Ilmenau Research Group Publishes Initial Findings on Government Crisis Communication During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Prod. Dr. Martin Löffelholz, Johanna Radechovsky, Kathrin Schleicher

In a study conducted by the International Crisis Communication Research Group of the Ilmenau University of Technology under the direction of Professor Martin Löffelholz as part of the MIRKKOMM research network ( and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for a period of three years, leading figures in public administration call for more dialogue with citizens and an improvement in the communication management of the federal, state and local governments in times of crisis.

The research group successfully completed the field phase of the first (qualitative) survey study on the communication of public health authorities and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2023 and has already published initial results in the current issues of the journals "Stadt und Gemeinde" of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (available free of charge here) and "Notfallvorsorge" (available for subscription here). For this purpose, 71 representatives of state institutions at federal, state and municipal level were interviewed in 55 guided interviews.

The field phase of the second (quantitative) sub-study, which began in March 2023 and surveyed the administrations and health offices of the 294 districts, 107 independent cities and about 375 health offices in Germany on a representative basis, was successfully completed by the end of April 2023 with a response rate of 39%. Based on the experience gained during the Corona pandemic, this is the first time that a solid record will be made of how local authorities in Germany can better prepare themselves for future major crises in terms of communications. Various institutions are therefore providing support for the study, including the German Association of Towns and Municipalities and the German County Association. 

The Ilmenau project team presented their current results and project progress at the milestone meeting of the research network, which took place on April 25, 2023 in Berlin.

The results of the two sub-studies will be presented in detail at the annual conferences of the German Communication Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft) in Bremen on May 19, 2023, and the International Association of Media and Communication Research in Lyon, France, in mid-July 2023.

Contact               Kathrin Schleicher, M.A. (

                            Johanna Radechovsky, M.A. (


Löffelholz, M., Schleicher, K., Radechovsky, J. (2023). Vielstimmigkeit und Inkohärenz. Staatliche Krisenkommunikation in der Corona-Pandemie. Stadt und Gemeinde, 01/2023, p. 9-10 (in German) (

Löffelholz, M., Schleicher, K., Radechovsky, J. (2023).Mehr Dialog statt kommunikativem Missmanagement. Erste Befunde einer Analyse staatlicher Krisenkommunikation während der Corona-Pandemie. Notfallvorsorge, 54. Jg., 1/2023, S. 30-36 (in German).