. And from there, we created a roadmap for my own unit, which has led to a broad customer portfolio with a focus on end consumers.

Working on an equal footing with partners

I particularly like PIABO’s focus on tech companies from a wide range of industries – whether they be start-ups or established medium-sized companies. Our portfolio includes global players, such as yelp or Deliveroo, as well as young founders who want to enter the market with their fresh and innovative ideas. Then again, we also accompany traditional companies on their way to the digital transformation or support them in gaining more visibility in the tech and start-up scene, such as vitra. What unites us all in the tech industry is our progressive way of thinking and our approach to bring innovation to society. 

This shared vision inspires our cooperation on a daily basis. The best examples are our long-standing partnerships with Omio, the Berlin-based travel tech unicorn, or Withings, the French pioneer of the connected health movement. In addition to achieving a high level of quality, it is important to us to work on an equal footing with our partners. We approach things openly and give honest feedback. On both the client and agency side. Looking back at my previous agency experience, I can say that hardly anyone does this in this pure form.

Strong focus on professional expertise 

In the last five years PIABO, has grown enormously. And I am happy that I actively participated in this development. Together with my colleagues and Tilo, we have successfully restructured the agency by reorganizing and defining internal roles within PIABO. This has also created new opportunities for the development of individual employees, as we have bundled the expertise of the team and management in individual units and promoted individual talents. I can say that we have laid a good foundation to continue to grow with PIABO.

Pioneering spirit at the core of PIABO

In this way, we have been able to anchor PIABO’s “pioneering spirit” value as a central pillar of our corporate culture: PIABO always has its finger on the pulse of the times – we encounter innovations on a daily basis and thus help to shape our digital future in almost all areas of life, from e-commerce, lifestyle, health and e-mobility to finance and deep tech. Of course, this also means we need to constantly analyze which technologies are going to conquer the market and which trends people should follow. The specialized nature of the units provides for highly motivated teams who each bring their personal interests and areas of expertise to their unit. We are proud of our internal expertise, which has enabled us to significantly expand our network. We are part of the tech ecosystem, we know all the relevant players and we constantly grow with them.

Relying on a strong team

Thanks to our team, we have succeeded in claiming a leading position. We are a colourful team of diverse characters and personalities. And it is precisely this mixture that promotes the free exchange of ideas in an environment of trust and partnership. That is why we foster flat hierarchies and short ways of communication. Everyone is encouraged to express their ideas freely as equal members of the team. We want to grow together and work towards a common goal. Especially the coronavirus pandemic has recently shown that this particular vision is an important factor in team-building. During some very intensive periods of work, we were able to support each other from home just as much as we did when working in the office. Each unit, for example, established a little virtual check-in session every morning, which boosted our team spirit. So we were a little less alone and did a very good job together.

PIABOAT Summer party 2019

Ambassadors of innovation

I am very happy about my role at PIABO. For one thing, I can advance my personal expertise in the tourism and hotel industry, in the wellness and health sector, or in architecture, design and education. For another thing, I am constantly challenged to develop new areas of expertise. I have developed a passion for data-driven PR, which I passionately promote in our company. On the client-side, we have achieved outstanding success in our client’s B2C PR for testberichte. Another crucial topic is D2C brands, a new phenomenon in e-commerce. Just recently, we have established a strategic partnership with direct-brands.de

Whether data-driven communication or digital business models – as the leading digital agency in the field of communication, it is quite apparent that we stand out from other agencies with our special expertise. And so far we have succeeded very well.