At Babbel, our endgame is getting people to have conversations with other people, in a new language. There are fantastic folks here making that possible. In our “Behind The Scenes” series, we sit down with them to provide a glimpse into who makes it all work, what they do, and where their heads are at.
This round we’re talking to Julie Krauniski, PR Team Lead Southwestern Europe & LATAM.
Hi Julie! What’s your role at Babbel? What do you do on a typical day?
At Babbel I am responsible for the company’s public relations in France, Italy, Spain and Latin America (LATAM).
A typical day in the PR team can be filled with fundamental tasks such as clipping, KPI and OKR reports; management of our various international PR agencies; meetings within the team to brainstorm, update or align on different projects, stories or campaigns; or research and content creation.
A typical day can also contain more complex tasks. These include things such as planning and strategizing within the team and with our agencies around the world; execution of global and localized campaigns in collaboration with external partners and different channels inside Babbel; and interview briefing and media training for Babbel’s spokespeople. Specifically in my role as team lead, it’s part of my daily responsibilities to supervise my direct reports, providing structure, strategy, solutions and vision through sense-making.
In general, all these daily efforts translate into shaping Babbel’s image externally as the company changes through time, making sure its business model, product differentiation, expertise, purpose and values are correctly and inspiringly placed in the most important media outlets of Europe and the American continent.
Where are you from and which languages do you speak?
My French first name (Julie) and my Polish-like last name (Krauniski) trick many people. My appearance does not help to solve the enigma either, as I am afro descendent with white skin. Brazilians are often an impossible origin-guessing puzzle. Besides Portuguese, which is my mother tongue, I speak Spanish, English and German. But the latter in a much less confident way. Recently I started learning French for work with Babbel and I never thought it would be so much fun. C’est passionnant !
This is a pretty international workplace. How does that influence your work?
Babbel counts 750 professionals from more than 65 countries. In my case – even though I’m part of a global PR team with colleagues from 8 different countries – being the only latina for the first time taught me a lot, as suddenly a great amount of my cultural and socio-political references were often unknown by colleagues and business partners. It was a great opportunity to see the world and the industry from an European/North American perspective and add new references to my professional and cultural repertoire. Due to my background I was often able to anticipate topics that would only become mainstream a few years later, such as discussions around racism and gender & language. This openness to exchange ideas from various contexts is what I appreciate the most at Babbel. Today, after so much growth and learnings, I believe the company is living its value of “diversity makes us stronger” inside and out – not only as a workplace with different mindsets, but also using it to shape its purpose of creating mutual understanding through language.
What challenges are you most animated by?
Certainly the challenge I am most animated by is to transform Babbel’s current positioning as a single-function app into a leading language learning ecosystem that delivers learner success. In PR we have numerous resources to continuously introduce and reinforce Babbel’s evolution into an integrated ecosystem of learning experiences, providing variety and (very soon) guidance.
What professional skills and traits have impacted your career? Do you have any advice for other PR professionals?
An interest in different languages and the ability to speak some of them is definitely a game changer. Besides enriching your cultural knowledge, this skill enables PR professionals to better inform themselves through media sources from all over the world and, consequently, better analyze the mechanisms of press coverage on local and global scales.
Sense-making is a skill often taken for granted by companies and leaders. However, in an international company this trait is taken to another level. Its nuances require practice in order to communicate effectively with colleagues, business partners, press and readers.
Being passionate about your industry and aligned with your company’s purpose is a trait that can have a great impact on your career. In my case, this is the thing that makes the first two skills possible – “language” and “sense-making”.
Want to work with Julie, and become a part of the PR team? They’re looking for a PR Manager and PR trainee. Apply here!