Association Communication

The two decisive topics for the eco Association Communications team in 2022 were the start of the war in Ukraine with the associated consequences for the global economy and the energy market, in particular, and the ongoing social and political debate concerning how to cope with advancing climate change. The primary goals of all communication activities were to create political and social awareness for the role and relevance of the Internet industry in the context of these developments and to point out potential solutions through digital technologies.

Particularly in the DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) region, the association succeeded in reaching the media with political topics and messages. The general media response was correspondingly stable, with over 3,300 media mentions.

In addition to Internet policy issues, the eco Complaints Office and IT security issues were also eco’s main focus of coverage, as had been the case in previous years.

The topic of digital infrastructures – traditionally a focus of eco’s association communication activities – was also one of the top themes with which eco was able to position itself in the media in 2022. Through targeted and well-founded background information and expert quotes – for example, insights from the Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures in Germany on the energy efficiency potential of data centres, but also positions on gigabit network expansion and the European cloud initiative Gaia-X – the number of media clippings on this focus topic increased by 165 per cent compared to the previous year.

The Communications team follows the principle of “quality before quantity” in its media work. It is, therefore, particularly pleasing that the share of coverage in leading media in 2022 also remained stable at 16 percent.

In the TV sector in particular, the presence of eco speakers was intensified compared to previous years – for example, with appearances on German-language programmes such as ZDF heute, ZDF Mittagsmagazin and Sat 1 Frühstücksfernsehen.

In addition to classic media work, social media communication is also becoming increasingly important. Here, significant increases in follower numbers (plus 31 per cent) and reach (plus 16 per cent) were generated through the corporate influencer programme as well as an increased focus on audiovisual content, especially on LinkedIn.

In September 2022, eco’s German-language podcast “Das Ohr am Netz” (“An Ear to the Internet”) was relaunched. In September 2022, eco’s German-language podcast “Das Ohr am Netz” (“An Ear to the Internet”) was relaunched. Until then, the podcast was produced by an external service provider, while it is now produced entirely by the Communications team. In addition to a new moderator duo consisting of Sidonie Krug, Head of eco Association Communication, and RBB digital expert Sven Oswald, the podcast also received a new editorial concept. Every 14 days, an entertaining and informative audio magazine is published with the latest news from the digital world and an exciting mix of interviews with experts from companies, research and politics, each with a digital focus topic. This format is intended to be more closely integrated into the eco communication strategy and to serve as a stage for eco member companies and their topics and speakers.

Another new format launched in 2022 that is intended to intensify the exchange with eco members, especially on communication and PR topics, is the eco PR Briefing, which also takes place in German. This quarterly event format exclusively invites communication managers from member companies to gain information on current topics that impact the industry, to explore opportunities for participation and synergies within the framework of joint campaigns, and to promote exchanges on communication strategies and current agenda topics within the digital industry.