Pictured: Tim Bravo, director of communications at Lamborghini
On November 1, the School of Architecture and Design hosted the lecture “Talk the Walk: The Power of Communications” on the New York City campus. Guest speaker Tim Bravo, director of communications at Lamborghini, spoke about the power of public relations and communications for corporations and individuals.
“Brands need to stand out,” he said. Brands can be made, or they can be broken by the lack of a solid communications strategy. Controlling the story and setting the right agenda has become even more important in times of social media. Using the grocery store as an example, Bravo explained when looking at all the brands offered in a market, it may be difficult to find one that stands out. He also explained the importance of relevant designs and logo branding recall (how likely people will remember your brand). “Being edgy (with your brand) is not a problem if you’re coherent in what you do,” he said.
In addition to talking about how a company can use public relations and communications to its advantage, Bravo spoke about self-branding and ways to set oneself apart. To achieve that, people need to be their own public relations managers. It’s no longer enough to be a good professional—we need to make people aware of this. He compared examples of social media to traditional public relations methods. He said both are great ways to brand yourself, mentioning Marc Lichte, head of design at Audi, as an example of someone who successfully uses traditional public relations tactics and social media platforms, including YouTube or LinkedIn, to promote his work.
Bravo offered the following guidelines when building a personal brand:
- Know your purpose: Communications is storytelling
- Find a sweet spot: What is your superpower? Why is this unique to your project or you as a person?
- Make a plan
- Start rapid prototyping: Find what works for your brand through concepts and techniques.
- Focus on your audience
- Don’t bore them. Always be engaging.
- Engage with stories
Bravo ended the presentation by telling the audience, “You have to remember to talk the walk. Don’t just walk that mile; it’s not enough” He also reminded students that it’s not enough to do something great. The fundamental part of working in communications and public relations is doing a good job, but you have to set yourself apart and not sell yourself short.
The lecture was followed by a Q&A session. Students asked Bravo questions related to résumés, portfolios, and social media presence.
When asked about the best way to present a portfolio, Bravo said, “It goes case by case, but in the end it’s important to believe you did a good job and think about how you want to perceive yourself…If you want to come off as creative, think of how you can present a portfolio in a unique way, such as using the media.”
Another student asked about students’ social media presence. Bravo explained that social media will always be relevant, but different channels may be less or more relevant. He said it’s important to present yourself in a way you want to be perceived, even on social media.
After the Q&A session, Bravo reminded New York Tech students that the power of public relations and communications is strong. “During our time of social media growth, it’s important to control your own brand and create the story you want to tell in your industry,” he said.