Did you know there is a regional journalism talent at All Colors of Communication? Meet Dieter Hautman: copywriter, content creator and permanent member of the content team. After a career as a regional journalist, he now enjoys writing our customers’ stories. He is at his best with his pen in one hand and his camera in the other. “Before, I wanted to become the new Karl Vannieuwkerke, but I’m glad that it turned out differently.”
“As a child, I dreamed of being an architect. But unfortunately mathematics was not my thing. While studying languages, I discovered my love for writing. Now that I think about it, I always loved explaining things. You could always count me in whenever there was a free podium. My choice to study journalism was quickly made. I wanted to become the new Karl Vannieuwkerke, but ended up in regional news. And that’s where my love for stories about people was born. What a fascinating period!”
From the heart of the Pajottenland, he was 24/7 on the road looking for news. “I did an internship at a local news agency and made some contributions for Het Laatste Nieuws. I was immediately thrown in the deep, which turned out to be a great learning experience.” He eventually became a freelance regional reporter and always went out with his pen and camera. Photography is one of his passions. Dieter even photographed at weddings for a while. “Basically, I try to capture emotions, both in words and images. If that succeeds, I am a happy man.”
“The great thing about regional journalism? That you do not sit behind your desk all day. Something can happen at any time of the day. Then you grab your camera and notebook, jump in the car and go hunting for stories. It’s pure action.” But there is also a flip side to the coin. “Scoring good stories and getting tips is all about solid local networking. Give and take. Making a story once is getting a tip later, something like that. Read: constantly going to bars with locals, making a report at 9PM about the 20-year anniversary of the local drama club, chatting, always being available to anyone, meeting tight deadlines… A killer rhythm.” The long and often irregular hours mean he was constantly working. And then he suddenly stared straight into the face of a burnout.
After about three years of trial and error, Dieter went to a job coach with the intention of going for a complete career switch. “The coach pointed out that I was already doing what I needed to do: telling stories. Journalist and copywriter were in my top 5 professions. As were nurse, psychologist, actor or relationship therapist. Funny, isn’t it? That human piece is very important, it energizes me. I think the fact that I’m a feeling person is also characteristic for me in the office. I quickly sense the atmosphere in the room. If it feels negative, I tell a silly joke to make everyone smile again.
Video is such an interesting medium with endless possibilities: testimonials, cases, short and snappy videos for PR and social media… You name it.
“At All Colors of Communication, I am part of the content team together with Günther. He is a regular at All Colors and has a lot of experience in technical copy and IT. I can count on his knowledge and we are well matched. The only disadvantage is that he is cheering for Bruges and I am for Anderlecht”, Dieter laughs. He himself has a preference for short copy and creative projects. For LeasePlan, for example, he writes the company magazine. “It’s fantastic to be able to interview everyone and hear all those unique stories.”
The team is reinforced by freelancers, each with their own expertise. “Just like every pot will find its lid, there is a copywriter for every kind of text. Someone with great interest in psychology and human interest should not have to write texts on clouds, software and technology. It might work, but the quality of the text will always be lower.”
Besides copy and photography, Dieter is also into video. Then he takes on the role of editor or producer. “Video is such an interesting medium with endless possibilities: testimonials, cases, short and snappy videos for PR and social media… You name it. At All Colors of Communication we are doing more and more with video. We are a 360° agency and have a lot of videographic talent in-house. Talent that we are putting to full use.”
"Recently, I became a dad. My daughter Billie is great. Fortunately, combining my job with fatherhood is not too bad. There is a lot of respect for work-life balance. We get the freedom to set our own hours. So if I have to quit early because Billie has to go to the doctor, that's no problem as long as I make up those hours at another time. It's an unwritten rule that we handle that freedom responsibly."
What else is characteristic for Dieter? "I have always played basketball. Unfortunately, because of my size and weight, my knees have given up. I miss it, though. The competition is one thing. But the togetherness, the discussions in the dressing room, showering together and grabbing some beers after training... Yes, that's what I really did it for. Now I go walking or cycling, or I play FIFA on PlayStation," he laughs. "But yes, it’s obviously not the same."
"Furthermore, I am also an eternal doubter. Making a choice is always a long process for me: weighing pros and cons, fighting between reason and emo... Choosing is losing. From the moment the choice is made, the anxiety takes over because it might be the wrong choice. This can be about what I am going to eat today, but also about which bike to buy or which sentence to start a press release with. I am always looking for variety and yet somewhere I like to stick to the comfort zone. At the frietkot, I also always place the same order: fries, a mexicano, a viandel, a ribster and a bicky. Oh yes: and two pots of tartare. I'm already starting to feel hungry."
Want to challenge Dieter to a game of FIFA or order something different with his fries? You are more than welcome to join our team. Check out our open vacancies here and stop by the office. Dieter is already warming up his people skills. That way we immediately know if there is a match.