Short List
Category D01. Media Relations
Idea Creation 2 GO & TRY Vienna, AUSTRIA
Name Company Position
Doris Christina Steiner Ketchum Publico Managing Director & Creative Advisor
Goran Golik go & try Creative Director
M. Alexander Trybus go & try Creative Director
Lydia Körner go & try Graphic Designer
Saskia Schäfer Ketchum Germany PR Execution

Why is this work relevant for PR?

One-third of the population in Germany, Austria and Switzerland come from an immigrant background. But immigrants rarely see themselves reflected in the media. New German Media Makers (NdM) needed to show the region the imbalance, and how they were ignoring a growing percentage of German society. Since anyone can buy the rights to name a German weather system, we bought the first 13 -- giving them immigrant names instead of traditional German names, to get everyone’s attention. With the first storm, we hijacked the news and put NdM’s call for a 30% diversity hiring quota at the epicenter.


New German Media Makers (NdM) is a nonprofit association representing media professionals with immigrant backgrounds. It believes that while Germany has grown more diverse, its media hasn’t. Though the organization has working journalists producing blogs, books, and essays on media diversity, the message was largely going into an echo chamber. NdM needed help reaching the mainstream population to call for real change: a 30% quota for media enterprises to employ people of immigrant background, black or of colour. Despite being a third of the population, immigrants rarely see their names and faces in German media. One typical oversight takes place daily on the news. In Germany, anyone can inexpensively purchase and name a weather system. It’s popular to do to celebrate a friend or occasion, resulting in weather maps with traditional German names like Lisa, Alexander or Margarethe. We recognized an unsuspecting place to make big news.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

To make headline news for New German Media Makers and call for increased diversity in the media, we hijacked something people talk about every day: the weather. We purchased the names of the first 13 weather highs and lows of 2021 for just €3,500. Instead of giving them traditional German names, we populated the weather map with immigrant names – like Ahmet, Goran, Dragica, Hakim, Chana, Dimitrios, Bartosz, Cemal, Erhan, Flaviu, Jussuf and Bozena. Then we waited for the first storm, knowing that journalists and meteorologists would have no choice but to consider the subject of diversity. Would some members of our German audience resent the sudden appearance of immigrant-sounding names in their news and weather reports? Of course, they would. So entirely organically, we launched a #WeatherCorrection (#Wetterberichtigung) across the region – driving immediate, widespread debate on the lack of media diversity in the controversy and conversation that followed.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

#WeatherCorrection placed NdM’s message where it was least expected – on every weather report and news anchor desk across the region – triggering an outpouring of positive and negative social discourse without ever addressing or defaming our white majority audience. Timing was crucial, from purchasing the weather names before the public did, to claiming a monopoly on them from the outset of 2021. We’d deal with social media blowback in real-time and garner support from key opinion leaders, policymakers, and diversity allies – anticipating a strong response from rightwing Twitter accounts and political groups. We gave the initiative a face: NdM advocate Ferda Ataman, a respected author and columnist at Der Spiegel. Earned media would be our sole channel to drive the campaign, secure headline news and educate on the importance of representation in the media and the need for a new diversity hiring quota that reflected the changing demographics.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

Our campaign launched the moment the first low-pressure system Ahmet developed in January. The next day we announced NdM as sponsor of the initiative, its objective, and the 12 additional names that would be part of the 2021 #WeatherCorrection. In preparation, we had multi-national press releases ready for distribution, unpaid social influencers and diversity advocates poised to respond, a campaign website, and dedicated social channels for sharing real-time content. We even coached media on the correct pronunciation of Ahmet. As #WeatherCorrection trended on Twitter, the campaign engaged politicians, opinion columnists, authors, DE&I activists, meteorologists, and journalists internationally. When members of the far-right AFD party responded with hate speech and false claims, coverage spiked, spurring heated defenses of #WeatherCorrection. We used the spotlight to educate and make the case for diversity hiring quotas. To extend the campaign, we published a daily weather chart and lined up interviews and op/eds.

List the results (30% of vote)

A #WeatherCorrection was all that was needed to change the “climate” overnight and inspire an overdue discussion on the importance of achieving a 30% diversity employment quota in German media. The PR campaign was covered on virtually every weather report and by every media outlet throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – reaching 2 billion+ with over 600 stories in weeks. Our website attracted over 350,000 visitors. The story quickly drew international attention from the biggest meteorologists, TV networks and news anchors, radio stations, newspapers, columnists, magazines, DE&I activists and bloggers. As conversation surged on German Twitter, the Guardian, Financial Times, BBC and global outlets communicated NdM’s call for a diversity quota in the media – a subject that hadn’t been broached before. Since, NdM has arranged over 25 meetings to advance new hiring quotas with leading news media companies and publishing houses – including Stern, GEO, MDR, taz and Thomson Reuters – and presented its new handbook on achieving diversity goals. A NdM mentoring program for media employees has drawn hundreds of applicants. The campaign has permeated pop culture. #WeatherCorrection even became a game show question on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” For €16.000: Who or what followed in 2021 after Ahmet, Bartosz, Cemal, Dimitrios, Erhan, Flaviu and Goran? a) Ice bear baby Mustafa b) Premiere minister Ali c) Weather Low Hakim d) Jungle King Volcan “Don’t we have any other problems than renaming the weather?” the host quipped. Without hesitation, the contestant answered correctly – Hakim.