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Portrait Pamina Hofstädter

eLearning Academy  ·  June 27 2022

Portrait: Lecturer and Content Marketing Specialist Pamina Hofstädter

Young, innovative with a strong passion for language and communication: Pamina Hofstädter, module instructor of the eLearning Academy for Communication and Content Marketing Specialist at A1 Telekom Austria AG, tells us more about herself, her career and her tasks in the module “Practical Areas of Marketing Communication” in this interview. She also tells us more about the module’s teaching content and objectives, talks about her tasks in the PR Ethics Council, and how students at the eLearning Academy benefit from this special know-how.

The field of marketing communications can be found in almost your entire professional career. Tell us a bit about it, how did you become passionate about it and what you wanted to do as a marketing manager?

Actually, after graduating from high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. However, I have always been good at writing for a wide variety of topics and found languages and communication fascinating. That’s how I ended up studying “Transcultural Communication”, where “Interpreting and Translating” are taught, and I decided to study German, English and French. The bachelor’s degree was very theory-heavy. You translate rather less, but write much more within the language. For example, I had to convert a French letter of complaint into a German interview. You probe and sort source information and transport it to a different audience with a different goal. So not much difference to what you do in marketing communications, just mostly without the language change.

For my master’s degree, I wanted something more practical, and so I came across the FH Burgenland and the master’s degree in “Information Media Communication” (now: “Digital Media and Communication”). In the meantime, I had already done an internship at Orange and then at Drei and A1 in internal communications.  I enjoyed that so much that I found my way step by step.

I then continued my professional career in a start-up in the field of content marketing. From app texts to blog posts to print media, advertising, but also less advertising – that was the beginning, through which I then came to KURIER Digital. I accompany content campaigns from the idea generation to the report and write, for example, many advertorials. Now I’m back at A1 Telekom and working as a specialist in content marketing.

How important is education and training for you in the field of marketing communications?

Particularly important, because new media, platforms and trends are added every year. User behavior is changing. We’re now at over 80 percent mobile traffic to websites in some cases, which was very different 5 to 10 years ago. This change is so fast that it’s very helpful to continue learning along the way, to have different practical examples with new and different perspectives available, or to learn something from neighboring disciplines.

And where did the interest in teaching in this area come from?

That also found me (laughs). Silvia Ettl-Huber found me. At the time, she and Michael Roither were my course directors at the FH Burgenland and approached me to ask if I would be interested in working as a module instructor at the eLearning Academy. Passing on my knowledge was very convenient for me, as I had already enjoyed tutoring as a student. I like topics that I know well or think I know well (laughs), and I also like to pass on my motivation and enthusiasm for them.

Pamina Hofstädter im Urlaub

What is your task at the eLearning Academy?

I took over the module for which I am responsible. My predecessors wrote and designed it and I was allowed to build on the finished module. The module is called “Practical Areas of Marketing Communication” and can be found in the master’s program “Crossmedia Marketing Communication“. My job is to keep the module up to date. I regularly check that:

  • it includes the latest and most current studies,
  • new trends are integrated or
  • current examples from practice are integrated.

What can students expect in the module “Practical Areas of Marketing Communication? What course content and competencies do they acquire here?

The module basically provides an overview of the professional fields of marketing communication as well as the ethical foundations of the profession. Specifically, the professional fields of marketing communication are described from corporate communication, NPO communication, B2B communication to the work of communication agencies and their supplier organizations. The module also provides an overview of the communications market in the DACH region.

The aim is to be able to differentiate between the individual professional fields and their challenges, as well as to obtain a communication-ethical assessment of one’s own actions. The examination consists of a check-up – 80 percent of which must be answered correctly – as well as a module paper, the assessment of which results in the grade for the module.

The module paper is really meaningful for the students. It may sound banal, but these are tasks that are just as expected in the working world. Of course, you always specialize in one part of it, but you get a good insight into the whole working life. For example:

  • How do I develop the objectives of a campaign?
  • Which processes do I have to initiate?
  • Which agencies I choose?
  • Why do I do it at all and what should be the result?

This entire process is consolidated in the students’ minds with the help of the module work and taught in a practical manner.

What should interested parties and students bring with them for the study program or module?

You should be interested in and fascinated by the professional field, because that makes it easy to read up on it and do your own research or contribute your own ideas. That’s the beauty of this work, when the students then really design great and innovative measures that you can then actually implement 1:1 in the working world.

So practical relevance is a major advantage of the program?

Absolutely. For example: Students research existing agencies. That’s something you take with you into your working life. That’s also the beauty of the eLearning Academy and part-time study, that the training and the job cross-fertilize each other. Of course, full-time studies are also justified, but I find it very nice that you can gain insights, knowledge and experience from your job while studying and at the same time get so much knowledge and new input from your studies for your work tasks. This interweaving is an absolute advantage of this master’s program.

You are also a council member of the PR Ethics Council. Can you tell us more about that? What is the PR Ethics Council and what is your job?

It’s a very exciting role for me. I have been part of it since 2018. The Austrian PR Ethics Council is a self-regulatory body for the industry. It monitors compliance with ethical principles of public relations, investigates disputes, points out misconduct and grievances. On the one hand, citizens can call in at any time if they believe they have noticed missteps in PR work. These are examined by the members – currently 12 members, all of whom come from the corporate and agency side – and, if necessary, warnings or, in the case of repeated missteps or serious violations, public reprimands are issued. On the other hand, the PR Ethics Council offers a support function for communicators. We want to support PR and marketing professionals in doing their work ethically, namely in a way that protects the interests of the industry, but also those of consumers.

Last year, we dedicated ourselves to key topics in working groups, such as “influencer marketing” and “content marketing.” With the involvement of focus groups of industry experts, we developed a content marketing code that scientifically discusses content marketing and native advertising as well as their risks. Furthermore, we have formulated five basic ethical principles and developed 10 very practical guidelines for fair content marketing. These should be a support for PR professionals and benefit media users. We have also published an influencer guide that includes a self-test to find out whether you are an influencer at all and which posts you need to label as advertising – and how to do it properly. Many well-known influencers already label their posts very accurately. But many people are in the public eye, are top athletes or on the cusp of becoming one, and ask themselves the question: am I even an influencer? We worked out questions in the team to find out.

And to what extent does your know-how from this field flow into the module?

These two codes, among others, are part of the module, were added directly after publication, and are already being used in some of the students’ module assignments.

In your opinion, what makes a good lecturer/module leader?

Of course, professional knowledge and you have to master the scientific craft. But you should also be “at home” in what you teach. You should always find new, good and also bad examples and pass this on to the students with enthusiasm.

Pamina Hofstätter im Handstand vor einem Brunnen

What do you do when you’re not teaching or working?

I like to do ballet. I started doing that when I was a little girl and never stopped. It’s a great sport for me to balance out. I also like to do yoga or Pilates, be outside, go hiking or swimming in the summer. I’m also interested in culture, I like to watch ballet performances or go to art house cinemas. Vienna has a lot to offer here – and I live in Vienna – which makes it very convenient. Oh yes, and I love to travel.

What other advice would you like to give to interested people and students?

You should let yourself be guided by your interests or by what you like to do and do well. That’s at least what I always do and what has worked well for me. Take advantage of “the luck of the busy person”.

Linie

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