Print or online? This has long since ceased to be the key question – in our highly diversified media world, the aim is to present content via all relevant channels in an adequate and crossmedia format.
The fragmentation of the media scene, ever-shorter news cycles and the high personnel turnover in the editorial offices is fundamentally changing the nature of press activities. Information now has to be tailored to the specific and differing requirements of newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, websites, blogs and social media channels, with content customised to suit the target medium. The window for responding to inquiries is ever smaller, and contacts have to be newly established more frequently than was the case just a few years ago. BVL is reacting to the changing environment, and the results can be seen in the extremely broad presence of association content in the special-interest media, excellent visibility in the social media, and mentions and citations in the general-interest and leading media. The activities on Supply Chain Day are one of the ways in which BVL broadens its “mass appeal”.
BVL went on the offensive in the second half of 2018 in its endeavour to build new contacts by publishing the booklet “Logistics: Topics, Sources and Contacts for Journalists”. The booklet was sent to 300 journalists together with a personal cover letter and a version of the programme for the International Supply Chain Conference that was optimised for publication in the general-interest and leading media. The response has been encouraging.
BVL once again invited the media to a press conference during the International Supply Chain Conference in Berlin this year. Around 180 representatives of the media were given accreditation for the conference and were supported in their work by the PR team of BVL on site. The association issued more than 40 press releases during the course of the year to inform journalists about its core activities. The press office answered questions, supplied guest articles and arranged meetings with experts for background information and interviews, prepared dossiers and maintained a blog at www.bvl.de/blog, on which more than 70 articles by experts were published.
Social media as mirror and mouthpiece
There is growing criticism of the social media (in terms of data security, for example, the quality of content or control over user content), but they remain an important communication channel, and one which BVL is making increasing use of in the ever-closer integration of online and offline content. The content of the BVL website is regularly mentioned on Facebook, Twitter, Xing and Linkedin, and this paves the way for direct interaction with the community. Content prepared specifically for social media such as live streams from events, articles on Xing or exclusive videos on Youtube has also found an audience both within and outside the association. This media activity was never an end in itself. It was never about “posting for posting’s sake” but about the meaningful integration of real content in the digital channels. Selected articles from BVL Magazin have been uploaded to the social media, for example, and supplemented with digital content. One case that is particularly worthy of mention are the “Logistics Superheroes” – two actors in costume at the 35th International Supply Chain Conference who energetically encouraged people to interact via the social media – with great success: on Twitter alone, the conference hashtag #dlk18 reached more than 400,000 users in October.
Members once again received ten issues of the LOG.Letter, four English-language LOG.Letters on the Internet as PDFs, 50 regular issues of the LOG.Mail and six special issues of the electronic newsletter. The special issues contained information on the programme for the 35th International Supply Chain Conference, the programme of the Forum Automotive Logistics and the results of the surveys for the Logistics Indicator. In the five years since it was launched in 2014, the quarterly BVL Magazin has become a well-received and extremely popular publication. The first issue in 2018 looked at new opportunities offered by increased transparency between partners along the value added chain. Issue number two was devoted to the 40th anniversary of BVL – and, instead of solely looking back, the editorial team focused more on the future of logistics and the association. The third issue outlined the findings of research into the topic of “blockchain”. And issue number four featured information on the content of the conference and was published a week earlier than normal so that members could use it in their preparations for the conference. In a special publication enclosed in the November issue of the LOG.Letter, BVL showcased in detail the outstanding project that won the German Award for Supply Chain Management.
To mark the 40th anniversary of BVL, the press and PR team updated the timeline of the association in recent years. While the first 30 years were chronicled in two printed volumes in 2008, the complete timeline is now available on the Internet at www.bvl.de/en/history and makes use of a wide range of multimedia formats. Moreover, the team supplied the content for the founders’ reception to mark the association’s anniversary and also coordinated the activities of the “Logistics Superheroes” during the conference.
New outfit for a strong brand
The BVL network has become more international, more dynamic, younger and more colourful. Over the course of four decades, the association has grown into a lighthouse in the constantly changing world of logistics and supply chain management. BVL helps people to find their bearings in the complex and permanently shifting environment in which the logistics sector is active and serves as a platform for all those worldwide committed to logistics and supply chain management.
Since the beginning of the year, this has also been clearly reflected in the corporate design of the association. The logo, colours and fonts were last redesigned 15 years ago, and the last major CD facelift was in 2008. During the past ten years, BVL has regularly “tweaked” the design to keep it up to date.
The 40th birthday also presented an excellent opportunity to don a new “outfit”. During the development phase, the team played through all the various options – from a more cautious face-lift all the way through to a radical revamp of the logo as well as all fonts and colours. In the end, the Board and head office decided on a middle way – one that ensures high recognition value while doing justice to the key characteristics of BVL.
The revamped design reflects the modern nature of the BVL network as well as the changes resulting from digitalization. The logo is more prominent, and there is now greater emphasis on its suitability for the digital media. The four new accent colours make for a fresher look, and the logo is now positioned where it is shown in its best light – at the top right of letterheads, for example, and at the top left on the website.
Thanks to the new title pages of the flyers and brochures, readers can now see at a glance whether they are about the association, BVL events, further training courses or the new subsidiary BVL.digital. The event signets are no longer used, making space to showcase the BVL logo. Last not least, the International Supply Chain Conference has been given its very own holistic and crossmedia design that picks up on the BVL theme for the year and reflects the strategic importance of the conference.