Sandra Scherzer, Group Head of Corporate Communications at Zeppelin GmbH, talks about a seven-day success story and how she managed to bring bauma to every corner of the earth with more than 100 videos, stories and photos.
What is #wearebauma?
Sandra Scherzer: For me, #wearebauma means sharing, emotion and a feeling of together-ness, first and foremost. From a strategic perspec-tive, it was a holistic social media concept that we developed for the largest trade fair in the world, bauma 2019. At the core of the concept was our live blog, http://www.wearebauma.com, where we documented and posted all relevant bauma events and highlights in the form of videos, stories and photos – and all in real time! Using the hashtag #wearebauma, we shared all of the content on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Z CONNECT and Xing – and so we took Zeppelin at bauma all around the world.
Why did you decide on #wearebauma?
bauma is the largest and most important of all trade fairs for the Zeppelin Group: Five of our six strategic business units take part in and exhibit at the event when it takes place every three years. However, not all Zeppelin employees can be there as it happens. So we asked ourselves what contribution could Corporate Communications make here? And what added value for Zeppelin employees and the public could we create via digital channels?
In what way was it high time for #wearebauma?
These days, Corporate Communications is much more than a news article, a press release or a newsletter. Communication is a living thing, that transforms itself through trends and new ways of sharing information. New digital (social media) channels in particular provide a colorful bouquet of options for active, lively and varied communication. If you want to report on a live event such as bauma, you need to get up from your desk and be part of the action. There is no other way! And the #wearebauma blog made that possibility tangible.
At the same time, #wearebauma was the perfect opportunity to win over all Zeppeliners worldwide as the most important ambassadors of the company. Thanks to the content on the blog and on social media, it was possible to pick up on issues, and share and post them on our own networks. I see this as one of the most authentic forms of communication!
Can you explain the idea and the mission behind #wearebauma?
The idea was to put a bracket around all of the SBUs involved and show the diversity of the portfolio behind “We Create Solutions” – without getting too technical about it. Technical communication in min-ute detail was the opposite of what we were aiming for. Instead, we wanted to use #wearebauma as an opportunity to show what we are really made of as a Group – and we wanted to do that by telling stories live from the event; or better still, having Zeppelin employees tell them. We also felt it was important to give customers and visitors a voice, and to appear as a team with Caterpillar so as to showcase our strong partnership.
The mission was to give all Zeppelin employees a chance to experience bauma live. As much as six months before bauma took place, there was already scarcely any other topic of conversation. We wanted to harness that excitement in a positive way for communications! In the end, around 1,000 of our almost 9,000 employees worldwide attended the event in person. And with #wearebauma, those who couldn’t get there were also able to experience that special bauma feeling.
Over 108,000 clicks for #wearebauma
What was the best surprise that #wearebauma brought?
Without a doubt, it was the enthusiastic and positive reception to the live blog. But also the fact that the number of colleagues approaching us to make us aware of interesting content kept increasing throughout bauma – in the end, there was much more content than we could possibly manage.
What feedback did you get about #wearebauma?
When we presented the project, concerns were initially raised along the lines of: How detailed will our bauma reporting be? Where does responsibility lie in respect of each SBU, and can we manage the workload entailed? But then, even straight after bauma started, we noticed that feedback was very positive and Zeppelin employees worldwide were waiting for our posts. That was unbelievably motivating! Even today, I am still receiving emails from colleagues all over the world, thanking me for helping them participate in bauma through #wearebauma! This positive recognition is really validat-ing and means that we will continue to think and communicate digitally. bauma 2019 was special in every respect – including in terms of communica-tions within the Zeppelin Group, an area in which we set new standards.
What are you particularly proud of in relation to #wearebauma?
That’s easy – it has to be the sheer volume of content we produced over the period: More than 70 posts in the seven days of bauma. That’s amazing!
What have been the greatest successes of the #wearebauma project?
The bauma blog enabled us to reach new target audiences who were perhaps not very familiar with us previously. That has a positive influence on our direct business – in other words, it is helping us to acquire new customers. Also our employer branding – by which I mean our positioning as an employer – continues to benefit from #wearebauma. #weare-bauma helps future Zeppelin employees to form a good impression of the Group, and recognize us as an attractive, modern and international employer. No less than the information communicated, that is of course a huge success for Zeppelin, and an important building block for the future sustainability of the company.