The Two of Us – Gitta and Karen

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Meet Gitta Stein and Karen Hukportie!

Did you know that our new website will be launched by mid-February? A perfect time to talk with two of its masterminds – meet Gitta Stein and Karen Hukportie!

Digital Communication Project Managers Gitta (based in Hamburg, formerly iMS) and Karen (based in Paris, formerly RTL AdConnect) have been working together on this milestone project for about a year now and are very excited to share the outcome with you soon.

Gitta studied Business Geography, Journalism and Economics at the University of Hamburg and UBC in Vancouver, Canada. She worked with the German Volunteer Service in Benin, West-Africa and returned to Gruner+Jahr twice because she has always loved the people and the products.

Karen studied Media and Communications at Sorbonne University in Paris, France.

How do you explain your job to your family?

Gitta: We present media brands to our customers in the best possible way. As I’ve been doing this job for quite some years now, they are somewhat familiar with our website and brands. They’re impressed that most of the team I work with is based in Paris and we speak either French or English with each other.

Karen: I try to show them what I do if possible. For example, for the new website, I would show them the changes and explain how our team was involved.

When did you start working for your entity and what attracted you to the position in the first place? 

Gitta: I knew G+J from my previous apprenticeship. I came back and started working for the department “Marketing Service International” because I liked the international flair and the team. At the time, there were only three people in the department. As the department grew, and incorporated a sales team, I also took over the responsibility for the interns, which is still one of my favourite tasks. Today, the interns are the same age as my children.

Karen: I joined RTL AdConnect at the end of 2021, not long after I graduated. I’ve always been interested in the media industry and had great previous experiences, so it felt right for me to work here. I also really appreciate the international aspect. I don’t think there has ever been a day when I haven’t had to switch languages, and I like it!

What was your initial impression when you two first met?

Gitta: We first met in Madrid at our fancy evening venue. Karen looked really classy when we had our cocktails at the bar. At the same time, she was open and down to earth, which I liked very much!

Karen:  I first met Gitta at our Madrid seminar. She came to me first to introduce herself. She was very kind, and even spoke French with me. I was very impressed, she came prepared!

Tell us a bit more. What are you / have you been working on together? What works well, what is challenging?

Gitta: We both searched for the best agency in Berlin, Hamburg and Paris to create our new website. It was astonishing how much the agencies differed, also in terms of pricing. We are very happy with the agency we found – they also did the design for the Paris St. Germain website which is impressive. In the meantime, JB became our new team lead, and I think we are both very happy working with him.

Unfortunately, Karen and I have only met once in Hamburg and once in Paris so far which is not enough. Looking forward to meeting each other more often – would love to go singing and dancing again! Just saying “Thai-Oase” in Hamburg. 😉

Karen: We’ve been working together on the creation of RTL AdAlliance’s new website for over a year now. We worked hard on collecting and organising information about the needs of the company. We also reviewed what we did in the past to know what and how the website should be done differently in the future.

Some parts were more about being analytical and others about being creative.

I think the biggest challenge was time and space as always. Most of this project was done remotely as the comms team is based in different offices. And the web agency we worked with is also based elsewhere.

If you had one work-related wish granted, what would it be?

Gitta: A team event with all communication colleagues!

Karen: We talk to each other almost every day, but we don’t get to see each other that much. It would be great to have more gatherings with the team.

Your favourite RTL brand?

Gitta: I like movies based on a real story – like “Faking Hitler”. The documentary “Nawalny” was impressive, although it is a very sad topic.

Karen: Maybe it’s the French in me but I really like food content so the “Great Bake Off” on M6 is a must see for me, every year.

And what are you recommending to watch or listen to at the moment?

Gitta: I can recommend going to a Science Slam – comparable to Poetry Slams – but here young scientists present their latest findings in a fun way, the best one being selected based on the most applause.

Karen:  I’m really into ‘feel good’ TV shows and comedies so I always recommend The Office for people who want to have a good laugh.

Gitta: Oh, good point, Karen, I love The Office, too!

As we all work internationally – what’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited, and why was it so memorable?

Gitta: I love the great outdoors – like in Norway. If you choose to go camping it has great places to go and this way, it is even affordable. Good luck with the weather! 😉

Karen: I would say New York. As a born and raised Parisian it felt quite familiar but also very new and different. It definitely had an impact on me.

When offline and outside of your home, where would we most likely find you? Doing what?

Gitta: I potter around in my garden and enjoy the peace and sunshine among all the flowers.

Karen: We started a knitting/crocheting circle with some colleagues in the Paris Office so you can find me there on (most) Wednesday evenings. Don’t hesitate to join us, beginners or experts welcome!

Which duo should we interview next? Happy to hear from you via rtladalliance_internalcomms@rtl.com! 👋