4 May 2020

My#NewNormal:100% family, 100% digital, 100% learning new things

My son, virtually checking out the Siemensstadt Augmented Reality

100% family, 100% digital, 100% learning new things, all at the same time – the virus has changed a lot in our daily life, almost overnight. For our Siemensstadt communications team, the “new normal” is a true challenge – or should I better say a huge opportunity? This is year one of our marketing the creation of a new, exciting Berlin district, and it was actually based on a campaign that involves citizen contact, participation and loads of fancy events – a lot of this is no longer possible in times of social distance.

My personal positive side effect of social distance: I just got rid of an awkward feeling.

When my son Elias was starting school two years ago, I really envied him of his steep learning curve. Being able to read within months?! When does something like that ever happen to grown-ups? My own milestones, I suddenly realized, had been rather hard-earned and long lasting “mammoth tasks” for years.

Catching up day by day

Well, that has changed a lot in the last couple of weeks. I learn new things every day, very fast! Working here at the living room table sitting next to my son, I feel that I’m finally catching up with him, sort of. I learn loads about digital communication, data evaluation, virtual and augmented reality and all the new tools that we can now use to communicate with our target groups. New questions come up every day:

How can we bring across the emotional characteristics of our new Siemensstadt – liveliness, openness, participation, ingenuity – to people when we cannot really meet and show them on site?

How can we still make our development and activities transparent to the Berliners and involve them?

Communication is the challenge, but also the answer – It has never been more important!

For Siemensstadt, that means taking the Berliners with us on a virtual trip into the new neighborhood. Despite the social distancing, we want to offer as many digital insights into our Siemensstadt as possible. We want to assure people that our project continues despite the pandemic. We want to show what is currently happening behind the fences. We would like to let the neighbors know that their opinions are still in demand.

I sometimes wonder: Will we succeed? Can we make the trip to Siemensstadt transparent and positive despite the lack of physical encounters?

Actually, this is where the switch to 100% digital communication really helps. We have a good database for all our projects now. The gut feeling of whether a project has reached our target group is replaced by data. By means of constant analysis, we can become more effective step by step. The great side effect: as communicators, we also become a little bit smarter every day.

That’s why I think that I might be well on my way to beat Elias in the next game of Memory, too.

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