Interview with Hermann Reuther who celebrated his 50th birthday.
Coburg, Dezember 1, 2010
Mr. Reuther, you have turned 50 and this is an age where a lot of people give it another shot. You are the founder and president of REUTHER-ENTERTAINMENTS, a company that has existed for the past 25 years. Where is your current position in your life right now?
Right, this year I turned 50 and I want to give it another shot. In 2002 I went with my family to New Zealand for business reasons. In 2005 I came back to Germany, first of all, because of my son Marcus who was to go to school here instead of in New Zealand. And so I am still – as the Englishman says – in the rat race. Some even say that I am a workaholic.
The rat race isn’t letting you go, why do you do this to yourself?
Well, what I do makes my clients happy and of course that makes me happy. If you do something that causes enjoyment, then you are successful, and if you are successful, then the company has a lasting success.
For many years now you have been an experienced entertainment manager, you even started out as an entertainer. How did that occur?
On the 30th April, 1977 I started my first band in Coburg, we called ourselves „Flight of Time “. We did punk rock and threw safety pins into the audience. After the concert not a single safety pin was found. I also studied Business Economics in Coburg and Rosenheim, but I never finished my studies. During this time I preferred to be a singer during the Neue Deutsche Welle. I was on stage with several show stars, for example, with Nena, Markus, the Spider Murphy Gang and many others. Then there came the time to decide, do I want to continue as an artist or do I want to take care of the organization?
How did it go on? What were your first events?
Now I’m going to give away some secrets. For a while I was an artist and manager in one person. The organizers would say to me as an artist: „You have such a nice manager, we simply had to book you.“ Next day then at the office the organizers called me and asked me as a manager if I still had other entertainers in the program, because the performance of my entertainer was so good. That signaled the beginning and in July 1987 I started my own artist’s agency, at that time already with the name REUTHER-ENTERTAINMENTS.
Do you agree when I say that the Internet has become the most important marketing platform for you?
The Internet is an important instrument; we participated right from the beginning. I still remember, at that time there was a precursor, the screen text, here we also participated right from the start. Back then I received many orders through screen text. One client was Telefunken, they were very satisfied and recommended me, and then this continued. In the end we had hundreds of events in a year.
You have never shrunk back from communication technology. One can tell by looking at your homepage. You work with pictures, texts and even with videosequences. How do you explain that?
The Internet is important to me. That technology has always fascinated me. I think it’s great if you have access to free information. Certainly, journalists complain that a lot is filtered, but for example, our Reuthers Blog is open for journalists to express their opinion. We want to improve the blog further and use it as a lively medium in which interesting things from „Reuthers World Of Enjoyment” are presented.
In your company credo one can read that you not only want to do business. Why is it so important for you that your company has a moral background?
I place great value on our company credo. One of my favorite clients is the company Johnson & Johnson, a real global player. There I found that all activities should be carried by a morality. They should serve other people and help. And if I act this way, I am also helped. I can confirm this from my own life experience and so I have written my own individual credo. For example I have written that we only work with our own money. My father always said there are two different types of business people: one is the businessmen who think about the tomorrow. The others are the profit-seekers who want to earn a fast buck. Unfortunately, we have way too many in our society who act this way, at the expense of their employees and the whole society. Another thing is our Children Charity Project. This started at the event Schloss Callenberg Rally in Coburg, with the mascot Cally, the smart fox. For charitable purposes we only give commodity contributions. My wife Adelheid takes care of this. For example, we support the Coburger Food Bank.
Now a little detour, I will just say two words: „Harley-Davidson! “ What comes to your mind?
Harley-Davidson is something that has changed my life. I mentioned in the beginning that I belonged to the workaholics. In 1997 I thought of what special offer I could present to my clients for my companies 10th anniversary. I organized a motorcycle trip for my clients on the famous Route 66. On that trip I rode a Harley-Davidson for the first time. At first I thought the Harley was a ponderous thing. But that didn’t last long, and the spark was ignited. Since then, the subject continuously accompanies me. Harley-Davidson is not only a beautiful motorcycle, but also a way of living, a lifestyle.
