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Wordsmith and stage lion – a rare combination. Having been in on the action at the forefront of the industry for almost 20 years, Bettina Gebhardt has seen all the relevant trends come and go. From 2010 to 2015, she was managing director at the international agency Grayling Schweiz AG (formerly Trimedia International). In addition to managing the location and advising national accounts, she was also responsible for winning and strategically developing international clients. Before that, she earned her spurs at leading agencies: Ahrens and Behrendt (today: A&B One), Hering Schuppener, Kothes Klewes (later: PLEON, today: Ketchum). It was during this time that she developed an absolute feel for all things “consumer”. Now she is setting the standard in all facets of brand communication. The university-trained art historian learned from scratch how to implement themes by storytelling. Having graduated from the rigorous school of the humanities, she effortlessly summarizes in key points the most complex topics of corporate communications. In media and crisis training seminars and strategy workshops, she finds herself in her element. When it comes to media work, she is a force to be reckoned with on the phone. Her common sense and an approach that is just down-to-earth enough enable her to bring these strengths to the table. In addition, she has a great deal of expertise in the Swiss and German markets in the areas of industry, food/beverage, tourism, bodycare and lifestyle. Bettina is a confident advisor at the management level and a sought-after sparring partner for clients. Her team appreciates what it is to be challenged by her. She maintains her mental and physical fitness by trail running in the German and Swiss mountains. To ensure she finds the right places when traveling, she keeps the Guide Michelin in her glove compartment. And there’s always a good book in her bag.
Whether it’s a longstanding association or start-up, an organic food supplier or traditional industrial firm, every organisation needs a customised communications strategy and advice that is tailored to their needs. No one knows this better than Dominik, who has spent the last 20 years working with companies like BASF and Reckitt Benckiser, small industry associations, international organisations and a host of small and medium-sized businesses from an impressive cross-section of industries. He is particularly passionate about corporate communications and is a fount of knowledge for our clients when it comes to target group analysis, issue management, storytelling and website design.
Quite simply, Dominik and Kontx were made for each other. A huge advocate of evidence-based concepts and strategies, he was immediately drawn to Kontx’s context-driven approach. Advertising, branding and PR messages derived from a detailed analysis of the target audience’s environment lie at the very heart of the Kontx philosophy. From early on, Dominik’s experiences – as an industrial clerk for Dr. Oetker and paramedic, on a backpacking tour of India and as a karate teacher at a local sports club – showed him just how diverse different people’s environmental influences can be and how these factors affect the way your audience behaves. His degree in History, Economics and Literature gave him a fantastic opportunity to pursue these ideas further, exploring them in more depth and placing them in a wider context.
In his free time, Dominik practices martial arts. He also likes to relax with a good book and has even written his own book on 19th century travel and adventure literature. The father of modern karate, Gichin Funakoshi, once famously said: “To search for the old is to understand the new.” In other words, if you want to discover something new, you first need to gain experience, learn lessons and, above all, listen. For Dominik, listening to his clients always comes first – because that’s what gives you your context.
Elisa has turned her passion for communication into her career. Her first experiences in the communications sector (from both agency and client sides) came while studying for her BA in Media and Communication at the University of Passau in her native Germany. After her degree, she went on to complete a traineeship at a PR agency in Munich, which gave her a wide range of experience in the areas of corporate communications as well as consumer and lifestyle PR. Next, she took up a junior consultant position in central Bavaria, where she served as the direct point of contact for clients, assisting them with their media work across a wide range of fields and subjects. In the summer of 2021, she moved from Germany to Zurich and joined Kontx as a junior consultant in August of that year. With her open, honest and bubbly personality, Elisa is a real team player. When she’s not working, she likes to spend time with friends and family, enjoy delicious food, do dance work outs and travel the world.
Marzia has had a passion for fashion, beauty and communications for as long as she can remember. From the moment she started her BA in Fashion Management at the Polimoda fashion institute in Florence, she knew that she wanted a career in the communications, event management and PR sector. Having grown up with both German and Italian influences, it was a logical step for her to embark on an international degree course, and having completed her degree, she set out to gain professional experience around the world. In New York and Milan, she worked behind the scenes at fashion shows and took on responsibility for the press collection. And during her time working for PR agencies in Munich, she organised press events for the DACH region and served as the direct point of contact for media work. Thanks to her outgoing nature and zest for life, she has been able to grow steadily in her career. Marzia is a fantastic team player who values honesty above all else in the workplace. For her, the best and quickest way to get results is to communicate clearly and effectively with your colleagues. There’s nothing better than knowing that you’ve done a great job for a client and sharing that success as a team. That said, Marzia firmly believes in staying true to yourself and not trying to fit a mould. “Carpe diem” is Marzia’s motto, and she strives to enjoy each and every moment and go through life feeling happy and fulfilled. In her free time, Marzia enjoys doing lots of sport. She also has a bit of a sweet tooth, so is partial to a spot of baking. Her role as a junior consultant at Kontx sees her focussing on digital marketing campaigns and media work.
