Preparation helps Germany win the PR World Cup
By Jens Grittner, DFB Press Officer
Did the DFB have a specific strategy in place to promote the Germany team during the FIFA World Cup?
The task was rather to channel and structure huge public interest in the team. We had 150 journalists travelling with the team. All games were shown live on ARD and ZDF, two of the three most popular channels in Germany. We had daily press conferences attended by around 200 German and international media. All conferences were translated simultaneously into English and consecutively into Portuguese when needed.
We also managed to arrange around 200 exclusive interviews with players and coaches during the seven weeks of training camp and the World Cup. We had a printed guide with player profiles in English and Portuguese. For the first time, we had somebody devoted entirely to Facebook and Twitter.
Ahead of the tournament in Brazil, what the biggest challenges the DFB planned for?
Overall, team safety, accommodation, and travel. In regards to media, how to channel the overwhelming media interest in the team. Not only to satisfy the media interest, but also not to harm the football preparation of the team.
And what were the biggest unexpected challenges the DFB faced in terms of PR activation in Brazil?
We'd thought the time difference would be a huge problem, but that worked out nicely.
The DFB built its own training centre for the World Cup – were there any communications considerations regarding this?
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff's goal was to create a team base camp ideally suited for the needs of our players. It was exclusive, at least for these few hours they did not have to worry about posing for selfies. In regards to media, we had TV journalists staying in a hotel roughly 500 metres apart from Campo Bahia.
How much media training did the players have ahead of the tournament?
None. They play for Bayern München, Real Madrid and Arsenal London. They know what they are doing - sometimes they know better than we do.
What were the biggest PR successes for the DFB during the World Cup (away from the pitch)
No broadcast in the history of German television was seen by more viewers. The game had a 86.3 percent share and was watched by more than 34 million people living in Germany.
Was there much collaboration between the DFB and Chancellor Merkel’s office ahead of and after the Final?
Sure, also as she visited the team in the locker room following the Final.
The German players were considered in England to have conducted themselves with a blend of professionalism and humour – what impact do you think the players’ great conduct has had on the image of Germany?
You might know better than we do!