An interview with Raphael Dörr, SVP Corporate Communications & Investor Relations – Faces of Gigaset31. October 2023 Published by Nina Goebbels
Efficient and targeted communication in every situation: As Senior Vice President Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, Raphael Dörr is responsible for global corporate communications, at Gigaset. Read here how modern companies can build a bond with employees through an integrative leadership style based on trust and responsibility and why people’s hunger for information and communication makes him optimistic for the future.
Tell us about your role at Gigaset.
As SVP Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, I and my team are responsible for Gigaset’s global Corporate communications. This includes both internal and external communication, investor relations in all its facets and of course our extensive presence on social media. Sponsorship – especially in sports – rounds off the company’s external impact portfolio. My main goal is to ensure that our messages are delivered clearly, consistently and effectively to our target groups, that the Gigaset brand remains known and valuable, and that the reputation of the company and our management is protected.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this role?
Regardless of this very large area of responsibility – after all, Gigaset is active in over 50 countries and has national subsidiaries in 10 countries from Austria to China – with its many facets, local peculiarities and strategic considerations, the industry itself is a challenge: the technology industry is incredibly dynamic. Trends change quickly. Many people have a certain opinion about products – from retailers to journalists and influencers, from investors to analysts to end customers. We are in constant communication with all of these groups via dozens of channels and in a wide variety of configurations. It is a great challenge to manage this complexity and at the same time ensure constant relevance
What led you to your current role? What was your path to Gigaset?
I have always had a great passion for communication – for dialogue with people. It started at school in the drama and debating club and continued indirectly during my studies. I studied sociology and psychology in Munich – both of which ultimately served to better understand people – both how they act as individuals and in groups. After studying in Munich, I worked in various companies in the areas of consulting, communication and marketing – PLEON (formerly ECC Kothes Klewes) was the training ground for me, where I was able to learn from the best in the industry. After several years on the agency side, I wanted to get to know the industry better. It didn’t work out at the first attempt – a former customer poached me, but the next career step didn’t come to fruition – a very important lesson for me, in which I then reinvented myself and was approached by Gigaset in 2012. I saw the potential of the company and took the opportunity to work in an innovative company that is constantly evolving. By the way, I have to say, I’m a big fan of industrial production. Whenever something comes off the assembly line, something is manufactured and created – that fascinates me.
How long have you been working at Gigaset?
Since 2012, around 11 years now. I started as a press spokesman and manager of corporate communications and was then able to constantly develop further. I have been in my current position since 2016. For several years I have also been the site manager of the Munich branch with over 50 employees and part of Gigaset’s extended management team.
What do you enjoy most about the work you do now?
It’s the dynamism, the versatility and the constant development. Every day brings new challenges and opportunities. Communication is not a craft that you learn once and then use for your entire life. Society changes and technologies change – you have to stay on the ball. On the corporate side, I’m also attracted by the strategic aspect of thinking outside the box, keeping an eye on the big picture and then launching targeted and targeted actions. I also love working with my team, supporting young talent and finding creative solutions to complex challenges together.
What has been your best experience at Gigaset so far?
There were many beautiful moments: the first thank you from colleagues after a successful press interview that I had prepared them for. The first, major employee campaign to communicate the values, vision and mission or the first awards that my team and I were able to win for the company.
What do industry colleagues find unique or cool about your job?
Many colleagues are surprised by the breadth of my role – from corporate communications to investor relations, social media and sponsorship. It is rare for one person to be responsible for all of these areas – also because each area requires different skills. However, as soon as I explain to them how all these areas are connected and how exactly bundling responsibility leads to synergies and thus a return on investment for the company, they get the full picture
Looking back on your career, what is an important risk you have taken?
Moving to the industrial side was a risk. I could have comfortably continued my agency career. I probably would have become some kind of VP or partner there by now, but I wanted to get to know both sides. As already mentioned, it was a setback at first, but in the long run it was definitely worth it. It gave me the opportunity to reinvent myself and take my skills to the next level.
Which character traits are particularly important for your job?
On the purely analytical side, certainly strategic thinking and the ability to quickly grasp complex information, process it and then communicate it clearly and understandably. On the interpersonal side, definitely adaptability, a strong service character and the ability to take a step back. The task of communication is not to always be in the front row – we have to be able to do that, for example in the event of a crisis – but our goal should be to make others look good and bring them to the foreground.
What qualities do you think are critical for today’s leaders?
For me, empathy, the ability to listen and an integrative leadership style based on trust and responsibility are paramount when dealing with employees. I want to be proud of my team’s achievements, I can only do that if I support them and give them the scope to develop and take responsibility. As a manager, I primarily demand decision-making ability, strategic thinking and a strong, stable personality. From my experience, this has a positive effect on the entire team.
Has the way you work changed over the last few years?
Of course – as already mentioned: societies change, technologies change. We have a strong focus on digital communications and social media; As a result, we have become much more diversified in our approach to target groups. I also consistently try to integrate New Work and diversity approaches more closely into our team and the company. I am very proud that Gigaset has now signed the Diversity Charter.
What makes you optimistic about the future of this industry?
People’s hunger for information and communication. Yes, there may be fewer calls, but instead we send voice messages, videos, text messages and emojis. Communication is more colorful and diverse than ever. Constant innovation and the fact that technology is becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives will make telecommunications one of the most important industries of all. There are always new ways to reach people and communicate.
What qualities do you think are critical for today’s leaders to remain relevant and effective?
In addition to the qualities already mentioned, I think that lifelong learning, i.e. the willingness to constantly develop oneself and the size to give young talents scope and visibility at an early stage instead of trying to make a name for themselves, are crucial.
What advice would you give to a young person just starting out in the technology industry?
Be curious, constantly learn and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The technology industry offers incredible opportunities, so take advantage of them! But that also means that you should really get involved!
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love spending time with my son. It sounds trite, but he makes me see many things completely differently. He also gives me my own fitness program. I enjoy traveling and spending a lot of time with family and friends – whether at the theater, cinema or over a good meal.