Six questions for the communication base

As part of the Corporate Communications team, Kira mixes it up on the front lines of various DKSR public relations tasks. Most notably, she supports communications and organization for Urban Data Community formats – including Vitamin D(aten) lunches. She actually comes from a political communications background: what insights she has already had into the smart city world during her time at DKSR, she tells us here.


Kira Sutthoff

You were born and raised near Berlin. What keeps you in the capital region?

After school, I really wanted to stay in Berlin for my studies. This is probably also due to the fact that my family and many friends are not far away. Although I have lived in two other cities for longer periods of time, Berlin is simply my place to be. I have to say that I like the anonymity of the big city. And that there’s always something to discover – even if the oversupply can sometimes be overwhelming.

In terms of communications, you’ve already worked for various organizations and target groups. How’s it going with Digitech communications for municipalities?

I had to find my way around that first! I think it’s especially important for municipalities that aren’t yet that fit when it comes to digitization to communicate the basics in a way that’s easy to understand and low-threshold. A “fresh look” is certainly helpful here.

What is more important for good corporate communications – creativity or diligence?

I find it difficult to weigh up the two. In my previous jobs for agencies or in film, creativity was often required. In corporate communications, it seems to me that diligence is more important – we can’t just communicate wildly, but have to follow a certain line in order to remain credible. To do that, we have to look again and again: Does something fit with our understanding as a company, with our DNA?

How do you motivate yourself when things aren’t going so well?

I try to zoom out and think about other things, for example through sports, a good book or a conversation with friends. Most of the time, this gives me a new perspective on my construction sites and I can tackle them better. But sometimes having bad days is also part of it.

What surprises you about working with and for the public sector?

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right contact person, because there is no uniform structure of, for example, administrative bodies. If one city has a designated person for a specific digital/smart city issue, the next city may have a person who is the contact person for the entire topic of digitization.

If DKSR were a playlist, what would it be called?

Trying to connect – because we mediate between the public and private sectors, create networks and try to bring cities and municipalities together.