Who are you? And where do you want to be tomorrow?
When it makes visible what's special.
Messages with measures. And customers with companies.
When they touch the heart. And change the thinking.
At the right time at the right place.
Petershagen Kommunikation Website. Die Texte.
We are convinced that identity is the actual source of power of a company. Because in its identity, it unites the meaningful purpose of the company as well as its values, its mission, and its vision. The more this identity is visible and the more it can be experienced, the more authentic and thereby believable the company is perceived to be. Based on this foundation and with a consulting approach that unites empathy, experience, and creativity, we develop goal-oriented strategies and effective measures that reach people because they are true and deeply human.
Let's talk! We find answers that make visible what is special about your company and what is therefore making you particularly successful.
What constitutes the identity of a company? Which role do values, mission, vision, and attitudes play for how the company is perceived? And which relevance does the business purpose have?
Petershagen Kommunikation considers a company's identity to be an important source of power for it its success. Our holistic consulting approach does therefore start with the identity and derives all measures from it.
More than 20 years of experience in the most diverse activities in the communications sector, profound expertise in the relevant communications disciplines, as well as our integrated systematic perspective ensure that business objectives, on the one hand, and the expectations and interests of the stakeholders, on the other, are brought into unison.
Based on an identity-based strategy, we develop communications measure that emotionally touch and move people and tie them to your company. This way, an authentic perception of your company is created that is believable and as sustainable long-term.
As executive search consultant and partner at Egon Zehnder, Brigitte Lammers staffs high-calibre managerial positions. Why are female top managers still such a rarity in German companies? Together with the lawyer who is known for passionately championing women (“frauenbewegte Juristin”, Manager Magazin), we investigated the reasons and explored career obstacles, gender-specific communication patterns and contemporary leadership qualities.
Dr. Lammers, you are a dedicated advocate of promoting women in business. What is your motivation?
When I started the job in the early 1990s, the advancement of women was not yet a topic. Even though I myself experienced a lot of support at a young age during my time at Deutsche Telekom: it was apparent how rarely women ultimately advanced into top leadership positions. When I changed to Egon Zehnder, the topic was almost palpable. Back then, you did not find a single woman on German supervisory boards. This in a country in which women otherwise play a quite formative role and ultimately also represent a fundamental market share. To me, it was completely inexplicable how companies could forfeit this enormous amount of expertise. This was a reason for me, together with a handful of female fellow thinkers, to found FidAR in 2006 – an initiative with the explicit objective to significantly increase the share of women on German supervisory boards. In short: ever since I have been working in executive search, women’s advancement has been a truly passionate topic to me.
Where are we today, in regard to women’s careers in companies?
If we take a look at the supervisory boards, a whole lot has been put into motion thanks to the statutory women’s quota. Germany has fulfilled the 30-per cent requirement at an almost frantic pace. Which is actually quite surprising, bearing in mind the very long-winded discussions upfront, in which it was often claimed that qualified women for these panels were allegedly impossible to find. However, to me, the crux of the matter lies elsewhere. It is found in the question of how employers can achieve to not only bring excellently educated women on board, but to also actually keep them and purposefully promote them across the career levels within the company. Companies are spending a lot of money on this. But, let’s be honest, only with mediocre success.
Why is this still not working – what are the reasons?
The range of possible causes is complex. And painting it in black and white doesn’t help, either. On the one hand, here in Germany we still have a massive amount of catching up to do in respect to the reconciliation of family and career – other countries are more successful and may even have a different attitude towards maternity and work life. More than a few women who decide to quickly return to work after the birth of their child are subjected to the stigma of the “uncaring mother”. A term which, in its German form “Rabenmutter” (literally “raven’s mother”), only exists in the German language. Solving this conflict is a socio-political task. It goes without saying that it is every woman’s very own decision how she deals with this challenge. Who would want to blame a mother for consciously choosing to care for her children herself? As I said: pre-cast considerations are not appropriate here, since highly individual motivations play a role in this as well. And, to make things somewhat more complicated: women stay away from leadership positions not solely for family reasons. Many also decide against a top career because they are experiencing a certain type of business culture where they work.
