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andré puchta
 
 
 

Home is where it is most beautiful. I was born and raised in the feel-good region in the heart of Europe: Upper Franconia – in the charming, diverse landscape between the Bavarian low mountain ranges of the Frankenwald and Fichtelgebirge.

I saw the light of day in 1983 in Münchberg, Upper Franconia, growing up in the officially recognised resort town Zell im Fichtelgebirge. After attending the local secondary school, I switched to the faculty of Economy and Management at the Vocational School Complex “Hof Stadt und Land”.

 
 

Photo: Private

 
 

After graduating from secondary school, I completed my education as a retail merchant at the Danhauser Group. Following the motto “Whether hammer or compressor, consultancy with passion”, everyone in the hardware store quickly noticed that I have no inkling of drilling machines. I did however have the talent to cleverly sell products.

During my training and afterwards, I hastened from lawn party to 90th birthday as a freelancer for the regional daily Frankenpost paper, drafting reports from my home region for a handful of pennies per row. I among other things wrote for the series “Our Youth, Our Future”, which was honoured with the recognition award of the Robert Bosch Stiftung in December 2000.

 
 

Photo: Frankenpost from 5 December 2000

 
 

A few months after my father passed away, I performed my civilian service in the care facility he last attended. I published my impressions from September 2001 onwards in a multi-part report for the Frankenpost as well as in an author’s contribution for the Civilian Service Magazine of the Federal Office for Family and Civic Initiatives.

In 2003, I moved to Potsdam-Babelsberg as an editorial employee of Vera Int-Veen and Ulrich Hansbuer to the time 2 talk show GmbH. After being a trainee of Oliver Petszokat in Berlin and at the Braunschweig communication agency Gingco.Net, I – then 21 years old – assumed the managerial duties for the press and public relations work at the career magazine 5vor12 and aktuelle BERUFSCHANCE at DIMA Verlag in Munich until 2006.

 
 

Photo: Pedro Becerra

 
 

Between 2006 and 2008, I supported among other things the merger of the company-own grocery chain miniMal and HL for REWE (Southern Region) as a freelance PR consultant and I managed the personality PR for the Bambi prize-winner Ines Krüger, World Memory Champion Clemens Mayer, and Personal Coach Arno Schmitt.

Guerrilla marketing was always a key component of my activities. As a few examples, I started a search for “Germany’s Coolest Cow” for the multimedia portal Spymac, I sent a false Mireille Mathieu into Oktoberfest 2007, and I pro bono organised the inauguration of the accessible kangaroo enclosure, attended by politicians, for the Hof Zoological Garden.

 
 

 
 

For the charity continuous talk ‘who keeps silent, loses’ (30 hours, 45 minutes), I paired up dachshund Paul with butcher Franz, pastor with dominatrix, mayor with pest controller, chimney sweeper with demolition expert, and bagpiper with storyteller in Cologne. Each spoken minute was turned into silver in form of a Euro for the benefit of Aidshilfe Köln (Aids Help Cologne).

As a freelance author, I interviewed celebrities such as rock musician Chris von Rohr for the column “Die Letzte Seite” (The Last Page) of the investor’s magazine of Axel Springer Schweiz AG.

 
 

 
 

In 2009, I moved to Cologne to start working at the communication agency H-ZWO, where I was responsible for the product and company PR for customers such as the European market leader in instant products, Krüger in Bergisch Gladbach, until the end of 2012.

The world’s largest tea party, which I helped organise, with Hape Kerkeling playing the fictional character Gisela and 15,000 visitors in the Rhine Park in Cologne, broke the British Guinness World Record set in Liverpool Street Station in London. It was officially mentioned in the US business magazine Forbes.

 
 

 
 

In 2011, I conceived the HTWWWM, the official world championship in “purse long throwing”. The championship was held in the summer of 2012 until 2016 at the Movie Park Germany in Bottrop-Kirchhellen (NRW).

In the ranking of the ten most unusual events in Europe of “Welt der Wunder”, the HTWWWM landed a no. 4 spot in April 2015. BILD counted the event amongst the ten most bizarre competitions and festivals in the world in April 2015. In the “Deutsche Welle” ranking of the ten oddest events in Europe, the HTWWWM was awarded a no. 8 spot in April 2016.

 
 

Photo: funspirit / Stefan Forelle

 
 

To date, more than 950 media outlets from 22 countries paid attention to HTWWWM, among whom CNN, the Myanmar International TV Channel as the state broadcaster of Myanmar, the Turkish daily paper Hürriyet, the Pakistani news channel Abb Takk, the Iranian foreign television station Press TV, rediff and WION in India, THVL in Vietnam, the German Embassy in Tel Aviv, Sada Al-Balad in Lebanon, SAPO in Portugal, minutouno in Argentina, and Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata in Italy.

 
 

Photo: Martin Hohmuth

 
 

In the summer of 2012, I helped open the first Playboy club in continental Europe and coordinated the media work for CCO Cooper Hefner and CEO Scott N. Flanders as an interim press spokesperson.

A Berliner thinks of a Franconian as a transitional being, his character symbolising the border between Bavaria and Germany. A Franconian sees a Berliner as “one of the good Prussians”. At the end of 2012, I traded the Rhine for the Spree.

Since January 2013, I communicate for the Friedrichstadt-Palast. There is no stage that reflects the turbulent history of Germany in such an evocative manner as the Palast does. It is exactly against the backdrop of two vanquished dictatorships that the Palast today consciously represents freedom, diversity, and acceptance.

 
 

Photo: Soenne

 
 

In December 2014, I met the Kenyan Sociologist Dr Auma Obama. The idea came into being to award a prize to voluntarily committed youth. In November 2015, 1,900 guests honoured the impressive nominees at the “Act Now Jugend Award” – I assumed communication and guest handling responsibilities for the event.

I was elected to be Berlin-Brandenburg’s Deputy State Chairman of the German PR Society (DPRG) with 96.55 per cent of the votes in March 2017, additionally appointed to the central committee. The professional association, founded in 1956, represents the interests of around 2,500 members who are responsible for the communication in associations, companies, and agencies.

 
 
 
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