Has it ever occurred to you how the world’s most renowned brands became so? How were they discovered by people in the first place, before even becoming their favourite brands? It is most certainly the quality and authenticity of their products and services, but the question remains, how did people know about these USPs?
PR and Marketing is the evident answer and has an inherent power that cannot be disregarded. And this edition by Insights Success, The 10 Most Disruptive PR and Marketing Agencies 2021, place the spotlight on organizations that have built unwavering expertise around the niche.
In our endeavour towards seeking such innovative companies, we crossed paths with Faktenkontor GmbH, is a seasoned PR consultancy group exhibiting its proficiency in catering to likes of corporate communications, topic leadership and reputation management.
In the following interview, Dr Roland Heintze, the Managing Partner at FaktenKontor shares with us in detail about the company’s journey in the PR and Marketing space and his opinions about the market that the company caters to.
“We power fact-based communications strategies for our clients and support them in reaching and maintaining sustainable reputation goals.”
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Please brief our audience about Faktenkontor, its USPs, and how the company is currently positioned as a leading player in the PR and Marketing space.
Faktenkontor is a PR consultancy group with more than 18 years of experience in corporate communications, topic leadership and reputation management. We rely on the power of facts, because if you have nothing to say, you won’t be heard – neither by journalists and multipliers nor by your own customers.
We power fact-based communications strategies for our clients and support them in reaching and maintaining sustainable reputation goals. Our teams of specialized experts support companies in financial services, healthcare, consulting, and technology.
Faktenkontor takes a holistic approach, always taking into account traditional and digital media as well as personal relationships. Our track record in crisis communications stands out exceptionally. We employ AI-supported methodology for our individually tailored analyses. And in addition to our core consultancy services, we are a campaigning powerhouse for strategic digital communications and content creation.
In short, Faktenkontor distinguishes itself from other players in the German PR sector through our strictly fact-driven approach to tailoring holistic communication strategies. Our mission: Excellence create values.
What other services does your company offer, and how are these making an impact on the industry and your clients?
Faktenkontor is one of the fastest growing agency groups in Germany. Part of our Group is Munich-based Akima – specialized in tech communications. Deep digital are our experts for digital strategy and execution. The IMWF Institute provides artificial intelligence analysis and evaluation of large data sets.
We can thus offer our customers all the services they need. From the analysis of the target group and the topics that are important for the company, to the creation of communications strategies and campaigns. Kompaktmedia specializes in political communication and social marketing. The aim is to win new contracts in the public sector and expand existing ones.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on what impact have the adoption of modern technologies such as AI, big data and machine learning had on the PR and Marketing niches and what more could be expected in the future?
Faktenkontor is a pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data analysis in the German-speaking area of PR with the founding of the Institute for Management and Economic Research (IMWF).
The introduction of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and Big Data contribute to the possibility of individual target group analysis and precise reputation measurement. This allows PR measures to have more impact, as the corporate environment, public opinion, target group and trends can be precisely defined. It is thus possible to carry out personalised PR measures.
Content and topics can be identified that are dangerous or useful for corporate communication. This information is generated from millions of internet articles or posts. Another example of the impact and importance of artificial intelligence is social listening. Based on an AI-powered radar, it measures in real time how the reputation of individuals and companies behave.
Faktenkontor is increasing its investments in artificial intelligence. Thus, the tools for AI research, which also include market, media resonance, and communication environment analyses, are being further developed in a targeted manner. They form the basis of the agency group’s consulting business, especially in reputation management and crisis defence AI helps to ensure that a campaign is successful and will become prevalent in PR in the future.
So, in the next few years, the work in PR will change significantly with it. PR will merge with disciplines such as marketing, research, advertising, etc. into a single data-driven corporate function controlled by algorithms.
Taking into consideration the current pandemic, what initial challenges did you face and how did you drive your company to sustain operations while ensuring safety of your employees at the same time?
For Faktenkontor, the pandemic brought about some changes. We had to develop a hygiene concept for around 140 employees. We made it possible for many employees to work from home office. This way we reduced the number of people in the office and could continue to be a reliable contact for our clients.
Initial small challenges were also quickly solved. The coordination of employees on projects was carried out via Microsoft Teams. Likewise, the close exchange with our clients via communication software, as travel and personal appointments were no longer necessary. Due to the flexible and quick adaptation to the pandemic, it was possible to ensure close, trusting contact with our clients. All employees were guaranteed health and professional safety.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the PR and Marketing space?
One thing has become clear time and again: the PR industry will also change significantly in the next few years. There are several reasons for this, such as advancing digitalisation, the greater importance of artificial intelligence and big data, and the development of companies and society.
That’s why it’s hard to advise budding entrepreneurs. At Faktenkontor, we have built up a good image in the German-speaking world through reliable and excellent work. By expanding our capabilities in certain areas, e.g., with the acquisition of TIQ Solutions 2020, we have positioned ourselves very professionally ready.
Nowadays, a broad professional base is of enormous importance in the PR industry. Competition is tough and only those who can back up their recommendations with numbers are successful.
How do you envision scaling Faktenkontor’s operations and offerings in 2021?
The development of the last few years shows a clear trend at Faktenkontor: we are growing!
We have been able to increase our turnover from year to year, Faktenkontor now employs over 100 people in Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, and Berlin. Just in 2020, the Berlin agency Kompaktmedia joined the Faktenkontor Group.
Even despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to defend and expand our position in the PR industry in 2021. We want to continue to design successful, goal-oriented, and fact-based PR for our clients. We are very confident that we will achieve our goals in 2021 and be able to develop further in areas such as artificial intelligence or political communication.
About the leaders
Dr Roland Heintze is a political scientist and managing partner of Faktenkontor GmbH. He completed his studies in political science and history at the University of Hamburg. After a sound journalistic education, he worked as a freelance journalist, among others for leading Die Welt, Welt am Sonntag and Financial Times Deutschland.
From 2000 to 2003, he worked as press spokesman for Mummert Consulting AG. In 2003, Dr. Roland Heintze founded what is now Faktenkontor together with Jörg Forthmann. In 2013, he completed his doctorate at the Humboldt University in Berlin on the topic of e-campaigning and the role of the internet in party election campaigning in Germany. From 2015 to 2020, he was chairman of the Christian Democratic Union in Hamburg, from 2004-2015 he was member of the state parliament of Hamburg.
Dr Roland Heintze is responsible for sales and the consulting business of the Faktenkontor Group. Together with his team, he develops communication concepts and realizes the concepts in successful campaigns.
Jörg Forthmann is a graduate industrial engineer and managing partner of Faktenkontor GmbH. He received his journalistic training at Axel Springer Verlag. After that he worked as a freelance journalist for the Hamburger Abendblatt and as a PR consultant in Hamburg, among others. He then worked in the press and public relations department of Nestlé Deutschland AG.
During this time, he managed communication crises as a result of plant closures, food extortion and genetic engineering disputes with NGOs. Since then, Forthmann has actively accompanied more than 100 crises communication. His field of work included corporate, brand and crisis communication. From 1999 to 2002 he was head of corporate communications at Mummert Consulting AG.
In 2003, Jörg founded Mummert Communications, now Faktenkontor, together with Dr Roland Heintze. Jörg is responsible for the analysis and acquisition of new customers and sales markets.
Jörg Forthmann is responsible for analysis, artificial intelligence, and the business development of the group. Together with his team drive our digital innovation and opens up new sales markets. As author and editor of articles on crisis communication, he also leads seminars on press relations and crisis communication.