Since 1 November, Dr Sebastian Rudolph has been Vice President Communications at Porsche and, with his assumption of the position, two fields will take on greater importance: the topic of sustainability as well as relationships with policymakers and associations now have the same level of importance as traditional public and press relations work. The name of the division is also being expanded accordingly; it now bears the title of Communications, Sustainability and Politics.
The world premiere of the Taycan was the emotive high-point of the reporting year. On 4 September 2019, Porsche introduced its first all-electric sports car, with the premiere taking place on three continents at the same time. Each of the three premiere locations symbolised a renewable energy source, and therefore also the natural energy with which the Taycan can be powered: Niagara Falls in Canada represented hydropower, a wind turbine installation on the Chinese island of Pingtan represented wind power, and the solar installation in Neuhardenberg, near Berlin, represented solar power.
More than 600 representatives of the media experienced the event in person, and 7.6 million people were also watching via live stream. International news coverage was correspondingly significant: in total, there were more than 1,500 reports with a total reach of 191 million.
The opening of the new Taycan production facility also stands out, with numerous representatives from the worlds of politics and society on hand for the event in Zuffenhausen on 9 September 2019. Media resonance was significant here as well.
Porsche ran an intensive media campaign for the Taycan during the lead-up to the premiere: media representatives were on hand for vehicle testing and learned more about the electric-drive concept as part of technology workshops, for example.
In addition to the Taycan, the company launched a series of other new models during the reporting year – from the 911 Cabriolet and Cayenne Coupé, 911 Speedster, 718 Spyder and GT4, to the new Macan Turbo. Coordinated communications measures were taken for each new introduction, including not only premiere events and appearances at exhibitions, but also workshops and driving shows as well as press materials with all of the technical specifications.
For Porsche motorsports, 2019 was a very successful year: first- and second-place finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the successful start in Formula E were spectacular highlights. In their first race, the Porsche works team took the 99X Electric racing car straight to a second-place finish. Along the way, the brand’s communications experts accompanied a total of 30 race events and issued some 340 press releases.
At the annual press conference in mid-March, Porsche presented positive key figures for 2018, with some 100 representatives of the international media on hand. Porsche also broadcast this event live on the Internet. The resulting news coverage had a global reach of 26.3 million.
The Heritage and Porsche Museum department is tasked with historical communication, the goal of which is to lead the tradition of the brand into the future in an authentic and lively way – via exhibitions in the museum in Zuffenhausen, for example. Porsche also uses its historical sports cars around the world as brand ambassadors on wheels. The collection consists of more than 650 cars, and the museum also is home to the company archives. As the memory of Porsche, it preserves all important information with economic, technical, social or cultural relevance to Porsche AG.
There were several anniversaries during the reporting year: the multi-time Le Mans winner 917 and the 914 – the first mid-engine series sports car – celebrated 50 years of existence. A new era began for discerning sports car drivers with the introduction of the first Porsche 911 GT3 20 years ago. And it has been 10 years since the Panamera made its way to the market. The museum celebrated the milestone anniversaries of the historic vehicles with, among other things, special exhibitions.
Communicators at Porsche make use of a wide range of modern instruments and channels, thereby reaching all stakeholders quickly and efficiently. The Porsche Newsroom has developed into a central point of contact for media representatives who are interested in topics related to Porsche. There are now five different languages available: German, English, Chinese, Spanish and Russian. The online magazine offers up-to-date information, data, reports and background reports on a daily basis. Photos, infographics and videos round off the broad-spectrum offer, making the Newsroom a helpful research instrument for both journalists and bloggers as well as fans of the brand.
Additionally, the digital agenda setting is flanked by the far-reaching social media channels – and with great success: since the start of the Porsche Newsroom in 2014, the number of page impressions has increased more than eightfold, having most recently reached 5.5 million.
Porsche’s own media once again received numerous awards in 2019: the Porsche Newsroom earned the top prize in the Digital category of the Automotive Brand Contest, and Porsche newsTV also received accolades. The video and live-stream channel of the Porsche Newsroom received top honours in the Website & Channel category. Additionally, the reporting year also featured the OttoCar and the Delphin trophy in the Web TV category of the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards.
The 9:11 magazine brought home three OttoCar awards from the AutoVision festival in 2019, with prizes in the categories for reporting, online videos and motorsport. The 9:11 magazine is a video series which portrays the Porsche brand in online videos with running times of 9 minutes and 11 seconds. Additionally, online journalists and bloggers can use the videos or footage for their own channels.
Social media is becoming increasingly important as a means of communication. During the reporting year, the Twitter account of Porsche’s PR department had 1.8 million followers (an increase of 12.5 per cent compared to 2018) and 65 million impressions (up eight per cent). On Instagram, Porsche communicators reached 525,000 followers (up 125 per cent), and the number of impressions increased by 99.2 per cent to a total of 141 million.
With eight million impressions and 589,000 followers, the Porsche profile on the DriveTribe Internet platform also continues to demonstrate significant success. In 2019, all social media outlets together resulted in 214 million impressions and nearly three million followers.
Since 1952, the multi-award-winning magazine Christophorus has been geared towards customers and fans of the brand and is currently issued quarterly in 13 different languages. In addition to the print version with a global run of 600,000 copies, an online version is also available in all languages.
In the reporting year, the customer magazine was honoured with the German Design Award 2019, the 25th Communication Award, the Automotive Brand Contest and the OttoCar 2019. The Christophorus Edition – a book series for sports car enthusiasts interested in cultural and societal topics – has supplemented the magazine since the end of 2018.
The community newspaper targa – Nachrichten für die Nachbarn is geared towards residents of the three locations of the company, Zuffenhausen, Weissach and Leipzig, and provides transparency with regard to important upcoming events such as construction plans. If necessary, the local residents can also be addressed by letter, and there are also regular dialogue events.
Porsche addresses its employees via the Carrera media family, which appears on the company intranet as Carrera Online, in an app for smartphones and tablets as Carrera Mobil and in video form as Carrera TV. Each day, the editorial office published up to three articles on current events from the world of Porsche.
In addition, the Internal Communications department publishes the Carrera local site newspapers around once per month in three local editions (print run: 7,600 copies). The Carrera magazine is published four times per year (print run: 35,000 copies). In 2019, Carrera garnered three Fox Awards, the Astrid Award, the Mercury Excellence Award, the German Design Award and the Automotive Brand Contest.