This sounds like a vicious circle …
In some respect it is indeed a pity if women refuse to take on responsibility for those reasons. Because that way they do, of course, forfeit an opportunity to create a better environment. Especially since women would definitely enrich the executive levels of the economy.
I have a hard time with the overall claim that women are better executives. But – and this is where it gets exciting – with respect to stylistics, we do indeed pursue a different approach than men and this has been sufficiently researched. Women are extremely efficient leaders. They are to a high degree capable of identifying talents in their environment and developing these. They typically also demonstrate a very keen sense of what we refer to as “social glue”, i.e., they are capable of putting together productive teams that harmonise well. Female executives are, furthermore, skilled at solving problems very pragmatically and without any fuss.
But in terms of willingness to take business risks, the men certainly score, don’t they?
On the contrary, even in this regard studies show surprising results. They state that women have a higher willingness to take risks. Not kamikaze-style, but rather finely balanced. When do I have to step on the brake? And at what point may I potentially increase the speed? In this, women display a pronounced ability to judge. All in all, they feature a significantly different blend of abilities relevant to leadership than men. And one area in which the styles are particularly different is communication.
Are you trying to say that women are ahead in this discipline, as well?
It’s not quite that simple. In the work environment, women do indeed communicate quite differently from men and this carries both advantages and disadvantages. When women communicate, they frequently do so in the form of horizontal communication. In meetings, for example, they pay attention to how different positions are represented around the table. Women want to ensure that all parties are involved and are being heard for any pending decisions. They strive for jointly backing up a topic or a decision. In groups with dominant men, you mostly experience vertical communication instead. It’s a dynamic with hierarchical traits. I’d like to illustrate this with the following scenario: the boss enters the room. He makes a merely mediocre joke – and everybody laughs nonetheless. Male-oriented teams tend to follow the lead of the “alpha male” and to also model their communication to mimic this figure. This kind of behavior is not the typical way for women to communicate. Therefore, when mixed teams are sitting at a conference table, you can observe an asymmetry: while women in leadership roles are more focused on integrative discussion, men in the same position prefer to bring their own point across. A lot of women perceive this very apodictic form of male communication – which still is a culture-shaping element at most companies – as highly irritating and often also as causing them genuine uncertainty and unease.
Is communication a key qualification for executives today?
In my opinion, the ability to communicate intelligently is more important than ever. Why? Because, in times of radical technological changes companies also undergo a cultural transformation. The digitalisation is changing organisational structures; they are less stable than they have been in the past. But despite all this agility, people still strive for certainty, orientation, and something like an emotional “home”. They want to know: what does my company represent? What are its roots? And why do we do what we do? In this situation, communication becomes an all-encompassing decisive factor for executives. Because, when managers are not willing, or not able, to convey the company’s meaning and its purpose in our confusing present , they lose their employees on the path into the future. Therefore, communication is a very important selection criterion when filling a managerial position today.
How do you identify this skill?
Companies undergoing transformation need executives with particularly strong communication skills who are also experienced in dealing with uncertainties and who can honestly address their own role. We take a very close look at someone’s personality: do they display empathy? Does he or she come across as authentic and genuine? Is he or she capable of presenting himself or herself in front of thousands of employees, in case of doubt, generating an identity-creating momentum so that the employees follow him or her despite all uncertainties?
Does the quality of the internal communication change as well?
In the past, internal communication followed a rather linear pattern, i.e. top-down. Today, employees – especially those of the millennial generation – expect a circular dialogue. They do not want to be told what to do, they want to have an exchange with their manager at eye level, completely independent of whether this is with the CEO or the team leader from two offices down. Employees insist on being heard – and also on receiving an answer.
Picture: Egon Zehnder
Dr. Brigitte Lammers is a consultant and partner at Egon Zehnder. She provides consulting services to companies within the high-tech industry as well as the communications and media sector. In addition, she is a certified Family Business
Advisory Coach. Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Lammers, who did a doctorate in law, held a number of senior positions at
Deutsche Telekom. Brigitte Lammers first met Jens Petershagen in 2002 when she was looking for a new Head of Corporate
ESSENCE.10 is our anniversary magazine that we created for our clients and those who wish to become our clients. Extracts from our anniversary magazine can be found here. Look forward to more articles from ESSENCE.10, our anniversary magazine, in the upcoming months. Prepare to be inspired!
vigilius mountain resort
EEW Energy from Waste
Making the special location an experience in a special way.
