Its outstanding reputation is a key factor in the success of Porsche. Boosting the public prestige of the company, the brand and its products, increasing social acceptance and achieving increased awareness of what Porsche has to offer are key tasks for communication activities.
Professional public relations make an impression on the media and ensure that Porsche is viewed positively – as a company, as a brand, and as a product. This publicity work provides information transparently using the latest tools, and provides the respective target group with the right, and best-quality, content. Operational excellence, which is reflected in the high levels of effectiveness and efficiency of the communication, allow public relations to make a key contribution to value-creating company growth.
The public relations and press department provides external and internal stakeholders with the latest comprehensive information about all Porsche topics. This applies to responding to media enquiries and proactive communication activities in equal measure. The company issued more than 400 press releases and oversaw around 600 interviews in 2018. This commitment has brought rewards: Porsche made the front cover on more than 70 different media outlets.
This department’s responsibilities also include providing adequate information to journalists, politics and the public in crisis situations, averting any potential damage to the company’s image.
Authenticity and high-quality standards, coupled with maximum target group orientation – these have laid the cornerstones for the success of public relations by Porsche. A clear communications strategy, carefully considered structures with systematic planning and consistent implementation have paid off: Porsche Communication was declared the “Econ Awardee of the Year 2018” in Econ Forum’s renowned company rankings.
The Porsche Newsroom is the central contact point for journalists, online multipliers and stakeholders at the brand. It is gaining more and more significance within communication. The Newsroom is an online magazine with a wide range of content, and which provides both a central social media hub and a research tool for journalists.
Porsche publishes news, facts, interviews and background reports here every day. Around 570 articles were published in the year under review. The texts, photos and infographics are available to download – as are videos, which are pooled centrally in the new NewsTV area. The digital agenda setting practised with the Newsroom is systematically pursued on social media as well, using Instagram and Twitter. Along with German and English, the content available from the Newsroom has also been offered in Chinese and Russian since 2018.
The increasing significance of the Porsche Newsroom as a communication channel is demonstrated by the growth in the number of hits it recorded over the course of the year under review. While 211,400 page impressions were counted in January, this figures had reached more than 385,200 in December 2018. In a year-on-year comparison, the page impressions increased from 2.4 million (2017) to 3.7 million in 2018.
The Newsroom was again the recipient of numerous awards in the year under review. The “Back to Tape” format conceived in cooperation with the music journalist Niko Hüls, which generated 500 social media posts, more than 40 media reports and was viewed by around 83 million people, was awarded not just one, but several prizes. The video documentation released in the Newsroom and on YouTube in April was awarded the German Prize for Online Communication in the “Influencer Communication” category, the Econ Special Award and the Digital Communication Award in the “Film and Video” category, and the silver Annual Multimedia Award in the “Content Marketing” category.
Communication using social media
In order to address a broad range of target groups, public relations makes use of a large number of communication channels. Direct communication with an audience interested in the brand and product by means of social media channels is assuming an increasingly important role. Very strong growth was recorded here.
The public relations channels used by Porsche on Twitter reached 1.6 million followers in the year under review, which is around 33 per cent more than in 2017. The number of impressions also crossed the 60 million mark. The Newsroom’s Instagram channel boasted around 238,000 followers at the end of the year under review, or 84.5 per cent more than the previous year. The total number of impressions on our Instagram account amounted to 70.8 million.
The Porsche Profile on the DriveTribe web platform also recorded positive growth, attaining 22.2 million page impressions and 585,800 followers. This was an increase of 55.8 per cent in comparison to the year before. All social media channels maintained by the public relations and press department arrived at a cumulative 193 million impressions and 2.6 million followers in the year under review.
The product is at the centre
The year under review was also characterised by the large number of new models that were launched and which were successfully accompanied by the Product Communication department: in 2018, Porsche staged four trade fair and world premières, along with ten media driving events in which more than 1,200 media representatives from all over the world took part.
While celebrating the joint première of the Cross Turismo and the 911 GT3 RS in Geneva, 135 interviews were organised. 810 articles were published worldwide which were viewed by just under 100 million contacts in total worldwide. The launch of the two new models in Beijing resulted in additional reporting involving around 1,700 articles, which reached just under 40 million contacts. And the première of the new Macan in Shanghai generated a huge international resonance, with the 36 interviews and 285 articles published reaching an audience of 68 million contacts.
