Corporate Communications is responsible Group-wide for internal and external communications for the GfK Group and comprises the three departments Public Relations, Corporate Design/Corporate Identity and Investor Relations. The target groups include representatives from the media, the general public, employees, shareholders, investors and financial analysts. The Investor Relations department and its duties are outlined separately in the section "GfK shares” in the image section of this Annual Report.
To effectively supply this extensive corporate network and the general public throughout the world with information, the Corporate Communications department at head office made greater use of innovative, digital technologies in 2008. This included more webcasts, digital newsletters, RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds on the internet and the relaunch of the global online database.
In the reporting year, GfK SE published a total of 76 press releases in Germany, around 15% more than in 2007. The coverage in the print media comprised around 15,000 articles, an increase of 25% compared to the previous year.
Since the RSS feed function was set up on the GfK Group’s website in May 2008, interested parties have been able to automatically subscribe to new content posted in the Press section of the website. By the end of 2008, this function was being used by 102,000 contacts.
GfK’s website recorded 6.6 million page views, around 15% more than in 2007. The Corporate Communications department processed 4,000 e-mail enquiries.
In December 2008, the company picture database, GfK Imageworld, was relaunched, offering all employees worldwide access to a pool of over 6,600 images for print media, presentations or brochures.
Most of the marketing activities of the subsidiaries in the GfK Group are carried out independently, but in close consultation with Corporate Communications.
Trade fairs and conferences play a key role as marketing instruments. GfK either organized or participated in a total of 185 events. In addition, the GfK Group appeared at the main market research trade fairs: at the end of March as the silver sponsor at the ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) Annual Convention (Re: think 2008) in New York, USA, as one of the main sponsors at the Esomar annual congress in Montréal, Canada in September and at the German market research trade fair Research & Results in Munich in November.At the end of 2008, as a further Group-wide marketing measure in addition to the existing image campaign, Corporate Communications developed a new corporate design concept for advertisements, which should further harmonize and enhance the brand identity of GfK at international level.