Download PDF

Work experience

May 2005Present

Manager Corporate and Financial Communications

General Motors Europe
Spokesperson for all GM Europe corporate topics and issues Main customers: European wire services, European business media in major markets, most prominently Germany and UK Coordination of Country PR-Managers for Corporate Communications Corporate media relations programs (motor shows, plant openings, media backgrounders / lunches / dinners) Financial communications (media conference calls, interviews, messages) Assigned to support the CFO and other Vice Presidents in media relations Preparation (briefings, messaging, attendance) of CEO interviews Managing executive media interview trainings (TV and print) Leading editorial bureau for corporate media information (releases, Q&As, websites, executive blog: Facts & Figures brochure, corporate presentations Certified GM change management coach Guest lecturer for public relations, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences
Aug 2003May 2005

Manager, Product Public Relations

GM Europe
Project management, coordination and implementation of product PR programs (road shows, media events) for advanced technologies (hybrids and fuel cell vehicles) Led road-show, mobile exhibition, engineering, media launch and university relations teams of 150 people for one year including successful project implementation (event duration 8 weeks; budget: Euro 1.5 million) Negotiated media, industry and university co-operations for road show project (Linde, Total, Autobild) Led event, design and construction agencies Managed product media information and media website Managed all communication research projects (European media analysis program for all brands, global surveys) Facilitated issues management and strategy development Guest lecturer for public relations and integrated communications at University of Zurich and University of Applied Sciences in Vienna
Jan 2002Aug 2003

Manager CRM and Internet

Saab Automobile Schweiz
Project management and implementation of CRM- and leads-processes Supervised call-center and fulfillment agencies Managed the set-up process & training of call-center & fulfillment agencies Trained and supported all Saab dealers and Saab Automobile Switzerland employees Analyzed leads and customer data (segmentation of prospects) Implemented and process-integrated Siebel Automotive Software (lead management (LM), request- and complaint-management & e-dealer) in cooperation with the global steering committee and Deloitte Consulting Led the local and global internet agency Managed the bilingual Internet website:, developed micro sites Developed an event registration website including SMS reminders to guests
Jan 1998Dec 2001

Manager, Brand Communications & Strategic Communications

GM Europe
Developed brand positioning and internal roll-out plans for the Opel brand and for Opel’s model brands Corsa, Agila and Omega Analyzed brand-reputation and brand-positioning research results Organized communication planning workshops, developed yearly business plans, supported goal-setting and evaluation processes Coordinated European parts of global reputation and journalist surveys, developed recommendations based on results Managed the European media analysis program (agency & budget) for all GM brands (budget: Euro 500,000) Project management, Internet and Intranet projects: global communication planning website, work on messaging, environmental pages



Dr. phil.

University of Salzburg

Book publication: Kirchner, Karin (2001). Integrierte Unternehmenskommunikation. Theoretische und empirische Bestandsaufnahme und eine Analyse amerikanischer Grossunternehmen. Westdeutscher Verlag.Wiesbaden.


I would like to work as Director Corporate Communications for an international company.


Karin Kirchner was assigned to the GM Europe Corporate Communications team on February 1, 2005, as Manager Corporate Communications, based in the company European headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. On August 1, 2008, she became Manager, Corporate and Financial Communications. Karin is a GM Europe spokesperson for all business relevant issues to the various media on a pan-European base. She is also in charge of financial communications, corporate communications strategy development, executive communications and interviews and media training for executives. Karin leads a team of one and reports to Frank Klaas, GME General Director Corporate Communications. Previously, Karin was Manager, Product Public Relations at GM Europe, focusing on alternative propulsion technology communications. She joined GM in January of 1998. Since then she held a number of key communications positions in Zurich at GM Europe and Saab Automobile. Before she joined GM Europe, she was Assistant Professor for public relations at the University of Salzburg, where she earned her doctorate in communications. Karin holds a M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois) and a Ph.D. and M.A. degree in Communications from University of Salzburg, Austria. Her Ph.D. thesis is available on Karin is a communications generalist with operational experience in corporate and financial communications, product and marketing communications as well as CRM and websites. She has substantial experience in supervising agencies and as a team leader. She has an international focus and likes working in an international environment.