HSMAI Profile: Jarle Petterson

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Jarle Petterson
Communications officer
HSMAI Europe / HSMAI Norway

Jarle has played a key role in HSMAI Europe’s internal and external communication for more than six years, always at hand when needed. Also the developer of the HSMAI Europe website.

Q: What does a day at work consist of for you?

A: Considering that no day is alike, I have to say that is a tough call, as my days may comprise such varied tasks as online editing and publishing, press releases, newsletters, ad creation, digital image processing, web development, video productions, and designing presentation material, brochures and magazines. Also there’s the occasional conference call, and an awful lot of emailing. You might say that I’m a bit of a digital nomad, really.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: The versatility of it all, I would say, as I get to approach challenges within the field of communication – in which I’ve been active for the better of some 35 odd years – in constantly changing ways. Remember that I entered my journalistic career at a time when movable types were still in use, and international news ticked in on the telex. We’ve come a long way since, which is a continous source of repetitive marvel.

Q: Do you have anyone you’ve looked up to?

A: Oh, too many to remember! I have been fascinated and inspired by so many people within so many walks of life, from the arts, via civil rights movements and colleagues of the press, through to politicians and business leaders with a social concience, that I fail to land on one in particular. In formative years, however, I would have to say Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the scouting movement, in which I partook for about a decade of my adolescence, influenced me more than I care to admit. Which is an admission good as any, I suppose.

Q: Do you have any nice traditions at your office?

A: Very much so! As I work from a home office, I get to decide the lunch menu, which, truth be told, usually adds up to something I rustle up in a jiffy, even if I consider myself something of an accomplished cook – for private use, that is.

Q: What do you think is the best thing about HSMAI?

A: Full aware that everybody says so, I have to agree that HSMAI’s role as a social and professional hub for travel and hospitality professionals is invaluable. I am truly impressed, first and foremost by Ingunn Hofseth’s irrepressible go-ahead spirit and ingenuity, resulting in one useful conference or event after the other, as well as the information the organisation provides for its membership. Which isn’t something I say, just because I’m involved.

Q: Are there any activities or projects you think HSMAI should start up?

A: I am under the impression that new ideas and concepts keep arising all the time, so who am I to judge. But if I could air just one thought, it would be to become better at recognising opportunities for capitalisation from the channels at one’s disposal, for the benefit of all. However, we would also like to see improved involvement from the industry as such. In my daily work I often find that I depend on industry input, and would love it if independent hotels, chains, airlines, cruise lines and related industries provided news, in terms of press releases. My request is simple: Please email your press releases to postbox@hsmai.eu, and we’ll pass the news on, on-site as well as in our weekly newsletters.

Q: Describe your perfect weekend.

A: As a 53-year-old man past his crazy youth, I would have to say a nice and cozy weekend in the company of my family. With two grown-up sons, living in different parts of the country (i.e. Norway), having them around, alongside my wife and our 12-year-old daughter, would be as close to heaven as I suppose I will ever get.

Q: If you were trapped on a desert island, what would you take with you, if you could choose just one thing?

A: Considering my self-proclaimed status as digital nomad, I opt for a sattellite phone, for want of mobile service.

Q: What is the title of the book about your life?

A: Cogito cogito, ergo cogito sum (I think that I think, therefore I think that I am).

Q: What is your next travel destination?

A: I just returned from a delightful vacation with my family in Denmark, and really haven’t planned much further, in terms of travelling, but I suspect a stay in HSMAI’s Oslo headquarters is long overdue, so who knows?

Q: Do you have any special hobbies?

A: We live in an extremely rural district, with plenty of outdoor opportunities that I sadly don’t exploit to the full, but when I do, I tend to walk an awful lot, apart from time spent at perfecting my professional skills – at blogs, social media, writing, illustrations, graphic design and then some more writing – all of which hobbies, just as much as a livelihood.

Q: Thank you for your time. Do you have any personal comments?

A: I’m impressed by the willingness to contribute, in advisory boards and other HSMAI bodies. To all of you: Good show! I’m confident that it’ll benefit, not only HSMAI, but members across all of Europe – and, hopefully, yourselves. Finally, I wish you all the very best of summers.

Photo: Jarle Petterson (private photograph).