This achievement was clearly outdone in November by the world première of the eighth model generation of the 911 in Los Angeles. 620 articles subsequently appeared in the media, and there were 11,800 social media posts, which reached an audience of 224 million contacts. With a media coverage of 34 per cent, the world première and the trade fair appearance of the new 911 in Los Angeles also made an impression when compared to other brands. The Californian motor show also provided the backdrop for the company to launch its new full-video format Porsche NewsTV: The livestream that it broadcast from the world première of the 911 was viewed 2.4 million times.
Moreover, the public relations and press department attended 65 motor sports events and organised four media workshops in the year under review. Added to this were events like the Porsche Sound Night, organised by the Porsche Museum. The event not only thrilled the audience of around 4,000 in attendance at the Porsche Arena, but also internet users from all over the world: the Instagram story posted by the Porsche Museum was viewed almost 930,000 times, and recorded more than 340,000 page impressions.
Porsche also demonstrated how critical topics can be successfully communicated with its decision to discontinue diesel technology: the media response to this topic was overwhelming, with more than 34,000 articles and social media posts, and an audience of almost 1.1 billion contacts. The reaction to the decision by Porsche ranged largely from positive to neutral in the media. Only nine per cent of the media reports struck a negative tone.
The annual press conference held by Porsche in March traditionally aims to present the key figures and the business performance from the preceding year. At the same time, it provides an outlook for the financial year that has now started.
Thanks to a new, even more dialogue-oriented event format, and the invitation of business journalists from the key Porsche markets, around 100 journalists attended the annual press conference in the year under review in order to obtain extensive first-hand information about the 2017 financial year and the company’s future direction. A livestream of the conference was offered; international media reporting reached an audience of around 16 million contacts.
Porsche celebrates an anniversary
2018 was dominated by the celebration of the brand anniversary “70 years of Porsche sports cars”. The public relations and press department successfully made use of this occasion: 17 books and ten special supplements were published in connection with the special birthday. Worldwide, around 40 events and activities were organised. The Porsche Museum also organised a six-month special exhibition.
The anniversary of the brand also attracted plenty of attention in the media: several thousand articles with a total audience of 337 million contacts were published in relation to the topic. The high-profile world tour of the historical Porsche 356 “Number 1” alone was seen by an audience of eight million contacts.
Christophorus — the magazine with tradition
Christophorus is the long-established journalistic flagship of customer communication by Porsche. Founded in 1952, the magazine has been delighting customers and fans with absorbing reports, in-depth essays and interesting information about the Porsche brand and its products for more than six-and-a-half decades now. Christophorus appeared five times, with a total print run of 600,000 copies per issue, in the year under review. In addition, all content in the twelve different language versions is also available online.
Ongoing content-related and conceptual changes to the magazine were made in 2018. Issue 385, titled Fast Forward and released for the 70 years of Porsche sports cars celebration, directed an exclusive focus on topics related to the future. The editorial team also blazed new trails at the launch of the new Porsche 911: immediately following the world première in Los Angeles at the end of November, Christophorus showcased the eighth model generation of the iconic sports car – in its first-ever issue dedicated to one and the same topic. All content focused exclusively on the 911.
Once again, the magazine won numerous prizes in the year under review. Issue 385 alone was voted “Best of Best” at the Automotive Brand Contest, winning silver at the Best of Content Marketing competition (BCM) and snapping up the Communicator Award with its web-based version. Issue 387 received the Fox Award; the website and app scored silver at the Pearl Award.
New series of books: the Christophorus Edition
Porsche expanded its range of publications in 2018 by adding new product lines. This is why there is now a series of books titled Christophorus Edition. These are aimed at lovers of the sports car brand from Zuffenhausen who also show a passion for cultural, social and economic topic areas.
The collectors’ edition of Christophorus in an XL format kicked off the series, which combined the best articles, reports and portraits from past issues – supplemented by previously unpublished photos, an exclusive interview with the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, and a 100-minute documentation about the eventful history of the sports car brand on DVD.
The Porsche Artbook was launched at the end of 2018. The first book in this series presents 20 international artists who have exhibited enormous creativity in their interpretations of the sports cars from Zuffenhausen. Above all, the Porsche 911 – the brand’s icon – takes centre stage in many of the works, which range from different styles of painting to sculpture, and also include digital art.