Nelli has been working in the world of communication and marketing since 2005. This professional direction was already apparent during her studies of journalism, communication sciences and French linguistics: Money had to be earned during her studies, so Nelli’s agency career started as a working student at ECC Kohtes Klewes (later PLEON, now Ketchum) during her undergraduate studies.
After her studies, seven years followed in renowned international agencies such as PLEON (today Ketchum) or Trimedia (today Grayling), where Nelli progressed through all stages from junior consultant to director. During this time, she looked after both national and international clients from the beauty, travel and entertainment sectors, in brand communication as well as corporate communications.
True to the motto, nothing ventured, nothing gained, she moved to the corporate side at IBM Schweiz AG in 2010. For almost 10 years, she held various positions in the areas of brand management, marketing, communications and events. She also discovered her enthusiasm for user-centred approaches such as design thinking and UX design. Since then, she has been the voice of the users in all projects and always has their needs in mind. It’s no wonder that she has now landed at Kontx – because Kontx stands for communication that focuses on people.
In her free time, Nelli can usually be found outside – jogging, cross-country skiing, skiing or gardening. Sometimes alone, sometimes with her husband and sons. She has a passion for home baked bread and finds it very strange when bought bread doesn’t go off even after weeks.
«YOU MUST NEVER BE FEARFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING WHEN IT IS RIGHT.» (Rosa Parks)
When Rosa, as a little girl was asked, what she wanted to be when she grew up, she always said that what she wanted most was to talk and communicate. This openness grew over the years and so she was involved in school newspapers, yearbooks and youth groups from an early age. Her passion for language is also reflected in her choice of studies, she decided to focus on German Language. She is particularly looking forward to the upcoming analytical work and the question of why, because if there is one thing Rosa is, it is curious. This curiosity has led her to do an internship at Kontx, because in addition to the desire to gain professional experience and a taste of agency life, she is interested in the how, before she gets a lot of theoretical input on the why. How to use Instagram as a sales medium? How best to reach consumers? How to communicate most clearly? She will find answers to these and many other questions over the next few months.
As well as her communication skills, Rosa has a clear and critical mind. She values precise, direct communication and prefers defined borders and open discussion rather than uncertainty. Rosa devotes most of her free time to political activities, as well as cooking, sailing and reading fantasy novels. Her motto: Only through a good debate that hurts everyone a little do you get to the heart of the matter. When she needs to let off steam, she loves to sing loudly and dance to her favourite music, knead dough or sometimes all at once.
Silke Conrad-Harris, having been exploring the world of communication for almost 20 years, is a communications professional to the core. Even during her studies in adult education, psychology and media, she knew her path would lead to communication. Silke manages even the most complex projects without losing sight of the details. In storytelling she skillfully speaks a clear language and succinctly conveys messages. Silke has worked for various well-known national and international agencies, such as komm.passion, PLEON (today Ketchum) and Hill & Knowlton, where she has held all the positions from trainee to senior consultant. It was during this time that she earned her spurs in brand communication, advising and looking after clients from the food & beverages, bodycare and lifestyle sectors. From 2010 to 2014 she developed the PR department of BCC Business Communications Consulting as managing director. There, she focused primarily on corporate communications, discovered her love of industry and sustainability issues, developed complex strategies and conducted coaching sessions for clients. At the beginning of 2015, Silke set out on a two-year trip around the world. She traveled four continents, learned languages and spent several months at a winery. However, she never lost her love for communication: joining Kontx Kommunikation as a partner after her return was a logical consequence. Silke is a confident, valued advisor for clients and employees alike. In her spare time, she goes jogging; when the wind conditions are right, she goes paragliding. When the weather is grey and cloudy, she simply needs a good book. And, if you ask her, there can never be a delicious meal without a good glass of wine.
Being born and raised in Vienna, Michelle decided to move to Israel to pursue her bachelor’s degree in communication science and media due to her always existing passion for communication. A big focus in her studies was the creation of visual content. Now, Michelle is looking forward to apply the knowledge and experience she gained to her traineeship. Writing is also something that she is very passionate about. Therefore, Michelle is eager to further deepen her skills in this area.
The contact she has had with different cultures and countries has also given her the knowledge to speak four languages fluently: German, French, English, and Russian. An asset that benefits her in a country like Switzerland, where communication in different languages is an enormous advantage. Overall, Michelle convinces with her creativity, empathy as well as good interpersonal skills.
In her free time, Michelle enjoys reading. She can particularly connect with the writings of Franz Kafka, Stefan Zweig, and Albert Camus. Other than that, Michelle enjoys traveling and exploring the cities of this world.