The largest supplier of automotive technology, the Robert Bosch Group, recently celebrated its 125th anniversary.
Rather than simply publishing a history of the company, the corporate communications department opted for a spectacular display of public relations, creating a “present day” Bosch book, featuring a kaleidoscopic 125 photographs shot at 125 different locations throughout the world at the same exact instant.
Bosch printed 450,000 copies of the photo book in 19 languages, delivered to 62 countries and 653 Bosch locations. Lucky Bosch employees – 285,000 of them – received the book as a gift and an additional 165,000 copies were distributed among customers and business partners.
Bosch’s Head of Corporate Communications, Uta-Micaela Dürig, and her project manager Anke Dewitz-Grube provide details about the planning and implementation in the special interest journal Kommunikationsmanager, writing, “Preparatory work took more than two years. Approximately 400 suggestions of topics from 40 countries and 800 portfolios of international photo journalists were checked. At the end, more than 1,000 people were involved.” These figures alone serve as an exceptional example of what globalization means and how worldwide corporate communications functions today. Bosch’s book project is, without doubt, a masterpiece of logistics and publicity. The feat of ensuring that 125 photographers shoot photos at precisely the same moment commands great respect in itself, as anyone who’s tried coordinating more than 10 individuals from different cultures and languages already knows.
*For the sake of transparency, it must be noted that as a young man, Stephan Russ-Mohl spent five years working for the Robert Bosch Foundation in Stuttgart. Ms. Dürig, Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications at Bosch, is his former student from the FU Berlin.
Published in Die Furche, Nr. 43/2011