The vigilius mountain resort is a 5-star hotel in South Tyrol. Opened in 2003, it is looking back at a success story of more than 10 years. The guests appreciate the hotel for its special architecture (architect: Matteo Thun) and its ecologically sustainable overall concept which is setting standards far beyond the region. In the recent past, it has become clear that there is a need for the hotel to develop further regarding its market presence as well as with respect to the internal organisation: The communications presence of the hotel is no longer state-of-the-art, both in terms of content as well as technology, and does not sufficiently illustrate the true spirit of the house. Furthermore, the personnel composition of the teams at vigilius mountain resort did also change.
A project for the definition o the business identity was realised which made palpable the innermost and the most valuable. Life often is complex and complicated. Especially for people who have too much of a lot. As a result, there is the longing for less and for simplicity. At 1500 metres, amidst nature, it is easy to leave day-to-day life behind. The clarity and reduction of the architecture, the lack of streets and of media flooding, the peace and quiet ... All this makes it easy for guests at vigilius mountain resort to simply be by themselves and to simply live. "Simply: be." corresponds to the identity of the house as well as to the longing of its visitors. Based on this concept, the internal and external communications were optimised, because it is statement, attitude and call for action at the same time. Based on suitable workshops, the international organisation was also developed further, including - among other things – a new management concept.
„Making the soul of our house visible was a success.“
owner of vigilius mountain resort
Providing a face to the market leader.
EEW Energy from Waste is leading in Germany in the production of environmentally friendly energy from thermal waste utilisation. But the company was not perceived as a market leader in its existing market. In addition, there were internally palpable identification problems ever since the spin-off from the E.ON group of companies in 2013.
An identity-based and integrated communications strategy was developed. In this, the positioning was - in terms of communications - focused on the creative central theme of "taking the lead" – with a focus that is directed equally towards the inside as well as to the outside. Since early 2015, EEW has presented itself as a confident leader that is self-confidently making its marks in the market.
„The approach of "taking the lead" did convince us right from the start. With the integrated communications management by Jens Petershagen, the implementation in the marketplace took place quickly and thoroughly.“
Chairman, EEW Energy from Waste GmbH
Heralding a new era.
Effective March 1, 2012, the framework conditions for the restructuring of companies (Law regarding the further easing of the restructuring of companies - ESUG) have changed. The new Insolvency Act, which offers considerably more options for the restructuring of companies, leads to changed tasks and roles for restructuring consultants and insolvency administrators in the market. hww did adjust to these challenges very early on and thoroughly aligned its own organisation with them, as insolvency administrators, business consultants, and attorneys jointly and independently from a single source. The logical consequence: A new market presence that expresses this positioning.
Based on a clear business identity, a complete re-launch of the hww brand took place – including a new logo and a new corporate design. At the centre of the communications is the joint idea to provide all parties involved in the restructuring process the whole spectrum of services of what is needed before, during, and after an insolvency. With internal and external communications measures building on that, hww is convincingly positioned as one of the leading players in the market at relevant target groups and in the context of the changed legal framework conditions, and can this way optimally utilise additional potentials for growth for itself. This includes the merger of hww wienberg wilhelm with the HERMANN law offices into hww hermann wienberg wilhelm in 2015 – while retaining the hww umbrella brand.
„The new presence is perfectly aligned with our identity. We are absolutely satisfied with it.“
Partner, managing director, restructuring consultant CMC/BDU
Origin meets future meets brand essence.
The name of Kaufmann has represented premium printing quality for the last 200 years. The modern owner-led printing company with more than 200 employees produces high-volume printed products for renowned companies and publishers from Germany, France and Switzerland. The 200th anniversary serves as the occasion for positioning Druckhaus Kaufmann for the future and for consistently aligning the brand identity to the core services of the company.
