Q&A With Mauro Battellini, Startup PR Dude at Black Unicorn PRby@maurobattellini

Q&A With Mauro Battellini, Startup PR Dude at Black Unicorn PR

by Mauro BattelliniApril 26th, 2023
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In conversation with Mauro Battellini, Startup PR Dude at Black Unicorn PR.
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1. What do you currently do and what’s your favorite part about it?

I am leading a PR agency focused on startups. My favorite part is that it deals with companies that are a totally different beast from most other companies. We often take PR from 0 to 1, or from 1 to 100 as the startups do the same business-wise. Working with startups also means having access to the brilliant minds of founders, people who put all their skin in the game and want to make a big impact in their industries and the world.

2. How did you get started with your Tech Career?

I was in a not-so techy corporate job when my future co-founder told me about the idea of starting an agency for startups. She was heading PR for a London startup, and was looking for someone with complementary skills. I had been working in sales and marketing. We combined her PR expertise and vision with my love for numbers, process, and management and that’s how it all got started in 2018.

3. If Utopia were a color what color do you think it’d be and why?

Utopia is always a trap. We need something to aim for, but taking it too seriously will lead to dystopia. Red has proven that. Brown has also been a living dystopia. Black and white are much closer than you think. Green is an easy choice, we all want a normal future in which our ecosystem doesn’t collapse. But by shutting down nuclear, Germany has opened the doors to coal. I don’t think we can focus on just one color.

4. If everything about HackerNoon changed drastically, what is one detail you’d like to keep exactly the same?  OR What’s your favorite thing to do with HackerNoon and why?

Community. You can feel HackerNoon’s community, something I can’t say about other writing ‘communities’. Also, its beautiful simplicity. There’s Reader, Writer. But also, the homepage lets you access tons of interesting content in one view. The focus is not on getting clicks, but giving value. In today’s world, how many ‘media outlets’ do that?

5. Tell us more about the things you write/make/manage/build!

Write: Most of my writing is about startup PR. It’s an easy one when it comes to sales. It doesn’t matter how good a product is if you can’t sell it. When it comes to PR, something similar happens, obviously to a smaller degree but still. A lot of founders never take the time to understand even the basics of PR. That means they waste money with the wrong approach or wrong agency, and later on hate the discipline. My co-founder, my team and myself are on a mission to educate startup folks at the early stage so they don’t have this handicap.

Manage: I manage the day to day, the ‘ops’ of the agency. We are remote-first, have people in places like Germany, Spain, UK, Lithuania, Ukraine and South Africa and use all the same tools startups use. Although we never could aim to have startup scalability we try to keep things as startupy as possible.

Build: I would definitely say expanding Black Unicorn PR is my main building site at the moment. But watch this space for more projects!

6. What’s your favorite thing about the internet?

Globalization has been a great equalizer. From Korea to Argentina, from Germany to Vietnam, any country can trade and specialize in what they want. But the world wasn’t truly equalized until the internet came about. It allows people to specialize also when it comes to non-manufacturing jobs, including programming, work remotely for foreign firms regardless of location, and learn lessons discovered halfway across the planet. You thought I was going to say cat videos!

7. It’s an apocalypse of ‘walking dead’ proportions and you can only own a singular piece of technology, what would it be?

This is like choosing your expertise at the start of an RPG video game. I usually go for stealthy, agile types, not the brute force. I think I would go for something granting some form of agility or stealth, like Spiderman’s spider web technology or Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. Of course, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have a handy weapon with me at all times.

8. What is your least favorite thing about the internet?

I was hoping this wouldn’t be asked. There are terrible things that happen on the internet. Some of them are too scary to think about. One thing I’m not a fan of lately is that it can lead to a kind of tribalism in which two sides fight each other over things they would never do in real life. In general, people can be very susceptible, and as we all know, bad actors can exploit this for political or economic purposes.

9. If you were given $10 million to invest in something today what would you invest in and why?

A lot of the biggest problems right now seem to revolve around energy. This is especially an issue in Europe. And not just clean energy. Americans already surprised at the prices of energy in Europe will be in for a treat now that the world seems to be de-globalizing and suppliers becoming less connected. In the short-term, we need to avoid more bloodshed in Ukraine, where it’s raining bombs on cities and civilians. So I’d go for cheques to military tech and energy startups.

10. What’s something you’re currently learning or excited to learn?

I’m on the non-techy side of tech. I’d love to understand the technology, programming, software side better. I’m not saying a programming language necessarily, but more an overview or the lay of the land. And then we’ll see!

11. Would you rather travel 10 years into the past or 10 years into the future? Give reasons for your answer.

If you travel into the past you can try to fix things or take better decisions, and you know what to expect. But you could create terrible butterfly effects. If you travel into the future you will probably see new technologies and be able to access new opportunities… if the world hasn’t burned down. I think we should do both, but in our minds, and use that to guide the present.