The Corona Crisis as the impetus for the re-launch!

Yes, I’ve met the same fate as probably many others. After I had finally finished my website and put a lot of time, heart and soul into it, I really wanted to get started with the blog. I had definitely enough topics for it. In the beginning I thought to focus on intercultural topics, but I’m also a communication expert with heart and soul and especially in the field of communication there are lots of topics and important information that you can provide.

But then came our new company – I had to set up a website again, write a regular dossier in the Mannheimer Morgen (our regional newspaper), write a monthly newsletter and organize events. Plus, we develop our new products and services. Guys, I tell you: The day could have 48 hours. And that’s not all: I am still working a lot abroad on international projects, which is time-consuming.

More time thanks to the ‘crowned’ one

Well, to be honest, this deceleration of everyday life (around me) due to ‘Corona’ (the crowned one, a holy in the catholic church, defending the prayer in times of plagues, interestingly enough) is just what I need. I have more time at my disposal, because many personal meetings are cancelled. This does not mean, however, that you generally have less to do – thank God! But such matters of the heart, like writing the blog, I always had to take a back seat. Now I’ve decided to give myself more time to do that, and I’ve decided to add content to the blog regularly. I also learned a lot about writing in the last few years and everything is much easier for me, nowadays.

As Corona is the reason for my new activities, I decided to talk about the topic of crisis and crisis communication today. This crisis in particular has shown who is good at dealing with unexpected situations and who has more catching up to do.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet

As always, a ‘chancellor bashing’ took place. Mrs. Merkel was once again unable to please anyone. No wonder in Germany, where there is always an overwhelming majority of critics and fewer admirers. However, it has to be said that the criticism of the Chancellor in recent months was sometimes justified, because you hardly saw or heard her. And now when the crisis came, she has re-appeared. For many, however, too late. But was it really too late?

As a boss you have to be able to delegate

We are a democracy and one should assume that ministers are competent to a certain extent. Therefore, it is actually logical that at the beginning the ministers whose departments were most affected (i.e. almost all of them;-) appeared in public. And almost all of them did quite well. It is worth remembering that a pandemic does not happen every day. I can’t remember any, and I am 50 years old! So, it’s for everybody new territory. If they had all taken action too soon, everyone would have screamed ‘scaredy-cat’! If it was too late, everyone would have screamed, “You were asleep!” Well, I think, except for Herr Spahn (Our minister of health), who actually underestimated the impact of the virus and its rapid spread, everyone performed well under the given circumstances.

Verbal warfare vs. moderation

In contrast to the other heads of state, Mrs Merkel chose a moderate choice of words and I must say (especially in retrospect) that this was a good decision. She usually speaks to the public only on Xmas and New Years’ Eve. Therefore, it was something special and everybody paid attention to her speech. Unlike her colleagues, she spoke of ‘responsibility of each individual’ and ‘prudence’. In the case of Winfried Kretschmann (Ministerpresident of Baden-Württemberg), the teacher came through, who gave his ‘students’ (and he turned mainly to the younger ones who did not adhere to the requirements) a wigging out, but verbally in a more moderate form, but he showed more emotions. Söder was always ‘determined’ and in a ‘crisis mode’, but not in ‘war mode’ – a plus for him.

President Macron from France decided to go to war “Nous sommes en guerre” and Boris Johnson and other male heads of state also went into verbal warfare. The icing on the cake was, how could it be otherwise, set by Donald Trump, who unceremoniously renamed the ‘Corona virus’ into a ‘China virus’.

So far, the bottom line is that the German government has handled the pandemic quite well. The communication experts and marketing specialists have also done a great job and one should not underestimate the huge machinery running in the background., which needs to be coordinated and managed.

We are curious to see how things will continue and whether the strategy works. In any case, we all need patience, hope and a lot of creativity now. See you next week and stay healthy,