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Chemnitz University of Technology Receives 2019 Award for University Communication

The jury was convinced by their outstanding overall communication concept and continued engagement in the #wirsindchemnitz campaign

Chemnitz University of Technology is one of the winners of the 2019 “Communicating Internally – Acting Externally” Higher Education Communication Award, which is awarded by the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and ZEIT Verlag, together with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The award is endowed with 25,000 euros.

Chemnitz University of Technology was recognised due to its overall communication concept, which is “based on the fundamental values of the university – participation, togetherness and diversity”. The German Rectors’ Conference, in their statement, noted that “publicly, their success was particularly evident in light of the impressive stance against violence and xenophobia in the wake of the racist riots in Chemnitz in 2018”. The #wirsindchemnitz campaign against violence and xenophobia was in central focus here, emphasising the core values of the university.

“We have set forth with the goal of significantly expanding and modernising communication, both internally and externally. In light of this, we are so pleased to receive the award for university communication and the great external recognition that goes along with it,” says Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier, President of Chemnitz University of Technology. An important goal of internal communication involves providing the university community with comprehensive information and integrating it accordingly. When communicating externally, it is important, among other things, to react appropriately to external events and position yourself clearly. To better serve these purposes, existing communication structures were reconfigured and developed, and new strategies and offerings were put in place, including target group-specific newsletters, new audio and video formats, and new communication channels were created in the fields of politics, business and society, as well as social media. “I would like to thank the jury, the German Rectors’ Conference, ZEIT Verlag, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung for their recognition of our work. I would also like to thank everyone who contributed to this great success, especially the Press Office and Crossmedia Communications, and in addition the TUCtalk team, Event Organisation and Merchandising, employees of the Office of the Rector and all members of our university who actively support our communication efforts.”

New Communication Formats

New formats offered by the university include the TUCinside, TUCdialog and TUCnetwork newsletters, the TUCpersonal and TUCscicast podcasts, and the TUCtalk monthly video offering. “In this way, we address our target groups in a timely and accurate manner, and offer extensive opportunities for participation,” says Mario Steinebach, Head of the Press Office and Crossmedia Communications and Chemnitz University of Technology’s Press Officer. Steinebach’s deputy Matthias Fejes adds: “Further building blocks for these efforts include continuing to expand of the audio-video sector, as well as the university’s social media presence. While the university’s Instagram channel is primarily aimed at students, the university externally communicates its happenings in numerous ways – in addition to the homepage, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are also deployed by the Press Office and Crossmedia Communications.” In addition to this, there are several event-based formats at the university, such as TUCtag, the Graduation Party and the Parliamentary Evening, which allows for face time with various target groups.

Respect for the #wirsindchemnitz campaign

An excellent example of the cohesiveness of the “TUC family” and effective external communication was the university’s communication surrounding the events in Chemnitz on 26 August 2018. At the centre of this campaign is a video clip, in which both German and international students and employees supply Chemnitz with an international, diverse and tolerant face. The clip was distributed via the university’s social media channels with the hashtag #wirsindchemnitz. “The university’s campaign was received quite positively, not only within the university and the city, but also by the outside media, including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the ZDF,” says Steinebach. Even today, the slogan is firmly anchored in the university’s internal and external communication.

Background: 2019 Award for University Communication

The Award for University Communication is given by the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and ZEIT Verlag, together with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and it is endowed by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The awarding of the prize in 2019 will be the ninth time it has been given – this time under the theme of “Communicating Internally – Working Externally”. In recent years, it has been awarded in various other areas – the Current teaching of research topics (2017), Connecting the university with city and region (2015), Social media activities (2013), International university communication (2011), Student marketing (2009), Websites (2007), and University magazines (2005). In addition to Chemnitz University of Technology, the jury nominated Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences as a winner in 2019. In addition, Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen will be receiving an unendowed commendation. This year’s award ceremony will take place in Hamburg on 18 November 2019 on the eve of the HRK General Assembly.

Further information on Chemnitz University of Technology’s communication channels and contact information for the Press Office and Crossmedia Communications can be found at

(Article: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Jeffrey Karnitz)

Matthias Fejes

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