14 Mar 2023

Bridging cultures by exchange

Julia Wiezorek, Senior Account Manager at German agency ad publica, shares her PR insights, and discusses the similarities and differences between Australian and German media. 

Julia Wiezorek

Julia Wiezorek, Senior Account Manager at ECCO Hamburg|ad publica

IMPACT is the Australian arm of global PR and communications network, ECCO, which brings together over 30 independently owned and award-winning agencies to support multinational brands, nonprofits and government agencies in more than 40 countries.

One of the perks of being a part of this network is being able to meet with colleagues from other countries to gain insight into their strategies, tactics and learnings.

This week, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting Julia, Senior Account Manager from our German sister agency, ad publica, in the IMPACT office.

Between meeting shared clients, picking her brain and joining our weekly pilates class, we sat down with Julia to learn more about her PR experience, German marcomms challenges, and what she’s loved most about her trip.

Tell us about you a bit about yourself
I’ve been living in Hamburg, Germany for seven years now – I came for work and stayed for… work, but also for how beautiful the city is. You have everything at your doorstep, including the harbour, great gigs and a brilliant coffee scene, yet it’s also full of nature and close to the sea, which I love.

I started my traineeship in a small PR agency seven years ago and joined ad publica two years later. I’ve always particularly enjoyed product PR, having worked for food, beverage, and beauty brands, as well as a femtech company.

From classic PR and media relations to influencer management and social media  – with a couple of big events and press trips in between – there has never been a dull moment!

Tell us about ad publica, and your role at the agency
ad publica is one of the leading communications agencies in Germany. We are owner-managed, based in Hamburg and part of the ECCO global agency network. We coordinate public relations and online marketing into overall brand campaigns.

I’ve been part of ad publica since 2018 and am now a Senior Account Manager in the lifestyle and beverage team, responsible for some of our beverage clients and our Australian femtech client, Modibodi.

I feel very lucky to work within a team of smart, creative, funny and passionate colleagues. I am responsible for training our younger team members, but I love that we are all learning from each other every day.

What made you want to work in PR?
To be honest, I kind of stumbled into the industry, but have never looked back. Having graduated from university, I was working as a barista at a coffee shop, as well as writing articles for their blog, and I had a huge passion for all things social media.

My blog articles were what landed me my traineeship – my first boss gave me the job after seeing my portfolio, and the rest is history.

What do you like most about your job?
It may sound a bit cliché, but it often doesn’t feel like work because I find the topics, stories and messages we are working with genuinely interesting

With the more purpose-driven brands we work for, I feel like we are able to make the world a little better by bringing important messages to the public and starting necessary conversations. Also I just love my team, they make work so fun and enriching – which goes for both ad publica and IMPACT 😊.

What trends and challenges are you seeing in PR and communications in Germany?
Communication has shifted a lot since I started in the industry, but in particular since the pandemic, and the war against Ukraine. Print is declining significantly whereas the digital world seems to be ever expanding.

At the end of February, one of Germany’s biggest publishing houses, Gruner + Jahr, announced they’re likely to suspend 23 of their prestigious magazines — a loss of unprecedented scale. This means we need to find new and different ways to reach target audiences, such as app integrations, podcasts, TikTok, affiliate programmes, murals, and so on when trying to reach a client’s target audience.

But after all those years of online meetings, tastings and product launches, we also perceive a longing for immersive in-person events and experiences again.

Content-wise, diversity, feminism and sustainability are some of the biggest buzzwords right now.  The climate crisis, as well as the ongoing war against Ukraine (among other catastrophes) have seen consumers demanding more than just good products from brands — they want purpose and authenticity.

Have you noticed any differences between the German and Australian media landscapes?
Yes, indeed! Although there are lots of similarities, the German media landscape is much more long-lead driven than Australia seems to be. At home, we often have to pitch a topic months, sometimes seasons, in advance, while the turnaround here appears much faster.

Also, our relationships with most journalists are more formal and we don’t tend to get personal with our pitches, whereas in Australia it seems common to address them more directly.

What have you enjoyed most about your trip to Australia?
Where to begin?! The most obvious things have to be the weather and the beaches — it’s such a contrast to what we’re used to in Germany. I do love a bit of heat, so I cheekily got an extra summer this year.

The friendliness of everyone I have met has made the whole experience incredibly lovely. I was so warmly welcomed at the IMPACT office, and have been made to feel like part of the team from day one.

I really wish I could have stayed much longer to explore more of this beautiful country!


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