July 13, 2020

40 years of service: A PR veteran retires

At the end of June, the time had come: We bid farewell to our esteemed “Mr. Placement”, Stefan Skrzipietz, in retirement. “A great journey”: With these words, Skrzipietz described his 40 agency years at the farewell party on our roof terrace.

Stefan Skrzipietz had been working for the Ruess Group as a text and photo editor since 1980. Nineteen hundred and eighty – that was a long, long time ago. If you want to go back in time just for a moment: In 1980, Rubik’s Magic Cube started its triumphal procession through children’s rooms around the globe and the “Back in Black” album by AC/DC with the “Hells Bells” hit was released. It wasn’t until ten years later that the decision was made to make our now omnipresent Internet usable for commercial purposes.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Stefan Skrzipietz, who incidentally had many a music legend in front of his camera lens, decided that writing would be less the focus of his work, but rather the “relations” in Public Relations. He dedicates himself with body and soul to maintaining contact with journalists and made placement the focus of his work. And with success, for himself, the agency and our clients! From the trade journal to the FAZ, he got them all – yes, all of them!

Over the decades, our “Mr. Placement” reached some 50,000 publications worldwide – classically printed and, in recent years, increasingly on the publishers’ digital platforms. He successfully pushed the awareness of about 600 companies and brands. Such as that of our client Gerhard Schubert GmbH. The packaging machine manufacturer from Crailsheim, with 42 years of agency affiliation, has been part of our history even a little longer than Stefan Skrzipietz.

With passion and loyalty for the PR agency and its clients

“You have to win over your counterpart. For yourself and for your message. You can’t control them.” This was the motto behind Stefan Skrzipietz’s work. “The job of a PR man isn’t something you just do. You ‘live’ the job,” of this he is quite certain. When asked if the more “personal” dimension, the keeping in touch with journalists, has changed over the years, he answers: “For those who do their job with passion and dedication, the interest in exchange and personal contact never wanes.”

The interpersonal aspect, the personal exchange between publisher, PR agency

and client is certainly one of the aspects that distinguishes press work from other marketing disciplines. And Stefan Skrzipietz exemplified this way of working and, together with the content team, built up a network over the years that will continue to pay off for the Ruess Group for a long time to come.

200710 Stefan

Press work is changing

In the past, the personal notebook, the annual journalist contact book, which is several hundred pages thick, and a telephone were sufficient for successful placement. Today, public relations is supported by digital research tools for contacts and topics, and the editor communicates with his stakeholders via newsroom and Twitter. The number of communication channels is constantly growing and new text formats are needed. At the same time, the classic fields of public relations and advertising are changing, merging with the digital unit to form the large playing field of content marketing. Nevertheless, public relations work continues to “humanise” and PR maintains its long-term mission to achieve awareness and visibility for companies and brands.

Within the editorial structure of an agency, editors such as Stefan Skrzipietz, who are dedicated to media relations, are also important as the interface between client, editorial staff and media department. They know the top media and know which stories the editors want. For Stefan Skrzipietz, everyday agency life always brought a lot of variety. He loved the diversity of topics with his different clients and industries. He stood out with his interest in people and an unconditional will to get every topic into all media.

Dear Stefan,

from the bottom of our hearts, we wish you a beautiful and exciting retirement with your family! We thank you for your loyalty, your commitment, your support and your honesty over the years. When asked what drove you for 40 years, every day, you answered: “The right mindset and confidence in your own person are what can positively influence the day. Think positive.” There isn’t much we can add to that – so keep positive, stay healthy and active, and make sure to visit us from time to time! Your team.

200710 Stefan7