Ibrahim Ghubbar

Foto Ibrahim Ghubbar

Head of Strategy & Communication

at Perseus Technologies GmbH

 

What do you do for work?

I am Head of Strategy & Communication at Perseus Technologies GmbH, a Berlin startup for cybersecurity. In addition to my role as press officer, I am in charge of our content and marketing department.

 

What did you study and how did you get into your job?

After graduating from high school, I completed a bachelor's degree in political and media studies at the University of Regensburg and a master's degree in political communication at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. At the same time, I have always worked as a student trainee and intern in PR agencies and journalistic editorial offices. After graduating, I worked in various functions, first as a consultant and then as a communications officer in the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. During this time, I helped shape the social media strategy and political online communication of the Sparkasse. 

 

What kind of company do you work for and what are your tasks as Head of Strategy & Communication?

Perseus is a three-year-old insurtech company for cybersecurity. In cooperation with our partners from the insurance, finance and IT sectors, we offer all-round protection against cyber threats, particularly for medium-sized companies. In addition to didactically well-thought-out e-learning trainings and hacker simulations, we also offer a cyber-emergency help service. As a startup, we are agile and quickly adapt to new situations. During the Corona lockdown, we created an online training concept on cybersecurity in the home office overnight, which was available to all home office employees free of charge.

 

What were the last three things you did at work?

Jour fixe with our video agency, brainstorming session with one of our sales managers, feedback discussion with one of my employees. 

 

As ‘Head of…‘ you probably need good leadership skills. How do you learn these?

In addition to classic management training on dealing with employees, where you learn how to deal with different personalities, I have learned a lot in everyday professional life in recent years. For example, when managing appointments or while project managing, and of course also from my own superiors. Here I have seen many positive but also negative examples in leading people. Employee management is not a one-way street! It is therefore extremely important that you question yourself and your own actions from time to time and actively ask for feedback from your own team.

 

How do you develop a communications strategy?

The most important thing for a communication strategy is research and preparation. We always try to define a goal, how we will achieve it, and which key goals (KPIs) define a (successful) closure of the deal. The goal can be of a purely public nature (PR / public relations) or it can be of a sales nature (marketing). Sometimes we get a specific assignment, in other cases we use empirical means to check ourselves whether there is a need or reason for communication on a topic. In this phase of research, we coordinate a lot with other teams.

Then the actual communication work begins: Where do we reach our target group with our message and on which channel? Once we have answered these questions, it is time to “orchestrate” the campaign, in which we determine the time and channel of communication. External factors also play an important role, e.g. the coming into force of a new law or a trade fair. 

 

Do you work in a team or alone?

I work with a team of eleven employees.

 

What skills and character traits are particularly important in your profession?

In my job, I am often in contact with media representatives, agencies, organizers, business partners and colleagues from other departments. My negotiating skills are often required here, but also my creativity and a quick grasp of things. However, neither of these works without empathy and of course a thirst for knowledge. As often as possible, I try to keep myself up to date with newspapers, blogs and social networks, and to come up with new ideas. 

 

You studied political science, among other things. Looking back on your studies, what do you particularly benefit from in your job today?

During my studies I learned to think in a structured way and to compare or question different positions. This enables me to view facts in an abstract manner in everyday work and understand the perspectives of all players involved.

 

How important are soft skills acquired during your studies, such as international experience, foreign languages, presentation skills, etc. for your job?

Very important! As part of an internship and an ERASMUS semester, I was abroad twice. I was able to take my English skills to a new level. That helps me a lot now that our company language is English. As part of my career preparation, I also went through a mentoring program in which we were coached by representatives from the business world.

 

What do you enjoy about your job?

Every day is different and I am constantly learning – it’s never boring

Your tips for young professionals?

Try things out and don‘t be afraid to make mistakes.