Protecting whales and dolphins: Media students at TU Ilmenau work with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC)

This winter semester, students at TU Ilmenau are developing communication concepts for the whale and dolphin conservation organization "Whale and Dolphin Conservation" (WDC) Germany. In a seminar held by the Group for Research in Public Relations and Communication of Technology, students are developing campaigns to raise awareness of whales and dolphins on WDC's social media and to interest medium-sized companies in cooperating with WDC.

The seminar started this week, and the first briefing with WDC Germany Managing Director Franziska Walter took place on October 25. Approximately 20 students from several countries, divided among four competing "up-and-coming PR agencies," will then develop professional communication concepts in Dr. Andreas Schwarz's course until the end of the semester.

Whales and dolphins are threatened worldwide by pollution of the oceans, increasing shipping traffic and the resulting noise, captivity in dolphinariums and bycatch. Creating awareness for these problems and improving the situation of marine mammals is one of the core tasks of Whale and Dolphin Conservation. The big goal is "a world where all whales and dolphins live in freedom and safety." To achieve these goals, students will develop communication concepts. On the one hand, this involves making the whale and dolphin sponsorship program better known to a larger target group on social media. On the other hand, companies should be made aware of the possibilities of donations and cooperations with WDC.

The seminar will be conducted by Dr. Andreas Schwarz, Head of Group for Research in Public Relations and Communication of Technology. Franziska Walter, Managing Director of WDC Germany, is the "client" of the students. She gives briefings and, as part of the jury, decides which concepts are the most convincing. For themedia students, the seminar is the best preparation for future activities in the increasingly internationalized communications industry.

With the cooperation with Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the Group for Research in Public Relations and Communication of Technology continues its course of contemporary PR education at the TU Ilmenau, which also makes a relevant contribution to improving current social and ecological problems. The students work with international partners on practical problems and on the basis of the latest scientific findings. They also contribute to the work of non-profit NGOs such as WDC to strengthen international species conservation and counteract marine pollution. In the past, there have been similar collaborations with Plan International, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the SETI Institute and the German Association for Artificial Intelligence, among others.

WDC is the world's leading non-profit organization for the protection of whales and dolphins. The organization works globally and nationally, independently and scientifically, and advocates for whales and dolphins and the protection of their habitats - the oceans and rivers - through campaigning, research, field and conservation projects, and education.

Founded in 1987 in England, WDC has offices in England, Germany, the USA and Australia.


Contact TU Ilmenau

Dr. Andreas Schwarz
Head of the Group for Research in Public Relations and Communication of Technology
+49 3677-694694



Contact Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Bianca König
Head of Communications

089 6100 2395