Based on profound expertise from several years of cooperation and the results of a customised identity workshop, the brand is being completely relaunched — ranging from a new logo and an unmistakable design to the positioning of the claim and the central concept for all marketing measures. The brand logo is a contemporary adaptation of the signatures of several of the company owners and therefore derived one-to-one from the specific identity. The claim of "For you. Since 1816." addresses the genuinely implemented customer focus and also references the 200-year history of the company.
"With this new identity we're ideally set up for the future. Petershagen Kommunikation has got to the heart of our passion and provided sufficient space for the tradition of our family-owned company."
Small particle – major impact.
Establishing a new brand.
DSD (Duales System Holding GmbH & Co. KG) bundles the activities of the Green Dot for a sustainable economy that retains recyclable materials in closed loops. Raw materials should not be wasted, climate and environment burdened as little as possible. In addition to the Green Dot brand as market leader of the dual systems in Germany, it is important to establishing another brand within the DSD Group in the B2B segment that is representative of recycled plastics granulates, ground materials, and agglomerates of the best quality.
The resource and cost-saving product for manufacturing modern plastics applications, Systalen, features the whole expertise and the quality of the Green Dot. In order to successfully establish the brand in the market, a market presence including an accompanying communications strategy was created that contributes towards it and creates synergies. At the centre of the communications is the product itself: "A particle that effects great things". Systalen is an absolute multi-talent and capable of anything – even advertise for itself. Because Systalen is not just recyclates, but rather all that which customers are craving for – custom tailored. Systalen is capable of virtually anything and can therefore become anything – writing, product, image, graphics, symbol. All in all, a unique presence is created that makes a point. A green one.
„The new presence of Systalen is self-reliant and does fit harmoniously into our overall appearance at the same time. Mission accomplished!“
CEO Duales System Holding GmbH & Co KG
A new business strategy, a generational change at a family company, a change in management, an acquisition or merger, or also a restructuring phase – all these are typical situations in which targeted communications are critical to success. With all target groups, regardless of whether they are managers, employees, customers, the media, business partners, or other stakeholders.
Our service portfolio covers all instruments for developing and realising communications measures that sustainably support the achievement of the business objectives: from the communications strategy via the conceptualisation of emotionally involving central themes and the development of convincing messages all the way to the realisation of concrete measures. In addition, we are offering - upon request - an integrated communications management which we often handle in the form of an interim activity in-house directly at your company – including corresponding evaluation tools for the individual communications measures.
The company's identity always is the central point of reference for our whole service portfolio. Depending on the task and the individual status quo, the cooperation with our customers does therefore quite often start with a custom tailored identity workshop.
Talk with us about our services for identity-based communications with your target groups.
We consider a company's identity to be the most important source of power for its success. But what constitutes the identity of a company? And: How does it become an experience? The answers to these questions form the basis for the development of believable communications measures.
We are creating this foundation in two steps: First, we develop - jointly with the responsible parties at the company - the characteristic components of the identity in a workshop tailored to your situation and your company. This includes the business purpose, mission, vision, values, and central attitudes based thereupon. During this day-long workshop, our customers primarily do the work – we steer, take notes, and inquire.
Subsequently, in a second step, we handle the comprehensive processing of the results as well as the translation into a suitable creative format: The identity becomes palpable, visible, and can be experienced in words and images.
The result: First, a surprising, highly emotional look in the mirror. At the same time, the foundation for future communications and business development.
Successful communications are the sum of many factors that precisely interlock with one another. Therefore, we start the implementation of communications projects with the development of an integrated communications strategy. Said strategy does not only include a look at the expectations of stakeholders critical to success – internally and externally –, but also juxtaposes them with core messages derived from the identity.
The benefit: The communications strategy is not only a binding planning document in terms of content and organisation but also serves entrepreneurs, the board and/or executive management for creating awareness: Who are we today? And who do we want to be tomorrow? In addition: Once the strategy has been discussed and coordinated, future communications meetings will be shorter, more efficient, and lead to the expected results more quickly.
Communications ideas that emotionally touch and involve people have the power to move brands and markets. Especially if they are derived from a company's identity. Because then they have substance.
Creation is one of the pillars of Petershagen Kommunikation and already is involved in the development of identity. Through the combination of ratio (strategy) and intuition (creation), the unmistakable identity of a company becomes visible as a whole - both in terms of content as well as in the fitting tonality.
