Austrian business culture guide - Learn about Austria

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http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Austria. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project, which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at …

http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Austria. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project, which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, work-life-balance and social media guide.

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  • 1.            |  1     businessculture.org Business Culture in Austria   http://businessculture.org/westerneurope/business-culture-in-austria/ Last updated: 30.09.2013 businessculture.org   This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the view only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Content  Germany  
  • 2.            |  2     TABLE  OF  CONTENTS   Business  Culture  in  Austria  .......................................................................................................  4   Xenophobia: being a foreigner in Austria ............................................................................................ 5   International Business .......................................................................................................................... 5   General Education ............................................................................................................................... 5   Educational standards .......................................................................................................................... 6   Other Issues such as transportation infrastructure ............................................................................... 6   Cultural taboos ..................................................................................................................................... 7   Business  Communication  ..........................................................................................................  8   Face-to-face Communication ............................................................................................................... 8   Language Matters................................................................................................................................. 9   Business Relationships ........................................................................................................................ 10   Making contact ................................................................................................................................... 11   Personal titles ...................................................................................................................................... 11   Business  Etiquette  ..................................................................................................................  13   Corporate Social Responsibility ......................................................................................................... 13   Punctuality .......................................................................................................................................... 13   Gift giving ........................................................................................................................................... 14   Business Dress Code ........................................................................................................................... 14   Bribery and corruption ....................................................................................................................... 15   Business  Meeting  Etiquette  ....................................................................................................  16   Importance of Business Meeting ........................................................................................................ 16   Business Meeting planning ................................................................................................................. 17   Negotiation process ............................................................................................................................ 17   Meeting protocol ................................................................................................................................ 18   How to Run a Business Meeting ........................................................................................................ 18   Follow up letter after meeting with client ........................................................................................... 19   Business meals .................................................................................................................................... 20   businessculture.org   Content  Austria  
  • 3.            |  3     Business Meeting tips.......................................................................................................................... 21   Internship  and  placement  .......................................................................................................  22   Work experience................................................................................................................................. 22   Internship and Placement advice ....................................................................................................... 22   Social security and European health insurance ................................................................................. 22   Safety .................................................................................................................................................. 22   Do I need a visa? ................................................................................................................................ 22   Internship and placement salary ........................................................................................................ 23   Internship and placement accommodation ........................................................................................ 23   Cost  of  Living  ...........................................................................................................................  23   Money and Banking ........................................................................................................................... 23   Traveling costs .................................................................................................................................... 23   Work-­‐life  Balance   ....................................................................................................................  24   National Holidays ............................................................................................................................... 24   Working hours .................................................................................................................................... 25   Working culture .................................................................................................................................. 25   Health insurance ................................................................................................................................ 26   Social  Media  Guide  .................................................................................................................  27   Private Individuals .............................................................................................................................. 27   SMEs .................................................................................................................................................. 28   Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business ........................................................ 28     businessculture.org   Content  Austria  
  • 4.            |  4     Business  Culture  in  Austria   Here you will find a very short introduction to Austria. External links at the end of this chapter offer more in-depth information concerning different topics. The following video gives you an overview of the general facts: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pnayRFOXIYk) Austria is one of Europe’s smaller countries, but also one of the richest and most stable in the EU. Its location at the heart of Europe has traditionally made it a hub of East/West relations. As a landlocked country in central Europe, Austria borders Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The Danube River, Austria’s only navigable waterway, flows from south-eastern Germany across northern Austria. Austria has a population of nearly 8.5 million, more than 90% of whom are Austrians, only 10% being foreigners mostly from Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany and Croatia. Austria is the only country other than Germany where the official language is German, and approximately 98% of the population speaks German or a dialect of it. Austrian German sounds “softer” than that spoken in Germany and German speakers can easily discern the difference. Austria’s Slavic minority, located mostly in the south and east of the country, speak Slovenian and Croatian as their first language. Freedom of religion is guaranteed in Austria. About three-quarters of Austrians are Roman Catholic. Many practice “baptismal certificate Catholicism” in which they are Catholic by baptism and religious formality but do not hold Catholic beliefs on central issues. Another major religion in Austria is Protestantism, and many foreign workers are Muslim or Serbian Orthodox. You will also find a small community of Jews in Austria. Most of them are immigrants from World War II. Austria is in the time zone of UTC+1. However, during summertime (March to October) the clocks are changed to summer time which is UTC+2. