I can be a very critical person. I try not to be, I know it’s not a nice quality, and I want to apologise for being it. But there are situations where you care and you’re right. Yes you could keep quiet to not create friction. But you care enough to speak out. This is one of those situations. I’ve written about this before and I’m sorry for being boring.

My home state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern (the proper English name is Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. All German states have multiple and complicated names, there’s a long history to that) is a beautiful and lovely place. It has long, sandy beaches and other beautiful places inland – lakes, woods, hundreds of castles.

It has clever, well educated people, a great cultural life, universities, and now more and more healthcare companies chose it for their HQ. (yes in the rural parts it also has some problems with stupid people who think foreigners are bad, sadly.)

So M-V, as we’ve come to call it is, trying to market itself and sends a marketing team to the London Olympics. It creates a cultural programme.

I read about it on the online forum for Germans in London. There is a .doc file with the German press release, and a .pdf with the German/English programme. (My background is print. Can I rant about the readability of the blue italic font on the English translation while I’m at it? I find it really difficult.) Anyways my main issue is – how do I find it online, how do I share, how do I help my friends find out about it? I’m normally good at finding things but I find nothing.

It’s not even a case of visiting a foreign country and adjusting to completely different platforms. Twitter is just as big in Germany, and there are loads of startups doing impressive things with the web. I’m in touch with loads of innovative people in my hometown and home state through the web and social media. How can ‘Landesmarketing M-V’ (yes, that’s THE state marketing bureau) think publishing a .doc file and a bad .pdf are the tools to use?

There is a marketing website for this effort but it is clearly that, a marketing website. No details, nobody to connect with on social media. (I found M-V’s marketing chief on facebook and sent him a mail offering to help with their London efforts, but facebook is so not the platform for that.)

Could I help them better engage with a local audience? Yes. And I’ve tried to let them know that I’m here, via email, phone, social media.

Social media and Germany is a different subject. In short, you don’t get a job in Germany unless you have a qualification. There are no social media qualifications – thus, most social media is run by marketers or IT people, and in tourism M-V we have the two extremes.

And now I shall get off my high horse and enjoy the weekend :)

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