More titles in the Christophorus Edition will follow in 2019, such as Reader No. 1 – Food for Thought – a collection of essays by renowned authors on topical issues such as identity, transformation and digitalisation. Each article will be illustrated with a work by an internationally famous artist.
Porsche in Motion: 9:11 Magazin
The web TV format 9:11 Magazin launched in early 2017 turns the cameras on the brand. Exactly nine minutes and eleven seconds are all that is needed to arouse emotions, explain technological developments and share illuminating insights into the history, present and future of Porsche. People and their personal stories relating to Porsche form the focus of the exclusive reports. The film magazine is aimed at journalists, social media multipliers, TV and online editorial teams, and fans of the brand. Five episodes were produced in German and English in 2018. A Chinese version has also been integrated into Porsche China’s online communication.
The format has met with a very positive response: since being launched, its number of views on the Porsche online and social media channels has reached more than 6.5 million. The magazine has meanwhile bagged numerous awards – in 2018, these included the renowned Best of Content Marketing competition (BCM) in gold, and the gold Econ Award as well. In Cannes, the format was awarded the silver prize in the Web TV category.
To good neighbours
Porsche has significantly intensified its dialogue with the local residents at the company’s sites in Zuffenhausen, Weissach and Leipzig since 2015. Among other things, this includes the community paper targa – Nachrichten für die Nachbarn (targa – the residents’ journal), through which the company informs local residents about current developments. When necessary, they are also kept up to date about any relevant events, such as upcoming building activities, by letter.
Moreover, Porsche also seeks personal contact. This is why regular dialogue events have been held at the company’s sites since 2016. This gives local residents the opportunity to discuss their current concerns directly with the experts from Porsche. Porsche issued invitations to these events in Zuffenhausen twice in the year under review, and used the occasion to provide information about the progress of building activities, and gave detailed answers to questions asked. More than 500 interested citizens took advantage of each opportunity to communicate directly with Porsche and obtain information directly from the source.
“Internal before external” – this is the motto of internal communication at Porsche. It aims to provide the workforce with all news relevant for them promptly, and well before external media pick up the topics.
The Carrera media family is used as the communication channel for this. The intranet Carrera Online, its app version Carrera Mobile, and Carrera TV employee television are used to keep the workforce at the company and its subsidiaries up to date on news relating to important developments and events at Porsche. Among other things, this includes news about new products, strategic decisions and internal news, as well as topics related to service or explanations of complex processes. The editorial team publishes up to three new articles every day, which are supplemented by photo galleries or videos.
The online and mobile services are also joined by a printed Carrera Magazin, which appears four times a year with a print run of just under 32,000 copies – with one featuring a special format, Carrera Wissen (Carrera Knowledge). Each issue focuses on a key topic. In 2018, these were the topics of Quality, 70 years of Porsche sports cars and Porsche Culture. Carrera Wissen took an in-depth look at the topic of digitalisation in the year under review. The Carrera Mobile app has also been used for incorporating augmented reality content, with audio reports having been added at the end of 2018. Access to the internal Porsche job market and a digital Message Board for private classified ads complete the app’s range of functions.
This service has also won awards: in 2018, Carrera Magazin won awards at the Automotive Brand Contest and – as a part of integrated communication by Porsche – was also honoured at the Best of Content Marketing and Econ Award. Moreover, the magazine also successfully took part in the Communicator Awards and the Fox Finance Awards.
A local site newsletter that appears every 14 days supplements the extensive range of internal information offered by Carrera. The newsletters are distributed to the employees at the company sites in Zuffenhausen, Weissach and Leipzig in three regional editions. The print run totals around 8,500 copies. Along with company news relevant for all sites, the inner section also covers topics specific to the respective site. As is the case for Carrera Magazin, the editorial team also posts additional, augmented reality content and links to related articles in the intranet by means of the Carrera Mobile app.
911 GT3 RS: Fuel consumption combined 12.8 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 291 g/km
911 Carrera S: Fuel consumption combined 8.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 205 g/km
911 Carrera 4S: Fuel consumption combined 9.0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 206 g/km
Macan: Fuel consumption combined 8.1 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 185 g/km