The identity and the messages defined in the communications strategy are the ideal springboard for the conceptualisation of a creative central theme that captures people and takes a hold in the market. On the one hand, because it is palpably true and therefore believable. But also, and that is decisive as well, because it is relevant.
Communications that are based on a central theme are particularly effective because they generate a concise, holistic business and/or brand image on all communications channels. An important contribution in order to be perceived in any context in a way that corresponds to the identity.
Every one of us is confronted with innumerable messages and pieces of information every day. An in order to pleasantly stand out in the immense media flood, you need extraordinary communications measure that actually interest and emotionally involve people. Each and every contact should have an impact!
Decisive for the receptiveness are the correct place, the suitable point in time and, of course, the relevance of the messages. It is absolutely necessary to intensely deal with the target group and to consider the occasion for the communications from its point of view. With this understanding, we develop emotionally involving measure that take a hold and that interlock with one another, based on the creative central theme and the communications strategy. For this, we cater – jointly with our community of experienced professionals – to the whole spectrum of modern online and offline communications.
Welcome to a customer journey that turns people into friends and ambassadors of your company.
You achieve objectives by not losing sight of them at any point in time in the complex work process and day-to-day work. At Petershagen Kommunikation, an integrated communications management ensures the integrated control and planning of all communications tasks. Quite often, we also handle the communications management directly on-site at our clients' in interim functions for a fixed period of time defined in advance.
The advantage is obvious: When the strategic planning, the strategic conceptualisation of the measures, and the integrated control of the communications is carried out across all disciplines from a single source, maximum efficiency arises due to fewer interfaces and high flexibility.
Talking about success is fun. But what to do when companies are confronted with serious problems due to a hacker attack, an alleged scandal or an incident ?
Crises can have the most diverse causes. But one thing is essential in this situation: quick, decisive and targeted communication.
We approach crises with a clear concept: a complete analysis of the situation is followed by a communicative assessment. Now, it must be decided what is to be said when and where by whom. Here is where speed is quintessential, quite often measured in hours.
This way, it is possible to meet the expectations of all target groups in a pressing situation. Of those who are directly affected, and of those who only hear of it and build an opinion.
However, the crisis can ultimately also be an opportunity, and this is something we experience time and again: those who openly acknowledge the problem, plausibly explain what caused it, and state what others would rather sweep under the carpet enjoy a high reputation and can emerge from the situation stronger than before.
Control is good since it provides for certainty and creates trust. In cooperation with experienced partners, we guarantee a continuous evaluation that is individually attuned to the needs of our customers.
Depending on the task and objective, we often recommend an assessment of the status quo at the beginning of the cooperation. This way, the self-image and external image of the company can be determined and analysed, for example. This way, it becomes explicitly clear which gaps exist between the current and the target state.
Subsequent to the implementation of relevant communications measures, regular success controls are a matter of course for us. This way we receive a highly accurate picture of what worked particularly well, where there is a need for adjustment, and we can - with respect to the strived for further development, make adjustments as well as develop new measures, where applicable.
The evaluation instruments that are utilised for this are directly dependent on the target groups and on the measures that we are developing. We have had good experiences with online surveys – because they often provide for considerable efficiency advantages. We are working for your success and you are quite welcome to measure us against it.
We consider empathy to be a key competency of this century. Petershagen Kommunikation is positioned perfectly to enable content-driven work with a high degree of empathy. In the cooperation with our customer, but also within our teams, we take a humanistic view as the basis which does not only have a positive impact on the atmosphere of the cooperation but also directly on the results.
At the same time, our organisational form provides for maximum flexibility in order to tend to the most diverse communications tasks and projects of different orders of magnitude in a tailored fashion.
The point of contact for our customers is Jens Petershagen, jointly with a team of experienced consultants and project managers. For each mandate, for each customer, we assemble a team of consultants and top creative people that is particularly well suited for the specific task due to their experiences, competencies, and strengths. For this, we access a community of partners of the most diverse competencies that has grown over many years and which works successfully based upon the foundation of a joint, firmly defined canon of values.
