Building bridges

How public relations helps communities leap over cultural walls

For many years the prophecy of doom has predicted: "Turks are the main problem of integration" (Die Welt, 17.10.2010); "Berlin: every second Turk is unemployed" (Tagesspiegel, 27.08.2008); "Labor market: German upswing passes foreigners" (Spiegel Online, 11.09.2013). But the prophecy of doom does not help. Therefore the campaign "Kariyer-Macher" uses the tools of PR communication to bring together young German-Turks and entrepreneurs, for mutual benefit.

Cultural walls

It is a paradoxical situation: many young people with Turkish roots do not find jobs. They are more threatened by unemployment than their German peers. At the same time, it is difficult for many medium-sized companies to fill vacancies. Here the offer, there the demand – and yet they do not come together. In order to overcome these supposed cultural walls, a communication strategy was developed to match entrepreneurs and Turkish youth.

The Kariyer-Macher campaign was drafted on behalf of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Upper Rhine (IHK). It is intended to inform young German-Turks about the possibilities of qualified dual training. And it should bring medium-sized entrepreneurs into contact with young German-Turks. The main objective here is to build bridges and eliminate possible prejudices on both sides. If this  is done successfuly, young people can be shown what jobs there are and through which training paths they can be achieved.

Digital door opener

Strategically the campaign Kariyer-Macher is focused on the concept of low-threshold communication. This means Kariyer-Macher picks up the youth from where they are – in two respects:

1. Through the digital communication of a game app: The free Kariyer-Macher app provides an entertaining first contact. In the form of a jump-and-run game, the inner weeker self must be overcome in order to reach a career consultant. This also stimulates youngsters who may not be particularly interested in the subject of vocational qualification.

2. The communication continues in the so-called real world: Through casual "invitations to tea" applicants get to know their potential employers. Kariyer-Macher reduces barriers – spatially and linguistically. Kariyer-Macher goes to places where the young peole are spending their time – in Turkish tea houses and Turkish communities. And Kariyer-Macher communications are consistently bilingual. All flyers and brochures of the campaign are available in German and Turkish.

Communication at eye level

This attitude of communication on the same eye level is symbolized not least by the title of the campaign itself: Kariyer-Macher is a Turkish-German word combination for a careerist. In this sense, companies with vacancies are constantly involved in the campaign in order to provide information on career opportunities during events in communities and tea houses. These events are not classic job fairs, because the "invitations to the tea" or "speed dating appointments" are more casual.

Classical and digital press work accompany the campaign and its events. Numerous media reports on the Kariyer-Macher events have already ensured that the topic is also known on a regional basis. 

European Excellence AwardsThis campaign won the 2016 European Excellence Award in the category "Science and Education". To find out more about the awards, head to the Excellence Awards website.

Image: Schleiner + Partner Kommunikation