Christine Louise Hohlbaum: Freelance PR Consultant for Wasabi Publicity, Author, and World-Renowned Stay-at-Home-Mom Blogger/Mentor

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The art of public relations is not so much a career for Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of books on topics ranging from book promotion to motherhood, as it is a fundamental mentality. She was granted the opportunity to develop her skills early on and recalls coming into public relations quite naturally, answering phones and conversing with her mother's real estate clientele.

Hohlbaum now has eight years of professional experience in the field, having worked in marketing for an investment firm as well as for her sister's company, Four Leaf Public Relations, before joining her current team, Wasabi. Through her own writing and the promotion of her subsequent book, Hohlbaum harnessed the puissance of the promotional art: helping others achieve their dreams. "That," she said, "is what PR is for me."

At the age of 16, Hohlbaum got her first taste of the country she now calls home. Bored with the rural environment of her hometown, she took part in her high school's foreign-exchange program and spent the first of many future years in Germany. Following high school, she attended Smith College for her undergraduate studies, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science.



While at Smith, Hohlbaum turned down a study-abroad program in Hamburg and the country she had grown to love and decided to complete her studies at home. She said she had doubts about this decision until, fatefully, that very school term during which she would have been abroad, she met and fell in love with her future husband, a native of none other than, yes, Germany.

Hohlbaum returned to Germany to pursue a master's degree in international relations as well as German and English literature at the University of Constance. She and her husband, along with their two children, now make their home outside of Munich in the Bavarian countryside.

Writing, like public relations, has always been an intrinsic part of Christine Hohlbaum's existence; "Since I could write, I've been writing," she said. From her grandmother's insistence on writing thank-you cards to her sixth-grade teacher's seed-planting enthusiasm for her inclination toward the art to, most recently, her father's reflective gift—a CD-ROM with every letter he'd ever received from his daughter—Hohlbaum has been encompassed by the giving and receiving inherent in the development of a gifted writer.

Hohlbaum has authored three books, Diary of a Mother: Parenting Stories and Other Stuff (2003), SAHM I Am: Tales of a Stay-at-Home Mom in Europe (2005), and The Author's Companion: A Self-Guided Course on Book Promotion (2005); she has complemented her latest with a CD-ROM course covering the same content, also titled The Author's Companion.

Hohlbaum has also written several columns over the past few years and has had hundreds of pieces published in an array of publications, including Parenting, Sasee, Transitions Abroad, Philosophical Mother, Skyline Literary Magazine, Poesy, iParenting.com, SheKnows.com, and more.

Hohlbaum currently works as a freelance writer. And she's found a new medium for publication: blogging. She writes as part of a group weblog called DotMoms, a collective of stay-at-home moms documenting their experiences and acting as a supportive infrastructure for stay-at-homes worldwide, as well as her own similar personal blog, Mama's Musings. The blogs, she has discovered, have become important vertebrae in her PR schema and are especially conducive to mother-at-home demands and responsibilities.

Q. What are your hobbies/interests?
A. Yoga, meditation, Pilates, reading, mountain biking, Nordic walking, animals, soccer with my son.
Q. What CD is in your CD player right now?
A. Vivaldi.
Q. What's your favorite magazine?
A. Gala (the People of Germany).
Q. What's your favorite TV show?
A. Germany's version of American Idol. I'm not a fashionista, but I'm interested in the media aspect of the fashion industry.
Q. Who's your role model?
A. Toni Morrison. She wrote after her sons went to bed at night. I had the privilege of hearing her speak at a Smith commencement when I was seven and a half months pregnant with my son. She's tremendous.

"I'm able to write in my own voice," Hohlbaum said, and the reader will indeed find that voice pure and humorous. She admitted she has posted pieces her editor "refused," exemplifying the freedom of the world wide web, which affords the ability to directly pursue one's dreams, as her PR mantra entails, as well as to review products and network. "It's a secondary platform. My website is my primary," she said. She appreciates the instant networking capabilities of the blog culture—the ability to make the surgical-strike updates that are so crucial to her lifestyle's demands as well as the ability to receive instant commentary.

"It's a nice way of creating a virtual community," Hohlbaum said, particularly for stay-at-home moms. "The Internet has become a second home," and she's found in it the ability to pursue her own dreams while at home, working from that place as a PR consultant with world-renowned writers and filmmakers. Her impact is wide ranging; she has also become a sort of beacon for isolated stay-at-home mothers around the world.

Hohlbaum's success with blogging and the community it has fostered gained her some recognition recently. She was voted "Hottest Mommy Blogger" by the Blogger's Choice Awards. Her blog was also featured in the November 2005 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

And her ambitions have not receded as a result of her current accomplishments. Hohlbaum hopes the expansion of her career will soon include adding experience as a corporate spokesperson for a European company to her resume. Additionally, she'd like to write a bestseller, which could potentially be the unpublished book she's recently completed.

Currently, Hohlbaum's work with the publicity experts at Wasabi is well suited to her character. Wasabi's mission includes a call to "[t]hink of us as your media storytellers," and this seems to be just where Hohlbaum's passions run enthusiastically.
On the net:Christine Louise Hohlbaum
www.diaryofamother.com

Mama's Musings
diaryofamother.blogs.com

DotMoms
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