Emek Tuzun of Faselis Growth is helping companies reach their ideal audience without the need for a dedicated PR agency
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Emek Tuzun: Starting from the first day, we’ve isolated ourselves and strictly followed the rules and guidelines. Thankfully, so far, we have no history of Covid-19 in my family. But like everyone, we are looking forward to being back to normal!
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Faselis.
Emek Tuzun: I have a BS in mathematics and MS in computer engineering. But I always have a high passion for marketing and business, so in the first years of my career, I did some business development, worked in the PR and marketing departments of Temsa, Mitsubishi Motors… More than 10 years ago, I joined Faselis as one of the first employees. Naturally, I worked in Business Development, IT, and Marketing in Faselis and was promoted to the CTO position. We don’t believe in titles but more like the functions in the company. So, currently, I lead the technical team as an executive manager, but I am also strongly involved in business development, growth planning, and marketing.
How does Faselis innovate?
Emek Tuzun: Basically, we solve the problem of reaching reporters, journalists, and media outlets for PR agencies and corporations. To do so, on the technical side, we use the latest technology and consultancy provided by AWS, and we involve AI, serverless technologies for limitless scalability, and more. On the social side of product development, our support team and sales teams closely work with our clients to improve our products’ efficiency and usability. Some of our clients are with us for more than 10 years and I believe trying to solve their problems is the biggest guide that helps us.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Emek Tuzun: The USA is the biggest market in the PR industry and very important for us. We were working on the growth of our USA operations. But businesses quickly closed their offices and slowed down their operations here because of the pandemic. As a very adaptive company, we changed and adapted our business plan. Our CEO moved back to Europe to manage our operations in the Netherlands, Turkey, and South Africa regions. I am now the responsible person to manage all operations in the USA… We’ve already moved our office to the center of the business, financial district in San Francisco. We are ready for growth here again, and I am looking forward to the reopening of the economy in the USA. When everyone is back in their businesses fully, there will be a rush of press releases and PR.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Emek Tuzun: We did. We are operating in 4 countries, the USA, the Netherlands, Turkey, and South Africa. Different locations have been affected differently… Our San Francisco, USA office was the first to go under Stay-At-Home order and affected most as our operations mostly depended on reaching media outlets at their offices by landline. In addition to this, people moved out of San Francisco at a very fast pace. Turkey has never been under a total lockdown, so our team of 25 was intact in this period. And I’ve observed some improvements in the Netherlands and South Africa. We’ve quickly updated our plans, and now we are ready to return to normal days and implement a much more hybrid model in our offices.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Faselis in the future?
Emek Tuzun: We’ve moved to a garden house in the suburbs from a small city apartment, which helped me a lot. These days in my spare time, I am improving myself in rollerblading like a teenager.
With the reopening of offices, my workload will be extremely high as I will manage all re-hiring, marketing, sales, and IT operations for the USA market. I really miss working in the office with my coworkers, so this expected load is exciting for me, actually.
I think globally, businesses will ramp up in the second half of 2021 with increased vaccination rates and reopening.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Emek Tuzun: Our main competitors are very big companies like PR Newswire, Gorkana, etc., with higher prices and some complexities. We are trying to provide a do-it-yourself PR platform, easier and accessible to small and medium companies, startups, and smaller PR agencies. In addition, we are now developing some new services to solve other problems in the industry that we observed for years. We mostly used this pandemic year for the production of new solutions and the improvement of the current ones.
Your final thoughts?
Emek Tuzun: Everyone had some hard times, especially the small businesses. But we are very hopeful with the vaccination rate and getting back to the “normal.” We already see some progress, businesses are starting to create, produce, switch, adapt and run again. My expectation is that the last quarter of 2021 will be a milestone for the new beginnings, and 2022 will be the year of growth.
I suggest everyone starts their PR efforts as soon as possible because reopening will be fast, and there will be a harder competition. By nature, PR is not a 1-day task, so starting now will benefit the most.