How to decode messages with the Lasswell formula


Most people remember Harold Lasswell for the phrase:
»Who says what in which channel to whom with what effect?«

But who was Lasswell? What kind of man was he and what influenced his thinking? What lessons can be learned from his ideas?

Lasswell was a communication expert who studied power relations and behaviour in society. He authored many books on topics such as personal security and political propaganda. Primarily he was concerned with mass communication. His ideas intended to elicit deeper analysis of media influences and effects on audiences.

Realise that knowledge is more effective in action

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Film – 100 years ago


100 years ago films were products with temporary commercial value. Original film prints started to disintegrate as early as the 1920s and production companies did little to ensure its preservation. So most films of this time period have turned into dust. But sometimes miracles still do happen.

Why should we care about films?

For 12 decades films give us insights into diverse cultures and impressions of different ways of life. As we are bombarded by moving images today films almost lost their magic. However – the way we dress, the way we talk and act in daily life, the things we believe or doubt are still influenced by films.

By learning about the social and cultural influences on and through films we understand the societies that produced and consumed them.

Reason enough to dedicate some future blog articles to film culture and progression of visual storytelling. Read more

3 keys to more effectiveness in German business culture


Products Made in Germany enjoy an excellent reputation around the globe. According to a recent article by Deutsche Welle German exports hit record high in 2014 with a 3.7% increase compared to 2013.

So there are many good reasons to do business with Germans. But what do potential business partners need to know?
Here are 3 keys to successful cooperation…

Understanding the Mittelstand model – How do German companies work?

The Mittelstand is an essential driver of Germany’s economy. Innovative products are developed by these highly specialised, mainly family-owned businesses. They are often global market leaders in their field of expertise.

According to an article in the Economist the German Mittelstand depends on delicate relationships between schools and companies as well as capital and labour. Thus it can be doubted that this model can easily be reconstituted in another country.

For a deeper understanding of the German Mittelstand phenomena I recommend watching the film Global Player by Hannes Stöhr. It tells a touching story of a Mittelstand company dealing with the realities of globalisation. In a rapidly changing world Mittelstand businesses are realising that they can no longer just stay in small-town Germany.

Getting to the point – How do German executives negotiate? Read more

The untold story of Santa Claus


The story of Santa Claus began in the 3rd century with a bishop named Saint Nicholas. He was born in the town of Patara in the present day Antalya Province of Turkey. Saint Nicholas was known for his love of humanity and generosity. He wandered around to help those in need and gave away all of his wealth. St. Nicholas was also known as the protector of sailors and children. When he passed away on December 6th he was given his own name day. Consequently children receive presents on Saint Nicholas’ Day (Sankt Nikolaus Tag) in Germany and other European countries.

Santa Claus – the mythical figure

The original St. Nicholas has evolved into a somehow mythical figure and various sources and folklore stories have added colorful traits and features to his image. He took on some traits of god Odin who appeared as a wandering men with a long white beard. Like Odin Santa Claus had adopted magical powers and was able to fly. In Scandinavian mythology Odin is a god associated with wisdom but interestingly – furious violence as well. The Gandalf character in the film Lord of the Rings is also, like Santa Claus, inspired by the image of the wandering Odin.

How did Santa Claus get from Turkey to the North Pole?
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