DJW was created as a platform for networking and information exchange between corporates from Germany and Japan. To achieve a balanced ratio between members from both countries, we are aiming to attract more corporates in Japan. To reach this goal, we believe that we need to increase our visibility and create a brand and story that attracts companies to join DJW. This could also help to unlock activity potential within the existing membership of DJW.
The following interview was conducted with our member Björn Eichstädt, Managing Partner of Storymaker, who is responsible for the squad "Communication" at DJW.
1. Please tell us something about yourself and your connection to DJW.
I am Managing Partner of Storymaker, a 50-person communications agency supporting technology-driven companies from countries such as Germany, the US, the UK and of course Japan. I started our company’s Japan business in 2012 with the will to support Japanese companies in improving their German and European communications towards a wide range of audiences. Our audiences included content, media relations, internal communications and more. Since then we have been working for Japanese companies such as Panasonic, Toray, Mazda, NTT DATA and many others. Japanese companies have become our second biggest client base, after German companies. Currently, we work for eleven Japanese companies. My relation with DJW started very early in my Japan business journey – I think we became a corporate member at DJW around 2014. In the beginning it was hard to convince DJW (as well as Japanese companies) that communication is one of THE critical factors for Japanese companies – but this has changed dramatically. I am happy now to lead the communications squad, which DJW has declared to be one of its central squads.
2. What are the goals of the squad “Communication”?
To attract more people to DJW, to raise awareness about its existence and to create more interesting communication. Initially we discussed how to sharpen the “story” of DJW, we discussed target audiences and what kind of activities would be needed to match these audiences with DJW by communicating the right topics and formats through a wide variety of touchpoints. How do we reach new audiences, how do we communicate better with existing audiences, how do we spread the word – in Germany as well as in Japan? These are the questions the squad deals with.
3. What measures are planned to reach these goals?
The first activity is the definition of a communications concept for DJW and clear activities to improve already existing communication approaches.
4. From your point of view, what are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge of the squad – which is spread between Germany and Japan – is to find the time for regular meetings and discussions, while at the same time finding approaches that are effective and pragmatic, also from a financial standpoint. In the case of DJW, we can not expect a “big bang” type of communication but more of an improvement in small steps.
5. Why do you think the topic is important for DJW?
Based on my profession, I think that communication is one of THE most important topics for any organization. The more “virtual” the organization is, the more important communication becomes to connect all the spread-out members. In the end, the goal of a working communication is to make everybody inside an organization feel part of the bigger cause, while those outside the organization should feel attracted to join. So to activate existing members and to find new ones – none of this is going to work without proper communications. This is even more true in the age of the “mobile internet” where attention is always on your smartphone device – DJW needs to happen there. And of course in physical meetings that are initiated and prolonged through the digital sphere.
6. Where does the squad need support or helping hands?
We could need more communications experts with some time to invest. And people who can support the operational implementation of activities. Plus: topics! Whoever has great topics relevant for a majority of members or potential members: please let us know so we can integrate ideas into our planning.
7. Do you have any message for other DJW members?
Communicate and share!
- About the squad concept of DJW
- „DJW Insight“ #0: DJW and its "Bottom-up Approach"- an interview about how DJW is breaking new grounds by introducing agile working methods (Dr. Julia Münch, Managing Director of DJW)
- „DJW Insight“ #1: Squad "New Members Germany" - an interview about the strategy and challenges of gaining new members in Germany (Anne Pomsel, Deputy Managing Director / Event Coordination at DJW )
- „DJW Insight“ #2: Squad "Networking Services" - an interview about challenges and chances of DJW services (Elisa Ono, Member Relations at DJW)