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IRGoCC in the Media

Martin Löffelholz interviewed by ZAPP, a German TV magazine on media issues

Wiggly pictures from war zones, recorded with cameras fastened to the soldiers' helmets – can viewers cope with these pictures? Can they classify them? What is their intent? Which situations and TV formats are apt to include such pictures? The German TV magazine ZAPP (NDR channel) has been looking for answers to these questions. Martin Löffelholz, director of IRGoCC, is interviewed as an expert and shares his knowledge and opinion on the „new pictures of war“.

You can watch the report as well as the whole interview at

Study: Companies as crisis causers and conclusions for the strategic management of corporate reputation in times of crises

Article of the International Research Group on Crisis Communication (IRGoCC) in the latest issue of PR Magazin (08/2010)

Ilmenau, 10 August, 2010. International research on crisis communication has shown that the perception of causes and responsibilities for a crisis has substantial impact on corporate reputation. The more a company is perceived as having caused a crisis the more it will suffer from reputational damages. How exactly these attributions of causes and responsibilities come about and which informational dimensions are crucial for assessing these aspects has still not been sufficiently explained.

In a recent article in the August issue of the PR Magazin the IRGoCC presents a model that shows how certain information dimensions affect such attributions and how this influences corporate reputation. Findings of a quasi-experimental field study were used as a basis for developing research-based guidelines for the strategic management of reputation in crisis contexts.

Contact: Dr. Andreas Schwarz

Twitter from Afghanistan: Expert radio talk with Martin Löffelholz about the German Armed Forces‘ fear of social media

27 June, 2010. Weblogs, Facebook or Twitter – German soldiers in war zones such as Afghanistan already use a wide range of web 2.0 platforms to report on their personal experiences. But many times they hide their identities behind pseudonyms for not being recognized by their superiors. For the German Armed Forces and the Department of Defense social media primarily seem to mean risk and loss of control. Wasted opportunities are the result. Personal reports and positive responses on web 2.0 channels may have a therapeutic function for soldiers, says Martin Löffelholz, director of the International Research Group on Crisis Communication (IRGoCC). In addition, the department of defense should not leave these new media to the Taliban for their propaganda as the internet will be the most influential media channel of the future, says Löffelholz. Hauke Friederichs, online journalist at, also points to the opportunity to report on positive stories and successful missions of the German Armed Forces that are rarely covered in the classic media. Löffelholz concludes with slight optimism: We can observe an increasing problem recognition and a hesitant opening of the German Armed Forces’ towards social media.

The whole radio broadcast can be accessed here:

Participants of the expert talk: Prof. Dr. Martin Löffelholz (director of the International Research Group on Crisis Communication), Boris Barschow (author of the Afghanistan Blog), Hauke Friederichs (political online journalist at, and Philip Banse (moderator)

Report on the radio talk at Zeit Online:

Professor Martin Löffelholz comments on the actual communication policy of the German Government to the Afghanistan mission

The German Government doesn´t want to use the term “war” concerning the Afghanistan mission even after the bombing of two road tanker near Kundus last week occured. In an interview by SPIEGEL online, Professor Martin Löffelholz identifies the communication faults of the German Chancelor.
“The German Government is getting more and more into a defensive position. Over years the Government never has had the interest to communicate the Afghanistan mission in an open way to the German Nation, including the negative consequnces for the Afghanistan people. Without pro-active communication policy, without an intensive, honest and permanent strain for a realistic view on the Afghanistan war reality, the German Government will run after the affairs”, says the communication scholar. The Ilmenau Professor has been engaged with security policy and military communication management since decades. Currently he and his research team are analysing the relations of the German and US Armed Forces to the media in a huge research project. The complete interview by SPIEGEL online may be found here.

Iran hunts oppositionals in the web – In a ZEIT ONLINE article Martin Löffelholz comments the dangers of information retrievals in the web 2.0

Since there are public pictures and texts in conflicts, they are also used in order to identify and pursue opponents. The Internet with its uncomplicated ways of publication however turns it into a weapon in order to suppress substantial parts of the opposition. Martin Löffelholz comments the pursuit dangers, Iranian oppositionals are exposed to who make information and pictures available to the public with the help of social online networks.

German-East-African media dialogue in Nairobi

Which role do East African media play concerning internal-stately crises and how do clanship and ethnic influences affect the reporting? Which chances offer web based Social Media for a stronger participative dialogue to civil society? These questions were located in the focus of the German-East-African media dialogue, which the Institut for foreign relations (ifa) accomplished on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office at the end of May 2009 in Nairobi. Professor Martin Löffelholz and Matthias Duchscherer supported the conference supervisors as scientific advisors and participated in the two day media dialogue as moderator and respectively as lecturer. You can find a reporting about the conference under:
German Information Centre Pretoria
East Africa's Society Magazine

War reporting 2.0

January 16th, 2009. During the current war between Israel and the Hamas, a very active war reporting takes place on different web 2.0 platforms such as Facebook or in personal war blogs.
Martin Löffelholz (IRGoCC) and Ute Daniel comment on these newer forms of war reporting in an article of ZEIT ONLINE. Both scholars are currently preparing a research project, aiming at a comprehensive analysis of the relationships and dependencies between armed forces and the media.

The German online article can be accessed here:

Bayer mismanages crisis communication. Andreas Schwarz (IRGoCC) comments on current crisis communication strategies.

The construction of a carbon monoxide pipeline in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) by the Bayer corporation caused harsh public debates between Bayer, politicians and regional citizens’ initiatives. Andreas Schwarz was interviewed for the political TV news magazine “Westpol” (WDR) in order to assess current reactions and crisis management of Bayer.


A german abstract of this article can be read here:;jsessionid=2DBXZIDNA53LMCQKYRTETIQ

The German broadcast can be watched as web stream here:

War & journalism in practice

How does does global war and crisis journalism influence politics, diplomacy and military? Martin Löffelholz (IRGoCC) gives answers to that question in the current issue of the online magazine Cultur21. The so-called CNN-effect suggests a strong causal effect of global real-time reporting on security-policy decisions. The truth about the influence of the military on the media and of the media on politics can be read at cultura21 (German online article by Martin Löffelholz).

Martin Löffelholz (IRGoCC) about an undercover operation of German soldiers who pretended to be journalists

An interview on

Article in the German magazine FOCUS (issue 50/2007) “What you always wanted to know about war reporters"

Article (PDF)

Also available on Focus online.

Interview with Martin Löffelholz about the media coverage on the 9/11 terrorist attacks by the German political TV magazine Panorama (ARD)

“Only when it burns” –Martin Löffelholz (IRGoCC) assesses the German Federal Armed Forces’ public relations in loyal (military magazine).

The German Federal Armed Forces have to improve substantially for achieving a strategic and successful form of public relations.” is the conclusion in an interview in the February issue (2007) of "loyal".