You do not only want to enjoy it just for yourself, but you offer Harley-Davidson dreams on several continents. How did this come by?
I thought if I like it, then my clients will also like it. Meanwhile, we have found many new friends this way, in the whole world. Not only in the USA, but also in New Zealand, which for me incidentally is the absolute motorcycle paradise. We also offer trips in Australia and in South Africa. We start in Cape Town and ride the Garden Route. A new project is our Tibet trip, this has been a long standing wish of mine. It is on my personal „Bucket List “, the list of things one still wants to experience in life. We ride to the Mount Everest Basic camp and for this trip we use Royal Enfield motorcycles which are more suitable for this type of ground. I am not fixated to the brand Harley-Davidson. For me what the client wishes plays an important role.
Why are you now reflecting on other things in your life?
One important division is still the travel offers. This includes first of all, the motorcycle dream trips. We meanwhile also offer trips in vans and minibuses. Newly included are rental car and bicycle travelling. However, I also intend to take care of the area of entertainment again, that’s where I’m from. This not only includes marketing famous artists, but also to promote newcomers and to build them up. Other areas will be event technology, video productions and catering at events.
You have had the experience in dealing with quite big stars in show business. What are your fondest memories?
In the past years I have had many positive experiences with numerous stars. Spontaneously I remember Roy Black. I remember one of his performances in Linz, where I experienced him as very nice person. Many stars I deal with are totally normal and open. Because they want to be open and they search the nearness to the people off stage. Another, whom I would much rather mention, is my friend Harald Juhnke. He appeared at one of my first managed events. He arrived, I met him and led him to his wardrobe. The wardrobe was a small trailer where we spent the time together until it was time for his performance. Later I managed many big events with Harald Juhnke. The picture I had of him was completely different to what existed in the public eye. He was such a nice, normal and friendly person who never touched a drop alcohol in my presence.
You worked together with many artists. When you think about it, who played or plays a special role?
An artist whom we now currently have under management is Norma Normale. She does a Comedy Revue and I have worked with her for the past 20 years. Now we want to carry out something that we have talked about for the past 20 years, we want to rerecord the song ” Wenn ich ein Junge wär ” from Rita Pavone and release it on the market. She has what I miss from a lot of current artists, namely humanity and normality. Whom I also like very much is Jörg Knör. He is from the old school and comes across like a breath of fresh air. On television he is very good, but as a live act at a company event he is even better. For example when he lets public figures speak on a subject. It was always my idea to work with artists who can present their program product covered. „Entertainment with a concept “, this is a slogan which I created years ago.
You certainly have a company strategy in the back of your mind. What are your goals?
A mid-term aim is that we want to bring our company even further ahead. With that I mean my company locations in the USA, in New Zealand and in Germany whereby the location in Germany is a priority. We don’t just want to carry out travel offers in the mentioned countries, but also inspire the residents of these countries to enjoy our dream holidays in other destinations. The area of entertainment shall also play a role. We want to become even more famous, not only with the clients, but also in the society as “Reuthers World Of Enjoyment”. We want to offer a counterpart to the momentary social situation, a world of joy. This also includes things like our future seminars and lectures in the lifestyle area, where we deal with conscious life and health. Right now, with 50, I want to give it another shot. I would like to have a company that is represented worldwide. For this I have created the brand “Reuthers”. Lots of people say I’ve heard that before but they actually mean the news agency. However, we are written with “th” – and this I particularly want to point out; their job is to spread bad news. Our job on the contrary is to fill the world with joy and dreams. This is the big difference. This definition incidentally came from my clients and this pleased me enormously.
That is a great finish. Thank you for the interview.
The interview was led by Christian Göller.
Press and Public Relations
eMail: press @ reuthers.com