Last week, we had the great pleasure of welcoming Barbara Hueppe to the Mozilla team in Europe, as our European Communications Manager. As part of the marketing team, Barbara’s role will encompass running and managing our press activities across Europe.

picture-14As I am sure you are aware, being featured in the press has played a large part of driving awareness of Mozilla and our mission. As the project has grown over the years, so has the media interest in our unusual and successful story. Wherever possible we try to give interviews, and have also been keen to share as much news with reporters as we can. Barbara is joining us to action these kinds of requests and also to help lead our efforts in Europe with regard to open source pr. As an organization, we have been embracing what I would call open source PR for many years – all our employees and contributors are encouraged to blog (http://planet.mozilla.org/), and tweet. We distribute our news over these blogs, and very rarely send out a press release. Check out Melissa’s blog post from earlier this year regarding why we don’t release more press releases: http://icouldntfindanypaper.blogspot.com/2008/05/slow-death-of-press-release.html. More recently we have been able to work together in interviews with our community, and have held interviews with some pretty prominent journalists – such as this one with Abdulkadir Topal a Mozilla localizer from Germany in one of Germany’s main newspapers, the Sueddeutsche:
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/computer/artikel/380/180823/

I know a lot of you as Mozilla contributors are also quite often giving interviews. Barbara is keen to continue these kinds of efforts, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing more on this very soon.

On Barbara’s background, she joins us from PayPal and eBay where she worked in communications for the past 4.5 years. She actually started out as spokesperson for eBay Germany’s tech categories, the eBay developers program and supported also the launch of PayPal in Germany. In 2007 she moved to PayPal full time, and was responsible for all PR-activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. She is new to open source, but very well versed in technology and has a deep understanding and appreciation of community.

Barbara is German, and will be working from a home based office in Berlin, Germany — but she’s a very international person. Her degree in English, Spanish and Economics was a great opportunity for her to spend time abroad. She has lived in New York, Vancouver and Granada in Spain to name but a few places. She also has a PhD in American Literature, and admits to enjoy reading really bad books once in a while. 😉

You can follow Barbara’s Tweets here:

http://twitter.com/bhueppe

She is also in the process of setting up a blog – so I’ll be sure to let you know the URL when its cooked. You’ll be hearing alot more from Barbara soon, as mentioned she’s keen to spearhead more discussions on Open Source PR and I’m sure she would love to have your input.

We are delighted to have Barbara join us, and are really excited for EU PR in 2009!