This timely and efficient form of cooperation is a win for all parties involved. As customer, you profit from competencies being provided exclusively for your specific requirements. At the same time it is ensured that each partner in our competency network can work in the environment and rhythm that is ideal for them. This highly motivated work method is also reflected in excellent results. Work that is fun leads to solutions that are a pleasure.
Jens Petershagen advises entrepreneurs, corporate boards, and managing directors in all questions of identity-based communication. In this, he uses a communications approach as foundation that is based on models of economic and linguistic science, supplemented by a systematic perspective.
More than 20 years of experience as consultant, entrepreneur, communications and marketing manager as well as in other positions of responsibility on the company and agency side form a solid foundation for his current activity.
Jens Petershagen has been working as a freelancer since 2006, since 2008 as managing partner of Petershagen Kommunikation GmbH. Before that, Jens Petershagen worked since the 90s for companies such as Daimler, German Telekom and several companies of the RWE Group as well as for agencies such as Springer & Jacoby and BBDO.
Jens Petershagen obtains his know-how from participating in regular continuing education in the most diverse areas, including a multi-stage systematic education. He completed university studies of economic sciences, linguistic sciences, and business management / marketing in Stuttgart-Hohenheim and Cologne, respectively.
You understand communication as a process that contributes decisively to the success of companies, know societal tendencies, and want to be part of a team that makes to world go round every day? Then contact us, please. We are definitely interested in an exchange with smart and creative minds that enrich our partner network. And if you are looking for a permanent position, we are looking forward to your job application.Contact us, please.
Based on the creative concept “simply: be.”, developed by Petershagen Kommunikation in 2015, four emotional films that turn the hotel’s philosophy into an experience were now realised for the vigilius mountain resort. All of the films take on the perspective of the guests and address the core groups of interest of the house. The realisation for Petershagen Kommunikation took place with Dagmar König as director and creative director as well as with partners from South Tirol and Austria.read more (pdf) Films and Images for downloading (zip)
The family-owned company of Druckhaus Kaufmann – a modern, owner-managed industrial printing company in its sixth generation has now launched a new market image. The reason was the 200th anniversary of the company founded by Ernst Kaufmann in the year 1816.read more (pdf) Images for downloading (zip)
The vigilius mountain resort, a 5-star hotel in South Tyrol, has launched its new market presence. The basis for this was the further development of the hotel's corporate identity, becoming apparent both in its culture and organisation as well as its new marketing measures.read more (pdf) Images for downloading (zip)
Jens Petershagen, owner of Petershagen Kommunikation, a Management Consultancy for identity-based communication headquartered in Cologne, Germany, assumed management of the Corporate Communication division at Festo on 1 May 2016. Festo, with 18.700 employees and revenue of approx. 2,64 billion Euros, is a global player in automation technology and global market leader in technical education and training.read more (pdf) Images for downloading (zip)
The German company for recycling and raw materials, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kreislaufwirtschaft und Rohstoffe mbH (DKR), a company of DSD − Duales System Holding GmbH & Co. KG and manufacturer of resource-preserving plastics recyclates, has launched a new presence for its new brand Systalen ® . Conceptualisation and creation of the presence were carried out by Petershagen Kommunikation, marketing consultation partnership for identity-based communication headquartered in Cologne, Germany.read more (pdf) Images for downloading (zip)
EEW Energy from Waste, Germany's leading company for the production of environmentally friendly energy from thermal waste utilisation, has launched a new market identity for its umbrella brand. Petershagen Kommunikation, a corporate consultancy partnership for identity-based marketing with headquarters in Cologne, Germany developed an identity-based and integrated communication strategy for the company's internal and external marketing. According to the claim of "Taking the lead", various internal and external marketing measures were created that have been successively implemented since the beginning of the year. "We're the market leaders in our sector. The task was to make more tangible the expertise of the corporate group, and at the same time to take a stand with concise statements aimed at our complete range of target groups. The ‘Taking the lead’ concept impressed us right from the start, and rapid and consistent implementation in the market was carried out thanks to the integrated communication management of Jens Petershagen," stated Bernard M. Kemper, Chief Executive Officer of EEW Energy from Waste GmbH about the new market identity.read more (pdf) Images for downloading (zip)