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 5.              |  5   The greater part of Austria lies in the cool/temperate climate zone in which humid westerly winds predominate. As over half of the country is dominated by the Alps, an alpine climate is the predominant one. Vienna is both a province and the Austrian capital and is also a major river port on the Danube. The population of Vienna, is around 1.7 million at the time of writing in 2013 (rising to nearly 2.5 million if you include the suburbs), and represents about a quarter of the country’s population; it is said to constitute a melting pot of citizens from all over Central and Eastern Europe. In contrast to the capital, other cities in Austria do not exceed 1 million inhabitants: the second largest city, Graz, is home to around 260.00 people, followed by Linz, Salzburg, and Innsbruck which are smaller. Austria is divided into nine provinces, (1) Burgenland, (2) Carinthia, (3) Lower Austria, (4) Upper Austria, (5) Salzburg, (6) Styria, (7) Tirol, (8) Vorarlberg, and (9) Vienna. Xenophobia:  being  a  foreigner  in  Austria   Austrians are generally conservative people who place a strong value on hospitality, nostalgia, cleanliness, charm, traditions, the love of nature and the outdoors, romance and style. However, work and personal lives are rigidly divided, and Austrians subscribe to the ideal that there is a proper time for every activity. The home is the place where people relax. Only close friends and relatives are invited into the house, so this is the place where more informal communication may occur. However, in general, people are very friendly and hospitable in Austria and treat everyone with respect. International  Business   When doing business in Austria it is essential to appreciate that business etiquette is of great importance to your Austrian counterpart. Austria is a nation that is strongly individualistic and respectful and in turn it expects high standards of its business partners. Any unethical behaviour will seriously diminish all future business negotiations. General  Education   As stated above, Austria’s education system is one of the world’s best and the country has a literacy rate of 99%. Children have an equal right to free education, with free transport to and from school and free textbooks provided by the government. The primary school is for children between the ages of six and ten. After that, there is a choice of two pathways. Some pupils will attend a general secondary school for four more years, whilst others go to an upper-level secondary school until they are eighteen. After secondary school, students can choose to go to a university or vocational college to pursue a specific career. All universities in Austria are free. Twelve universities and six academies of music and art enjoy a high degree of autonomy and offer a full spectrum of degree programs. Established in 1365, the University of Vienna is Austria’s oldest and largest university. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 6.            |  6     The educational levels of the general and the working population in Austria are very high; this might be as a result of the high quality education system. Qualified workers and graduates are available for every possible job opportunity. The so-called dual education system is a special feature and vocational training (apprenticeship) in Austria is based on this principle. Whilst training is concentrated within the firm, it also takes place in parallel to a course in a vocational college. This ensures that two important objectives are met: Guaranteed high qualification standards for Austria’s skilled workers and also youth employment. Educational  standards   Austria’s education system is counted amongst the best in the world and is quite business oriented offering the possibility of specialisation. All the higher technical and commercial colleges provide specialised training. For instance, higher technical colleges for mechanical engineering offer more than ten different forms of training. Almost three quarters of all Austrians take advantage of this unusually wide choice and complete a higher general secondary, or higher technical or vocational college education. The Austrian education system has exceptionally close links with industry. Other  Issues  such  as  transportation  infrastructure   When setting up a business in Austria, it is imperative to be aware of all the relevant distribution channels, transport options and accommodation choices. Austria is located in the heart of Europe and is therefore an important transport hub for north/south and east/west routes. The transport infrastructure is well developed and Austria plays an important role in the creation of trans-European networks. You can travel to Austria by car, rail, aircraft or ship. Within Austria, travel is best undertaken by railway or by car. Local Transportation There is a direct train connection from Vienna Schwechat airport to the city centre. In addition, a local train runs between Wien Mitte and VIE. Buses run every 30 minutes from VIE to the Westbahnhof and the Südbahnhof and to the Vienna City Terminal at the Hilton Hotel. Road Transport Austria is an important transit country and therefore it has a well-developed road network with motorways and highways. A toll, based on kilometres travelled, is levied on all vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes in weight. Rail Transport Austria also has quite a good rail network and around 30% of all goods are transported by rail. The largest rail transport service is the Austrian Federal Railways. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 7.            |  7     Sea Transport Even though Austria is a land-locked country it has considerable inland marine traffic. Waterways include the Danube and the Rhine-Main-Danube canal which enables goods to be transported by ship from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Contact addresses of shippers are available on the website of the Wirtschaftskammer Österreich/Fachverband für Schifffahrt (shipping section). Air Transport The most important airports are in Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Klagenfurt and Innsbruck. The largest Austrian airline is called Austrian (the conglomerate of Austrian, Lauda Air and Austrian Arrows). Flights within the country are predominantly provided by Austrian Arrows. Further information and timetables can be found at http://www.aua.com [de] [en] Cultural  taboos   There are no real taboos in Austria that do not apply in other Western countries. However, there are a number of taboos and issues that are considered inappropriate when dealing with your Austrian counterparts and you should observe these so as to avoid any inference of disrespect to views and ideals. Being aware of these will make your business dealings more pleasant and will assist you in building strong relationships with Austrian business people. • • • • • • • • • • • • Do not discuss World War II or criticise Austria in general Austrians are not Germans, even if they speak the same language! This is very important. Austria and Germany have very different customs. The Austrians value their privacy and personal space immensely. Do not ask personal questions related to occupation, age, family or children if your relationship is in its infancy. Once you have a well-established relationship, those topics are okay. However, never speak about salary. Salary is an absolute taboo topic for Austrians. Austrians are more formal and punctual than most of the rest of the world. They have prescribed roles and seldom step out of line. Compliment carefully and sparingly – Austrians may find personal compliments embarrassing. You should not lose your temper publicly. This is viewed as uncouth and a sign of weakness. Stand up when an elder or higher ranked person enters the room. Do not shout or be loud; do not put your feet on furniture When making or answering a phone call, first introduce yourself by saying your name (most people use their last name, but you can also use your first name if you prefer). It is considered impolite if you don’t say your name even when you use other polite greetings such as “hello” or “good morning”. It is impolite to cross your arm over people who are shaking hands. It is rude to chew gum in public. Talking while your hands are in your pockets is also considered impolite. Understanding and respecting these issues will make a significant contribution in understanding Austrian culture and building and maintaining strong and solid business relationships. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 8.            |  8     Business  Communication   The following sections focus on the communication aspects of business practice and outline practical points that you should consider when making contact with an Austrian counterpart. Basic communication customs will be summarised, and an outline of working and business practices in Austria will be highlighted. In business and in the workplace, on the domestic front and in our social lives, we all stand to benefit from more effective communication skills. Communicating across cultures begins with the basic understanding that one size does not fit all. Simply because you practice certain cultural habits or patterns does not mean the rest of the world does. Failing to recognise and adapt to local customs can mean the difference between success and failure. The main criterion for effective communication is to understand the culture of the country. Culture provides a framework for acceptable behaviour and the differences in ideals need to be recognised, valued and appreciated before any real communication can take place. Gestures and conversation may vary from your country and topics and gestures you may deem normal and acceptable could possibly be viewed as taboo here. Such errors in communication may have a serious impact on the success of the negotiation process. While Austria is an extremely culturally aware nation, the Austrians have expectations when it comes to understanding their culture as an independent country – so preparation is a must if you are to build a positive image from the beginning of negotiations. To become successful as a cross-cultural communicator in Austria: • • • • Remember that while your own culture provides an acceptable framework for behaviour and belief, your preferences and behaviours are culturally based and they are not necessarily the “correct” or the only ones. Become sensitive to a range of verbal and nonverbal behaviour in Austria. Remember the Austrians are conservative and formal people and this may be different from your own cultural approach. Keep an open mind to other views and ways of doing things, particularly when doing business in Austria. Remember there are no universal gestures. The following section will provide you with information on both verbal and non-verbal communication issues in Austria. Focussing on the initial stage of contact is an important factor and is examined together with the application of communication skills in business practice in Austria. Face-­‐to-­‐face  Communication   First impressions are very important to Austrians, and may impact the outcome of your business relationship with them. There are a number of verbal and non-verbal communication issues you should consider when doing business with an Austrian: Non-verbal communication businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 9.            |  9     • • • • • • • • Although Austrians prefer third-party introductions, they do not need a personal relationship in order to do business. Generous personal distance is found between speakers in a conversation. At least an arm’s length between two speakers is generally expected. Eye contact is expected and respected. Uninterrupted eye contact can be awkward for those not used to such etiquette; however, eye contact demonstrates attention and interest in a conversation. Avoiding eye contact may be interpreted as the opposite while being in Austria. Austrian behaviour in public is generally reserved and formal. Thus, waving and shouting at a person who is far away may attract negative attention. Austrians enjoy quiet and privacy. Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual in Austria. Have one side of your card translated into German. Although not a business necessity, it demonstrates attention to detail. Include any advanced academic degrees or honours on your business card. If your company has been in business for a long time, include the founding date on your card as it demonstrates stability. Verbal Communication • • • • • • • • • • Do not expect to reach anyone in the office after 5 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays and after 4 p.m. on Fridays. When answering the phone in Austria, it is normal to identify yourself with your last name. Always use the formal word for you: “Sie” unless invited to use the informal “du”. Address people by their academic title and surname. Austrians are suspicious of hyperbole, promises that sound too good to be true, or displays of emotion. Communication is formal and follows strict rules of protocol. Austrians are at the same time reserved and direct. They take their time to warm to you while speaking their mind immediately. This should not be seen as a personal assault – it is simply indicative of their desire to move the discussion along. There is little joking or small talk in the office as Austrians are serious and focused on accomplishing their business objectives/goals. Try to avoid intrusive questions about personal matters, for example family life, as Austrians tend to be quite private about such things. Use your companion’s conversation as an example of what is acceptable. World War II and the Holocaust may be uncomfortable topics for some Austrians, particularly elder individuals. If such matters come up in conversation try to speak sensitively and / or neutrally if you do not want to risk causing offence. It may be prudent to avoid initiating such a discussion unless you are confident your company would be amenable to it. Language  Matters   Austria is the only country other than Germany where the official language is German, and approximately 98% of the population speaks German or a dialect of it. Austrian German sounds “softer” than that of Germany, and German speakers can easily discern the difference. Austria’s Slavic minority, located mostly in the south and the east, speak Slovenian and Croatian as their first language. English is now taught in all schools as a second or third language. Slovene is an official language in the southern province of Carinthia. Other minority languages include Croatian (0.5%) and Hungarian (0.1%). All three languages are taught alongside German in some bilingual schools. Another minority language is Slovak. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 10.              |  10   As political and economic issues become increasingly international in scope, there is a growing need for Europeans to be competent in foreign languages. Knowledge of German can be an asset to a career in business or international affairs, particularly in Austria. The businessperson who can do business with a foreign customer in his or her own language will have an edge. Large and small companies alike are recognising this as the global market becomes more competitive. Business  Relationships   Austrians, not unlike the Germans, value order, privacy and punctuality. Austrians are generally conservative people and are prudent and moderate in their behaviour. They respect perfectionism in all areas of business and private life, and in their approach to work they tend to focus on achieving the task at hand. This, coupled with their well-defined structures, implies that interpersonal relationships play a secondary role in business dealings. Austrians tend to be quite regimental and compartmental in the way they organise their business relationships. There is a strict separation between private life and work and therefore it takes time to forge more personal relationships. Following an established protocol is critical to building and maintaining business relationships in Austria. Communication is very formal and Austrians tend to be direct. Thirdparty introductions are strongly recommended in Austria, as they illustrate an image of trust in business. They will go on however to develop personal relationships with the people with whom they conduct business, once this trust has been established. It is important to engage your Austrian counterparts in lively and philosophical debate, and to take time before discussing personal topics. This will contribute significantly to establishing sound relationships with your Austrian connections. Building a relationship requires demonstrating a sincere interest in the country and the people, so it is imperative to know the history, culture and identity of Austria. Austrian business culture has a well-defined and strictly observed, vertically structured hierarchy, with closely defined responsibilities and distinctions between roles and departments. One’s place in the hierarchy is generally based on an individual’s achievement and expertise in a given field. Academic titles and backgrounds are important, conveying expertise and a thorough knowledge of a particular area of work. It is crucial that you show proper respect and deference to those who have attained positions of importance, and that you show courtesy and respect at all times to all other counterparts. In Austria, there is a strong sense of community and social conscience and a strong desire for belonging. Expect a great deal of written communication, both to back up decisions and to maintain a record of decisions and discussions. Even if you have a friendly or casual relationship with colleagues, you should remember that on-the-job correspondence means that an e-mail is a business letter, in which salutations and greetings should not be forgotten. Austrians extend social invitations in advance of the event, and the more formal the occasion the greater the time between the invitation and the event itself, so that they can be certain that their guests do not have a prior engagement. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 11.            |  11     In Austria, it is generally customary to state your name when you answer the phone. In accordance with corporate identity trends, the customary way to answer a phone at an Austrian company is to state the name of the company, the name of the person answering the phone, and a greeting. Making  contact   The Austrians in general are typically conservative as far as physical gesturing is concerned. Unlike in France, men never kiss men, and public displays of affection are uncommon, particularly in the business environment. Public gestures of affection tend to be reserved for close family and friends. Common courtesy such as handshakes and politeness go a long way, when creating a good image for your Austrian counterpart. In business situations, shake hands at both the beginning and the end of a meeting. People who have worked together for years still shake hands each morning as if it were the first time they met. Additionally, a handshake may be accompanied with a slight bow. Reciprocating the nod is a good way to make a good impression, as failure to respond with this nod/bow (especially to a superior) may get you off to a bad start. Be sure to look directly into the person’s eyes while shaking hands. When being introduced to a woman, wait to see if she extends her hand before offering yours. Austrians tend to make eye contact often, so try to maintain it when it is made with you. Austrians view eye contact as a sign of trust, sincerity and attentiveness, so do not be quick to assume it is a threatening gesture. As this is just part of the culture it is not uncommon for eye contact to be made on the street as well, again with no aggression intended. Expressive use of the hands is minimal in most conversations. Do not use exaggerated or indirect communication styles during business meetings with your Austrian counterparts. It creates an impression of insincerity and dishonesty. As business people tend to be formal and conservative, business relationships are proper, orderly and professional. Keep the hierarchy in mind and always address your message to the appropriate person in the organisation. Personal  titles   Titles are very important to Austrians. Do your best to address people by their full, correct title, no matter how extraordinarily long that title may seem to foreigners. This is also true when addressing a letter. The most common titles in Austria are Doktor, Magister and Diplom. First names are reserved for family members and close friends. Until you are informed otherwise, or have developed a personal relationship, it is very important to refer to your Austrian colleague with his or her title (respectively, Herr and Frau for Mr. and Mrs.), plus the last name (do not use a contact’s first name until you have established a friendship). If someone is introduced to you with an additional title (e.g. Dr.), use it. This is a formal culture until people get to know each other. • • Mr. = Herr (i.e. Herr Müller) Mrs. (or Ms.) = Frau (i.e. Frau Müller) businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 12.            |  12     • • Dr. (male) = Herr Doctor (i.e. Herr Doctor Müller) Dr. (female) = Frau Doctor (i.e. Frau Doctor Müller) Other titles expected in Austria are as follows: • • • • • • Universitätsprofessor: – indicates that the person is a tenured professor at an Austrian University. Doktor – a university doctorate degree. Dr. indicates that the person has earned an Austrian doctorate in two subjects. Magister – a university Master of Arts Degree. Diplom Ingenieur – a university degree in engineering. Ingenieur– a degree in technical/engineering subjects earned at a non-university institution. Kommerzialrat – an honorary title for achievements in commerce bestowed by a government organisation. If speaking German to your counterparts, use the formal version of you (“Sie”), unless someone specifically invites you to use the informal “du” form. It is usually best to let your Austrian counterpart take the initiative of proposing the informal form of address (this implies readiness to develop a personal relationship). businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 13.              |  13   Business  Etiquette     Attitudes and values are the foundation of every country’s culture, and are the building blocks for developing a business culture. Cultural influences, attitudes and behaviours vary within and across nations and within and across ethnicities, and they are strongly embedded in communities. Business executives who hope to profit from their travels in Europe should learn about the history, culture, and customs of the countries that they wish to visit. Flexibility and cultural adaptation should be the guiding principles for doing business in this country. Business manners and methods, religious customs, the importance of family, are all covered in the following sub-sections. Some of the cultural distinctions that business people most often face include differences in business styles, attitudes toward development of business relationships, attitudes toward punctuality, negotiating styles, gift-giving customs, greetings, significance of gestures, meanings of colours and numbers, and customs regarding titles. The following subsections give insights into the values, attitudes and culture of Austria. Perhaps because of its geographical and linguistic proximity to Germany and because it is a very small country with less than 10 million inhabitants, Austria and Germany have similar cultures and business etiquettes. However, you should never think of them as being exactly the same and should make sure to distinguish between them as separate countries and cultures. Corporate  Social  Responsibility   Strict environmental regulations have ensured that Austria remains exceptionally clean and environmentally intact. The protection of the environment is not the sole responsibility of one legislative body in Austria, but is part of numerous competences of the federal state (e.g. trade and industry, water, forest, dangerous waste and most aspects of air and traffic) and the provinces (e.g. nature protection, land-use planning, construction, non-dangerous waste). Current environmental issues affecting individual states in Austria include: some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution. Soil pollution is the result of the use of agricultural chemicals. Austria is also concerned about the level of air pollution which is a result of emissions by coal and oil-fired power stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria between northern and southern Europe. Overall, there is rigorous pollution control in Austria and there is also a ban on atomic energy. You will find numerous companies in Austria with a clear orientation on sustainability, as well as environmental issues. They also focus on topics like conditions in the workplace and real social engagement. Punctuality   Punctuality in Austria, as in Germany, is renowned throughout the world. Time, therefore, is managed carefully, and calendars, schedules and agendas must be respected. Trains arrive and businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 14.            |  14     leave on time to the minute, projects are carefully scheduled, and organisation charts are meticulously detailed. Do not turn up late for an appointment or when meeting people. Austrians are extremely punctual, and even a few minutes delay can offend. If you are going to be even slightly late, call ahead and explain your situation. Be five to ten minutes early for important appointments. Gift  giving   In Austria it is not usual among business associates to give gifts. However, for social occasions like birthdays, gift giving is more common. The following issues are important to note when considering giving a gift: • • • • • • • • • • • Gifts are not expected in business. Austrians sometimes give gifts to close business colleagues at holiday-times or to celebrate the completion of an important and successful business deal. Gifts should be moderate and unassuming. Suitable gifts include brandies, spirits, or something that reflects your homeland or the personal tastes and preferences of the recipient, as long as the gift is of high quality and not normally obtainable in Austria. Do not give personal gifts, gifts with sharp edges, gifts with your company logo on (unless very subtle) or a very expensive gift. It is very unusual for an outsider to be invited into an Austrian’s home but, if you are, you should go with gifts for your host, his or her spouse and their children. A bottle of vintage wine, (French) champagne (not German Sekt) or brandy would make a good gift for your host and high-quality chocolates or a spray of flowers are suitable gifts for your hostess. If giving flowers, give in odd numbers only – an even number means bad luck in Austria. Red roses are the sign for love, red carnations the official flower of the Social Democratic Party and lilies are for funerals, Un-wrap the flowers before giving them to your hostess unless they are in transparent plastic foil wrapping. Gifts should be attractively wrapped. Children receive gifts on December 6th, the feast of St. Nicholas. Recommended gifts for children might include confectionery, electronic gadgets or anything foreign (and therefore “cool”) depending on their age. If you have time, check your selections with a representative from the Austrian embassy. Austria generally has the same basic traditions as most other European countries in terms of gift giving. Business  Dress  Code   Austrians take great pride in dressing well, regardless of where they are going or what position they hold. Appearance and presentation is very important to Austrians, particularly in business. Even when dressed informally, they are neat and conservative and their clothes are never ostentatious. The following gives an insight into the correct dress code for conducting business in Austria: • • There is strict protocol for dressing appropriately in different situations: use formal clothes for the theatre or a concert, and semiformal for high end restaurants. Most cultural events and restaurants have a dress code and will turn away patrons who are not dressed accordingly. Business dress is understated and conservative and follows most European conventions. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 15.            |  15     • • • • • Businessmen should wear dark coloured, conservative business suits; solid, conservative ties, and white shirts. This form of dress is observed even in comparatively warm weather. Do not remove your jacket or tie before your Austrian colleague does so. Business-women should wear either fashionable business suits or conservative dresses, complemented with elegant accessories. Loud clothes are not acceptable. Most Austrian women dress up to go shopping, since they dress elegantly, if conservatively, at all times, especially when they will be seen in public. Casual or sloppy attire is frowned upon. Avoid wearing shorts in the city, especially when shopping. Bribery  and  corruption   Austria has taken a strong stance in the fight against corruption and bribery. However, while Austria remains ahead of the fight; there are still issues to be dealt with. According to the Corruption Perception Index (www.transparency.org/country#AUT) Austria is ranked number 25 out of 176. Steps are being taken by Austria to implement and enforce the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Austria also ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption in November 2005 and signed the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption in 2000. At an EU-level, Austria has signed, ratified and implemented the (first) protocol to the Convention on the Protection of Financial Interests and the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the European Union. In Austria, the further training of Ministry of the Interior and police experts in countering corruption is the responsibility of the Bureau for Internal Affairs (BIA). This is an autonomous service department of the Ministry of the Interior and stands aside from the classical police structure. BIA officials are not obliged to accept orders from outside when conducting investigations. They operate directly in conjunction with the state prosecutor’s office and the courts. Interpol, the international police organisation, has established the world’s first anti-corruption academy in Austria, Vienna (http://www.iaca.int/). On top of this Vienna has traditionally established itself as an attractive location for international organisations. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 16.              |  16    Business  Meeting  Etiquette     Meetings come in all shapes and sizes, and are more important than ever in business today. There are the everyday office meetings, board meetings, and seminars. Meetings can now be face-to-face, teleconference, videoconference, or online via the Internet and are a common form of corporate life in Austria. Even though it is one country, do take into consideration that there are huge differences between eastern and western Austria. If you compare the business behaviour of people from Vienna with that of the people from Vorarlberg, it is similar to comparing Spanish people with US Americans. If possible try to speak to a local person before a meeting in order to get to know the specifics of the person/region. As you will be travelling to and from a foreign country, it is essential that you recognise the value of planning for a meeting according to the principles of proper etiquette. Deciding the contents of the meeting and the appropriate negotiation strategies should be based on the cultural habits and customs of the country. The appropriate steps should be taken when preparing an agenda and it is advisable to circulate agendas in advance to ensure everyone’s preparedness. Ensure that the facilities that you require for the business meeting are available and ready to use. Presentations should be well prepared, comprehensive, clear, well written, and informative and presented in a formal, rational, professional manner – appealing always to the intellect of business people in Austria. The following section deals with various stages of a business meeting and examines the issues of cultural sensitivity in this area. Importance  of  Business  Meeting   Meetings are taken seriously in Austria and may go into considerable detail. Business meetings follow a formal procedure. Austrian managers work from precise and detailed agendas, which are usually followed rigorously; moreover, meetings always aim for decisive outcomes and results, rather than providing a forum for open and general discussion. The formality of a meeting may make it difficult for an outsider to assess how things are going, but a lengthy examination of a proposal will indicate serious intent. In Austrian business dealings, it is important to provide solid facts and examples to back up proposals, given the Austrian preference for analytical thinking and rational explanations. Do not use exaggerated or indirect communication styles during business meetings with your Austrian counterparts since this creates an impression of insincerity and dishonesty. Business is conducted at a slow pace. Be patient. The business community is very political. Everyone is careful about what they say to or about anyone else. Austrian business culture has a well-defined and strictly observed hierarchy, with clear responsibilities and distinctions between roles and departments. Power is held by a small number of people at the top. In formal Austrian business meetings, it is customary for the highest-ranking person to enter the room first. However, in more informal business situations businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 17.            |  17     this is less important. Contacts are vital to business success in Austria. Use an Austrian representative where possible to assist in this. Contact your embassy for more information. Business  Meeting  planning   When setting up a meeting with your Austrian counterparts, there are a number of matters to consider in order to ensure the best possible outcome from your negotiations. The following are elements to deliberate before your process begins: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Appointments in Austria are necessary and should be made 3 to 4 weeks in advance when meeting with private companies. You are advised to avoid making business appointments for the months of July and August as well as around the dates of Austrian national holidays. Punctuality is taken extremely seriously. If you expect to be delayed, telephone immediately and offer an explanation. It is extremely rude to cancel a meeting at the last minute as it could jeopardise your business relationship. Meetings are generally formal and initial meetings are used to get to know each other. These allow your Austrian colleagues to determine if you are trustworthy. This process is often very time consuming. Letters should be addressed to the top person in the functional area, include the person’s name as well as their proper business title. Do not forget the importance of rank in Austrian business. Never set up a meeting for a lower ranked company employee to meet with a higher ranked person. If you write to schedule an appointment, the letter should be written in German. Expeditious handling of correspondence is indispensable. Telephone calls and faxes should be returned promptly. Although German is the preferred business language, most upper level managers are quite capable of carrying on a conversation in English. However, an interpreter is advisable in order to create the correct business impression. Participants must arrive dressed appropriately for the occasion. Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual. Have one side of your card translated into German. Although not a business necessity, it demonstrates attention to detail. Include any advanced academic degrees or honours on your business card. If your company has been in business for a long time, include the founding date on your card as it demonstrates stability. As with most European countries, accepted etiquette in Austria relies on professionalism, good business sense and formality. Bearing in mind all of the above will ensure positive results. Negotiation  process   Austrians tend to be more emotional than their German counterparts in business. Avoid confrontational behaviour or high-pressure tactics and do not make the mistake of insisting that everyone agrees with your opinion or attempt the ‘hard sell’. This can be counterproductive in the long run. Austrians can be disagreeable if deadlocked in a deal. There is sometimes a tendency to avoid confrontation to the extent of promising rather more than they can deliver. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 18.              |  18   Short-term thinking is a Viennese trademark, and it will often be necessary to remind your Austrian counterpart of their obligations (at which point they will do their best to meet the terms of the agreement). Business is conducted slowly in Austria. You will have to be patient and not appear ruffled by the strict adherence to protocol. Austrians are very detail- oriented and want to understand every innuendo before coming to an agreement. Be prepared with a clear strategy and offer. If possible, have literature on the company, product and business offer available in German. Decisions are made at the top of the company and in private, therefore, high-level contacts are more effective. Since most companies are relatively small, it is often quite easy to meet with the decision- maker and negotiate with them directly. Meeting  protocol   Most Austrians greet one another formally, by shaking hands and saying, “Grüß Gott” (greet God) or “Grüß Dich” (informal greeting). Upon leaving, they shake again and say “Auf Wiedersehen” (good-bye). It is important to maintain eye contact during the greeting. Be sure to shake hands with everyone present – men, women and children – at business or social meetings. Shake hands with women before men and be aware that in Austria women should offer their hand first. Older Viennese men may kiss the hand of a lady on introduction, or say “Küß die Han” (I kiss your hand) and click their heels together. Accept this tradition graciously. A foreign man should not kiss the hand of an Austrian woman, since it is not expected and may come as a shock. When greeting an Austrian verbally, use a person’s title and their surname until invited to use their first name. Appropriate forms of address include Herr (Mr.) for a man, Frau (Mrs.) for a woman or young girl. When addressing a professional under business or other formal circumstances, it is appropriate to use the proper honorific plus the professional designation. In more casual situations where the last name is unknown, titles alone (Herr and Frau) can be used. When meeting a business contact for the first time exchange business cards – these should be bilingual in English and German. Not all Austrians speak English and even if they do they might be not comfortable using it. Even if you don’t know very much German most Austrians will appreciate you learning their language. Although sincere smiles are welcomed, and people tend to be polite and hospitable to one another, physical and emotional expression may be kept to a minimum upon initial introductions. Light conversation however usually precedes business. How  to  Run  a  Business  Meeting   The efficient administering of a meeting is vital to negotiations with Austrian counterparts. It illustrates your competence, motivation and dedication to making a deal and also highlights your professionalism. The following are points to consider when running a meeting in Austria: businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 19.            |  19     • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The primary purpose of a first meeting is to get to know one another and to evaluate the person, to gain trust, and check if there is likely to be rapport. Make appointments well in advance with prospective clients, either in writing or by phone. Avoid waiting until the last minute to arrange business meetings. Do not procrastinate on correspondence with others. Do not assume other parties have been invited to attend. It is your prerogative to make that sure. Send company profiles, personal profiles, etc., to Austrian colleagues before your visit to establish credibility. Show understanding for the Austrian way of doing things. Use titles and show respect when corresponding or speaking to co-workers and authoritative figures. Arrive at meetings well prepared. Avoid hard-sell tactics or surprises. Austrians generally discuss business after a few minutes of small talk. Meetings adhere to strict agendas, including start and end times. If you have an agenda, it will be followed. Presentations should be accurate and precise. Have back-up material and be prepared to defend everything: Austrians are meticulous about details. Write all documentation in German. Maintain direct eye contact while speaking. Austrians dislike hype and exaggeration. Be sure you can back up your claims with lots of data. Case studies and examples are highly regarded. Austrians are not comfortable handling the unexpected. Plans are cautious with fall back positions, contingency plans, and comprehensive action steps – carried out to the letter. Although English may be spoken, it is a good idea to hire an interpreter so as to avoid any misunderstandings. Remain silent if the floor has not been given to you or if you are not prepared to make an informed contribution. Follow  up  letter  after  meeting  with  client   Once a meeting has concluded with your Austrian counterparts, normal meeting procedures should apply. You should follow-up with a letter outlining what was agreed, the next steps, and who is responsible for completing any actions. Expect a great deal of written communication in the weeks that follow, both to confirm decisions and to maintain a record of discussions and outcomes. Always prepare and distribute minutes, information etc. within 24 hours of the meeting. Quick action on this reinforces the importance of meeting with the Austrians and also reduces errors of memory. Follow up on any delegated decisions. See that all members understand and carry out their responsibilities as effectively as possible. Place unfinished business on the agenda for the next meeting. A number of days after the meeting, your Austrian colleagues will appreciate a follow up phone call. The personal touch and effort is important in business practice in Austria. A lot of Austrian businesses put their general business conditions, in German, on the back of orders, invoices etc. Under certain circumstances, those business conditions can become part of the agreement if not properly objected to. In such cases, the fact that the recipient was not even able to read those business conditions for lack of knowledge of the German language is no defence. It is therefore advisable to always object to the other side’s general business conditions. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 20.            |  20     As Austrian business people are very formal, socialising after meetings will not occur until firm working relationships have been established. While a degree of formality will continue to exist in the business relationship, an effort to build an understanding of their language and culture will improve relationships significantly. Business  meals   From the more expensive and upmarket restaurants to the sausage stands which can be found on every second street corner in Austria, eating out is a very pleasant experience in this country. Austrians appreciate good food and coffee houses and wine taverns are a popular alternative to restaurants. Local restaurants are called a “Gasthaus” and are in general cheaper than normal restaurants. Taking into account the ethnic diversity of the inhabitants of Austria, it is not surprising that you will find a wide range of restaurants: Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and much more. A tip of 10 to 15% is generally expected in every restaurant. Attitudes to business meals Business entertainment takes place mostly in restaurants. The Austrians enjoy linking gastronomic pleasure with interesting conversation about potential business. Restaurants in Austria provide an agreeable environment for discussing business and offer an opportunity to deepen social bonds. They represent a place where business can be conducted at a relaxed pace in which participants can feel at ease with each other and develop a more open level of communication. Actual business, however, is not supposed to be conducted during lunch or dinner. Sharing a meal is intended to help establish a personal acquaintance as a precursor to doing business. Restaurant Etiquette As with all countries, there is an etiquette you are expected to follow, when dining out in Austria. The following highlight the most important elements of restaurant etiquette: • • • • • • • • • Austrians insist on punctuality for social occasions. They remain standing until invited to sit down and you may even be shown to a particular seat. Do not begin eating until the host / hostess starts or someone says “Mahlzeit” or “guten Appetite” (have a nice meal). Do not rest your elbows on the table. Do not put your left hand in your lap when you eat. Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel on your plate with the handles facing to the right. The most common toast with wine is “Zum Wohl”’ and with beer is “Prost” (good health). The person who extends the invitation pays the bill in a restaurant. Austrians will not appreciate a struggle over the bill. Reciprocate with a lunch or dinner invitation before you leave the country. In many places in Austria, including restaurants, there is a strict ban on smoking. Try to smoke only when the people around you are doing so. It takes minimal effort to adhere to restaurant protocol which is important to observe when doing business in another country. Your attention to detail will not go unnoticed by your businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 21.            |  21     Austrian counterparts and will highlight your genuine willingness and enthusiasm to do business with them. Austria is famous for its rich and varied cuisine, with a mix of German, Italian, Bohemian and Hungarian influences. In recent times, a new regional cuisine has developed which is centred on regional products and employs modern and easy methods of preparation. Business  Meeting  tips   The following are some useful tips to remember when travelling to or working in Austria: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Austrians are not Germans. Austria and Germany have very different customs. Never refer to an Austrian as a German. Lower your voice a little and behave graciously and you will enjoy a warm response from the people of Austria. The Austrians value their privacy and personal space immensely. Do not ask personal questions related to occupation, salary, age, family or children even if you have a wellestablished friendship. Austrians are more formal and punctual than most of the rest of the world. They have prescribed roles and seldom step out of line. Traditional good manners call for the man to walk in front of a woman when walking into a public place. This is a symbol of protection and of the man leading the woman. A man should open the door for a woman and allow her to walk into the building. Do not be offended if someone corrects your behaviour (i.e. taking your jacket off in a restaurant, parking in the wrong spot, etc.). Policing each other is seen as a social duty. Compliment carefully and sparingly – Austrians may find personal compliments embarrassing. Do not lose your temper in public. This is viewed as uncouth and a sign of weakness. Stand when an elder or higher ranked person enters the room. Do not put your hands in your pockets while speaking to anyone. Do not shout or be loud, put your feet on furniture or chew gum in public. Traditionally, there has been little acceptance of women in high positions of responsibility and power in business. Women, especially foreign women, must establish their position and ability immediately in order to conduct business successfully in Austria. Greet salespeople when entering and leaving a shop. Tip 5-10% of the bill for waiters, taxi drivers etc. Emergency phone numbers: • • • Police: 133 Fire: 122 Ambulance: 144 businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 22.              |  22    Internship  and  placement     Work  experience   In Austria there are two legal forms of internship. You can either work as an employee or as a volunteer. For pupils or students who want to become an employee, the normal labour and social legislation applies. As a volunteer these laws do not apply. The regulations that apply to citizens from the “old” EU-Member States (those who became members before 01.04.2004) are the same as those for all Austrians. For all others, the regulations in the “Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetzes” (AuslBG) apply. Knowledge of the German language is important as not everyone speaks English. The opportunities for working in Austria are largely within the tourism industry, i.e. hotel services and sporting activities like skiing and gastronomy. Internship  and  Placement  advice   There are many practical issues related to international placements that need to be taken care of either by the trainee or the host company. It is important to reserve enough time for all the arrangements and the necessary formalities. The training organisations, educational institutes and home and host organisations are able to help with these. Social  security  and  European  health  insurance   Depending on the placement you do, the amount of money you earn and your nationality (EU/non-EU), health insurance may or may not be included. As a foreign student, the relevant insurances you could obtain are related to health, accident and travel. Safety   Austria has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe and is one of the safest countries in the world. However, tourists can become targets of pick-pockets when gathering together in a group. Commonly known areas for pick-pockets are Vienna’s two largest train stations, the plaza around St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the nearby pedestrian shopping areas. Do  I  need  a  visa?   Austria is a member of the Schengen Agreement. Nationals of the EU, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are treated like Austrians and therefore do not require work or residence permits. However, you must register your stay with the local authorities within three days of your arrival. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 23.              |  23   Non-EU-members need a work permit, a procedure which can be problematic and slow. Internship  and  placement  salary   Whether a placement is paid or unpaid in Austria will depend on the type of placement you are looking at. If the placement is paid you might get around 500€ a month. However, more positions are available for unpaid placements. Internship  and  placement  accommodation   If you do your placement within the hotel and restaurant industry it is likely that you will get free accommodation and food. Otherwise, you will need to find your own place to stay during your placement. In the capital a lot of flat share places can be found.  Cost  of  Living     Austria is in the middle range in terms of prices. Money  and  Banking   Austria’s currency is the euro (EUR, €). Foreign visitors can exchange their currency at banks and exchange bureaus, as well as in ATMs which in Austria are called “Bankomat”. You can find them everywhere including in many shops and some restaurants. Major credit and debit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants. Small hotels and independently owned inns however, may only accept cash or travellers’ cheques. American Express and Diners Club cards are not accepted in many places. Visa and Master Card are the best cards to use. Traveling  costs   These must be paid by you the intern and include the flight or train ticket to Austria as well as the money you need to get to your workplace each day. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 24.            |  24      Work-­‐life  Balance     The family forms the basis of the Austrian social structure. Families are generally small and, due to a lack of migration, closely knit within a certain town or village. Weekends are generally devoted to family activities and Sundays are usually marked for visiting grandparents for dinner, and/or, enjoying a hike in the country together. Eating dinner together in the evening is very much the norm in Austrian families. Therefore, a key issue for Austrians is flexible working time. However, to achieve a balance between work, leisure time and family commitments, everyone needs to be clear about their priorities and what they want. In Austria, some companies like IBM for example offer activities in the workplace such as yoga or massage in order for employees to find their inner balance and be relaxed at work. Furthermore, the government supports maternity/paternity leave or reducing your working hours in order to fit in with family commitments. National  Holidays   Holidays Date New Year’s Day January 1 Epiphany January 6 Easter Sunday March / April Easter Monday March / April Labour Day May 1 Ascension May Whit Sunday (Pentecost) May Whit Monday May Corpus Christi May / June Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary August 15 Austrian National Day October 26 All Saints Day November 1 businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 25.            |  25     Immaculate Conception December 8 Christmas Day December 25 Boxing Day December 26 Working  hours   Business Working week Monday – Friday Saturday – Sunday Office 08.00 a.m. to 17.00 p.m. – with one hour for lunch (Monday to Thursday) and 08.00 a.m. to 15.00 p.m. (Friday) Closed Retail 08.00 a.m. to 19.00. p.m. (and in some cases to 21.00) Closed on Sunday (with the exception of shops at railway stations, airports and tourist centres). Banks 08.00 a.m. to 12.30pm and 13.30 p.m. to 15.00 p.m. (on Thursday until 17.00 p.m.) Closed Government offices 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 (Monday to Friday). Closed p.m. Some supermarkets in Austria are open beyond the hours indicated above. Food may be purchased on Sundays in shops, gas and railway stations. Working  culture   Austrians are proud of their contribution to world civilisation. They see themselves as modern, liberal and cultured, and working practices are formal and professional. The following outlines the work practices that you should be familiar with before investing in Austria: • • • Austrian business culture has a well-defined and strictly observed hierarchy, with clear responsibilities and distinctions between roles and departments. Professional rank and status in Austria is generally based on an individual’s achievement and expertise in a given field. Academic titles and backgrounds are important, conveying an individual’s expertise and thorough knowledge of their particular area of work. Another important aspect is Austria’s work ethic. Employees define themselves as part of the corporation they are working for and quickly identify themselves with your product and/ or services. Thus, you can expect to be in the best hands when starting a business in Austria. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 26.            |  26     • • • • • • • • • • • • Organisation is logical, methodical and compartmentalized with procedures and routines done “by the book”. Contacts are extremely helpful in creating business success in Austria. The rate of women working outside the home in Austria is one of the highest in the industrialised world. Lunch is the most common setting for business discussions for women who should stick to inviting male colleagues to lunch until they get to know them on a more personal level. The business community is very political. Everyone is careful about what they say to or about anyone else. Business is conducted at a slow pace. Be patient. In more traditional companies, it is still common that everything is run by committees, things are discussed in great length and risk taking is not as common as in other countries. There is one philosophy that goes for almost anybody in Austrian business: if someone says he is going to do something, he will do so. The same is expected of others as well. Never make a promise that you cannot keep or offer something you cannot deliver. Austrians dislike and do not trust unreliable people. Federal regulations limit the working week to a maximum of 48 hours, but collective bargaining agreements may supersede these. Contracts that directly or indirectly affect 80 per cent of the working population regulate the number of hours of work per week. The average working week is around 40 hours nation-wide; rest periods for lunch are as given by law. Provisions for overtime, holiday, and weekend pay vary depending upon the applicable collective bargaining agreement. An extensive set of laws and regulations govern occupational health and safety. A comprehensive system of worker insurance enforces safety requirements in the workplace. There are also extensive laws regulating wages, severance pay and sick pay. It is important that these issues are examined and understood before setting up a company and employing a workforce in Austria. These issues differ all over Europe but legal guidelines are set by the European Commission. Health  insurance   Austria’s health care system is well developed, with 99% of its people being protected by health insurance plans. These are funded by workers, employers, and the federal, provincial, and local governments. Everyone covered by health insurance is entitled to free outpatient and inpatient treatment. Physicians contract with health insurance agencies but are free to maintain private practices, and patients are free to go to the doctor of their choice. businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 27.            |  27     Social  Media  Guide     Private  Individuals   When Austrians are spontaneously asked what they associate with Web 2.0/Social Media, the following keywords arise: (Marketagent.com) More than 60% of the Austrian population with Internet access are registered on and use social networks on a regular basis. As can be seen from the tag cloud, communication is the common denominator. This is also, the answer people give when being asked about their use of social media. It is mostly used for sending messages and uploading pictures. Furthermore, online dating is also quite common in Austria. Social media is not only used for private purposes, but also for job-related tasks such as gathering information, communicating jobrelated interests and maintaining private contact with colleagues. Furthermore, job networking and searching for work are important aspects of social media use. It is also used to develop know-how and knowledge and to get ratings about products and services. Austrians use social networks in addition to personal communication and even increase personal contacts through these sources. The most important social network sites in Austria are (listed according to the penetration): • • • • • • • • Facebook YouTube sms.at MySpace XING StudiVZ Twitter Netlog According to an Austrian social media map from Ambuzzador marketing GmbH, the platforms can be grouped according to their target groups. The VZ-Networks, including studiVZ and schülerVZ and Lokalisten.at can be seen as special interest platforms, Xing and businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 28.            |  28     LinkedIn are business networks, YouTube, flickr, MyVideo and Clipfish are sharing platforms and platforms like Facebook, meinVZ of myspace are networking sites. The most greatest concerns of Austrians who do not use social media are surround the misuse of data, the possibility that company personnel managers may see their private data and concerns about revealing too much personal information. SMEs   The usage of Social Media in Austrian businesses has risen over recent years, but the possibilities have not yet been fully exploited. Around 50% of Austrian businesses use some kind of social media. Facebook, Twitter and Xing are the most popular platforms. More than 70% of social media active companies use Facebook, more than 50% Xing and around 25% Twitter. On average 2/3 of all businesses publish some news on social media at least once a week. Despite all the diligence of Austrian companies in social media activities, when they are asked about the benefits derived from their efforts, there is still some confusion. More than 40% do not have concrete goals or strategies in using social media. However, many see positive results through the acquisition of new customers and the initiation of new business. Only a quarter of companies that are already active in social media pursue a strategic goal with regard to the use of these platforms. Here, image-building is named as the primary goal, followed by new customer acquisition and customer retention. In more than 2/3 of all companies, there are no guidelines for social media usage. To date, less than 25% have already developed their own guidelines and/or policies. A challenge that most companies face is the private use of social media during working hours. In Austria more than 50% of social media active companies allow their employees unrestricted access to social networks whilst 20% of companies forbid the use by their employees. Search  and  Social  Media  Marketing  for  International  Business   Learn how to use social media for business from one of Salford Business School’s latest business management courses. The course was jointly researched by the Passport to Trade 2.0 project team and prepared in collaboration with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in the UK. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can help businesses and individuals to make the best use of search and social media platforms. The course is called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business and is applicable to students looking for placements abroad as well as businesses thinking about new trade links; it comprises the following twelve topics: How to develop a personal brand online (1/12) businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 29.            |  29     • • Whether you are a student beginning a job search or a business person planning a new business venture, personal branding can make a difference. Learn about personal branding and why it is important for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=l9LYw0mgtn4&feature=player _embedded How to use Twitter (2/12) • • Learn the basics of using Twitter to develop an individual or business profile. Remember to use hash tag #SSMMUoS to share your learning journey on this course so far! http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9CVY3pp91Dc&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (3/12) • • Learn the principles of SEO to ensure that your website and any social media profiles are found by individuals searching for your name, products and services. These basic principles of SEO include keyword research, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zw27cRcwtM0&feature=player _embedded How to use social media for international business development (4/12) businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 30.            |  30     • • Social media networks break down the traditional country barriers, but do you know which networks are relevant for the country you are interested in trading with? Find out in this video how to identify the relevant networks and what social media strategies you might be able to use on these networks. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Bx-B56AHS4c&feature= player_embedded How to use Facebook (5/12) • • Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world and it can benefit you as a business as well as an individual. Learn how to develop a Facebook business page and see how other businesses use it and what strategies work for them. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=UmRGn-vdcO8&feature= player_embedded How to use YouTube (6/12) • • YouTube was identified as the second largest social network amongst younger internet users as part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project. Learn how to optimise your video content in order to reach wider audiences for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=G2 0OVpmTBss businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 31.            |  31     How to use LinkedIn (7/12) • • LinkedIn is one of the three main professional social networks – the others being Xing and Viadeo which are also popular in several European countries. Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=N6e_EAUQqic&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Google+ (8/12) • • • Google+ is the second largest social network as of January 2013. It is one of the fastest growing social networks and one that has the biggest impact when it comes to search engine results integration for anyone who uses Google as their main search engine. Learn how to make the most of Google+ for you and your digital profiles. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=8ti 3SPHkEWw How to use copywriting online (9/12) • • Copywriting is a process of translating technical specifications and product descriptions into engaging and understandable customer focused text. Learn about the basic techniques in structuring your online content here. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5f1hx_f2ONI&feature=player_ embedded businessculture.org     Content  Austria  
  • 32.            |  32     How to stay legal on social media (10/12) • • Everything and anything you do and say online can be potentially viewed by anyone who has internet access. Always respect the law and familiarise yourself with new options offered to you through a creative commons licence which is popular online. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=eQxDpiHsdk&feature=player_embedde d How to use monitoring and reporting (11/12) • • Whether you are an individual or a business spending time on social media – there has to be a return on your engagement online. How do you justify your engagement on social media to your boss? Listen to the industry experts in this area and see what you might be able to measure in respect of your on-line engagements. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LbEq7jsG0jg&feature=player_ embedded How to blog (12/12) • • http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=OqVjR7oI8Rs&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     • Blogging is a process of writing text and sharing content with others. It can help your customers or friends to keep in-touch regardless of social media platforms. Think about the voice you might want to adopt and who your audience might be. Share your thoughts with us by writing a blog post about this MOOC. Tweet us the link to your post on the #SSMMUoS Twitter hash tag. Content  Austria  
  • 33.              |  33   Passport  to  Trade  2.0  Project  Partnership   Five Universities: Lead partner: Salford Business School, University of Salford, United Kingdom Elena Vasilieva Aleksej Heinze Alex Fenton URENIO research unit at Aristole University of Thessaloniki, Greece Christina Kakderi Nitsa Papadopouloui TSE Entre Research Centre Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland Satu Aaltonen Elisa Akola Institute for Information System Research University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany Verena Hausmann Susan P. Williams Petra Schubert Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania Adriana Grigorescu Leonardo Badea Three Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Spin, Italy Carmine Antonio Donato Dorella De Tommaso Technology Development & Innovation – TDI LTD Bulgaria Milanka Slavova Ivan Stoychev TIS Praha, Czech Republic Anna Klosova Richard Adekeye businessculture.org     Content  Austria