HeadlineAffairs field trip: High tension at the „Deutsches Museum”


December 05, 2016 - „I went there as a child” is the common answer that Sabine Schulz-Hammerl receives, when she talks about her job in one of the world’s biggest science and technology museums, the “Deutsches Museum”. She works as the head of the communication department and gave us some insights about the most notable challenges facing such a traditional institution’s communication team.
More visitors – that is the first and foremost objective for the museum’s communicators. A newly designed user-friendly website, an informative newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and, soon to come, a smart app are all used to inform interested parties, visitors, scientists and stakeholders about the latest exhibitions and events in the museum. Founded in 1903 the museum is currently undergoing lots of changes: One year ago the far-reaching modification and modernization phase started, which is set to last a total of 10 years. Almost half of all exhibitions are closed at this stage. Surprisingly, visitor numbers still remain steady. But how can more visitors be attracted with containers and construction workers present and numerous exhibitions closed? The answer is “A journey to new worlds” , the publicity campaign that Sabine Schulz-Hammerl and her colleagues designed in order to accompany the ongoing changes on the museum’s island. Their aim is to inform visitors about the major construction site through flyers, posters and a microsite. For instance, visitors are provided with detailed information about which rooms are inaccessible due to renovations. Schulz-Hammerl told us that the new exhibition style tries to create a “wow-effect” by integrating multimedia elements and future technologies.
Literal high tension at the end of our trip: We visited the on-site high-voltage plant and observed simulated lightning strikes with up to 1000 ampere. Not only kids are fascinated by this technology but also seasoned PR experts.
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