Neue deutsche Medienmacher e.V.

Online hub to support integration

Benefits to our customer

Editorial office with peer-to-peer approach

Development and hosting from one source

Up-to-date and multilingual web presence as a contribution to integration

  • Requirements

    Integration in the social media age

    People who flee from their homes to a foreign country and unfamiliar culture need information about their new environment.
    There are numerous aid organisations in Germany to facilitate this introduction. The goal of Handbook Germany is to combine these offers and optimise them for the specific target group. Everyday knowledge, legal frameworks and basic modes of behaviour, such as information about waste separation or child care, have to be presented in an easily comprehensible way to make the familiarisation easier. To get the right message across, an offer in as many languages as possible is indispensable.
    Integration also always means communication. For many refugees, the smartphone is their most valuable communication tool. Groups or blogs on social media give them the opportunity to share experiences and advice in and outside of their own community. Integration projects that should have an actual added value for their target group must therefore offer expedient content as well as integrate the changes in media usage. However, integration concepts often lack relevance to the needs of those they address and they miss their purpose.

  • Solution

    Information from refugees for refugees

    Together with T-Systems MMS, Telekom and Adobe, Neue deutsche Medienmacher has therefore developed the central and multilingual web-based information portal “Handbook Germany”. Deutsche Telekom provided the portal “Welcome to Germany”, which it developed in 2015, as a template for this project free of charge. The first step consisted of a relaunch of the Telekom portal, followed by a migration to the new handbook, replacing the old CoreMedia Web Content Management platform. Adobe Systems handled the technical support for the handbook. The new content management system, Adobe AEM, enables the intuitive operation of the online platform. Through Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, the Adobe Experience Cloud makes it possible to continuously improve, personalise and optimise the handbook. The website is hosted on the Open Telekom cloud.
    The new, target-oriented information portal follows an intuitive mobile-first approach, which means it is ideally designed for use with smartphones. T-Systems MMS identified and established this technical focus based on prior target group analyses. The free WLAN connection provided by Telekom at numerous refugee centres enables direct and barrier-free access to the portal.

Newcomers have the opportunity to get basic information about unfamiliar surroundings in a familiar environment – the mobile Internet. To ensure that the website would be used to its full extent, aligning the offer with the media habits of the target group is crucial.
Equally important is providing a range of information in seven different languages that is actually relevant for the target groups. This is why the website is divided into four categories: living, learning, work and law. The introduction is facilitated by an attractive presentation of the contents in the form of videos and short clips. The Handbook provides an overview of important fundamentals, such as vaccinations, language courses, job search and application. Complex texts have been omitted; instead, important and central issues were excerpted and the information was conveyed quickly and compactly in an appealing format. The users are offered orientation guides that make it possible to find their way around without the direct help of others. Helping people help themselves gives them the sense that they aren’t entirely dependent on others and it thus creates confidence and independence.
An editorial office that consists of journalists with escape and migration backgrounds prepares the information in easily understandable form in seven languages. The contents are communicated intelligibly and specifically for the target groups. In addition to basic knowledge, current news are also shown and specific German colloquialisms are explained in an appealing format. The compatibility of the platform with all social media channels makes it possible to easily share its contents beyond its own website.

  • Awards

    1st Prize „Media & Migration“

    Handbook Germany receives the 1st prize "Media & Migration" as best initiative, awarded by the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia at the 27th Film Festival Cologne on October 04, 2017. The Film Festival Cologne is an international film and television festival in Cologne. With around 20,000 visitors, it is regarded as the world's most popular TV festival.

  • Awards

    German Digital Award 2018 in Branded Content

    For over five years, the German Digital Award has stood for creativity and innovation in the digital economy. In 2018, Handbook Germany received the German Digital Award in Bronze from the German Digital Industry Association in the category Content Platforms / Digital Magazines.

  • Awards

    German Online Communication Award

    The German Online Communication Award honors innovative contributions and outstanding achievements in digital communication in 37 categories. The Handbook Germany project won gold in the Corporate Responsibility category at the 2018 German Online Communication Award.

  • Benefits

    Expedient integration through the passages of time

    Since its launch, the platform has experienced a continuous increase in users. The offers and underlying software are permanently tested and revised to ensure functionality. So it’s no wonder that Handbook Germany has already received multiple awards. Most recently, on World Refugee Day in 2018, it was honoured with the German Award for Online Communication in the category Corporate Responsibility and the German Digital Award in Bronze. The integration of refugees is an enormous task for society. It concerns more than just overcoming language barriers. T-Systems MMS doesn’t shy away from these challenges. As the leading digital company, T-Systems MMS knows what opportunities digitisation can offer in this area as well. It thus made sense to help develop a platform that facilitates the introduction to a foreign culture while simultaneously relieving the agencies along with the numerous volunteers.

The composition of the editorial office inspires trust in people seeking advice, since the professional journalists have already been in a situation similar to theirs. The editorial staff know which information is significant to refugees. This peer-to-peer approach makes an essential contribution to the basic idea behind the project: integration can only succeed together, not through arbitrary information on numerous platforms. The editorial office bundles existing information and makes it relevant to the experiences of the affected persons. The team is supported by various partners, such as agencies, associations and initiatives.
Thanks to the Minister of State for Migration, Integration and Refugees, this will also be possible. The Federal Government has praised this project and referred to the significance of the media in the integration process and value creation. It stated that Handbook Germany was doing its part to utilise the opportunities of the digital shift and bring about a concrete improvement in the democratic living conditions.

  • Annette Widmann-Mauz, Minister of State for Migration, Integration and Refugees

    „The digital handbook not only serves as a first orientation for refugees, but is also a companion in the new home country Germany. Qualified information is a key to integration, to use educational and language offers, to find housing and work. It was the cooperation between public, private and civil society partners that made the success of this project possible.“

About the Minister of State for Migration, Integration and Refugees

Minister of State Annette Widmann-Mauz, Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration since March 2018, supports the Cabinet in the further development of integration policy. Support for the cohabitation of all people in Germany is intended to guarantee the conditions for a tension-free coexistence of citizens.

About Neue deutsche Medienmacher e.V.

Since it was founded in 2009, the nationwide association of media creators with various cultural and language skills and roots has dedicated itself to promoting variety in the German media landscape. It was based on the idea that reporting as well as staffing was not adequately reflecting the actual composition of German residents. The independent network offers a forum for information and exchange and for mutual support and promotion. They create initiatives and implement their own projects, one of which is Handbook Germany.

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