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09. December 2011
She's one of Berlin's most glamorous public figures: Tina Schürmann not only knows all the world and his wife, she also gets everyone under the same roof at important social events. Schürmann is a PR woman for protagonists of sophisticated lifestyles and young hot acting talents. We met her at the Franke Restaurant inside the Excelsior Hotel for lunch.
You always look like you're just returning from a vacation. It seems like anything you touch turns to gold...
Hold it – after college, I started working as a marketing intern for Berliner Verlag, specifically, Berlinonline. It was a great time and I could have kept working there forever. But then I changed fronts, went into business for myself and began my career as a PR-woman in the back office of a friend's hair salon. That was almost ten years ago. My first big job was for a shoe shining company. I faxed out press reports on the newest Collonil socks to all leading fashion magazines. I built up all the necessary contacts by going to different events, clubs and parties pretty much every night. But not to give off the wrong impression here – I might have gone out every night to socialize with Berlin's society – but I got up on the dot the next morning and started work in my little office behind the hair salon.
So that's how you ended up working for the Felix Club, later the Rodeo Club and their summer location Ressort?
That just sort of panned out through personal connections. I now have the luxury of working for those people I know and appreciate. The product, the company and the people behind it have to harmonize with my ideas. It wasn't always this easy, or let's say it was hard to deal with clients that were under financial pressure or decided not to pay their bills. It's an exasperating issue, I currently have two problematic clients whom I had to take to court. But let's let's keep the details hush-hush.
You also have good contacts in international politics. I'm talking about pictures of Putin and machine guns.
Yes, he had dinner with ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder at Café des Artistes, a client of mine at the time. I invited a journalist friend to report on the dinner. The night dragged on and we took quite a few cigarette breaks outside. To do this, we had to pass Putins bodyguards every time, especially a lady with a hidden machine gun who looked like she came straight out of a James Bond movie. We didn't take it seriously because we were on the job, too, and actually got a little laugh out of it. But they, on their turn, knew we were harmless. Putin answered every question we asked him and the photos were good too. That was certainly a night I'll never forget.
You've been working for Anna Maria Mühe for over six years; You fly to New York with Jennifer Ulrich and your client Max von Thun has released two films this years. What is it you do for these young actors?
Basically, it's about finding the right way to handle the media and public appearances. I get the word out on new films and projects, arrange interviews and think up individual PR strategies for them. I always try to have them keep in mind the question of where will they see themselves in, say, ten years.
But your contacts also guarantee exciting events with a high glamour factor and media coverage.
That's really something I can bank on. I'm very reliable and, in turn, I can rely on the people I invite to show up and create an according atmosphere. That's something people keep underestimating. It doesn't make sense to just have a long guest list. People need to know that showing up is going to be worth it. The mix of people is important. And I have a pretty good feel for who will work well at which event.
Wagging tongues may define your line of work as superficial.
But that's the art of it, making everything seem easy and simple! I studied psychology in college and I'd like to encorporate my knowledge of the field more. I want to go more into the coaching sector, which I'm already kind of doing with my actor clients. I ask them to face questions like how do I assess myself and how do others receive my personality? Or even better: How can I behave authentically in the public? That's a huge challenge.
Back to the original question: You just don't look like someone who works hard, deals with illiquid clients or has an exploding memo book.
That's part of the image of the work I do. Honestly, in times of stress I turn to sports and yoga. I also do PR for Aspria and the Jivamukti Yoga Center. They're from New York and people like Sting, Madonna and Christy Turlington take classes there. And they make my life a whole lot easier too!
(Interview Eva-Maria Hilker)