“Deutsche Post – Virtual Representation in Second Life”
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

“Deutsche Post – Virtual Representation in Second Life”

The launch of a presence in the virtual world of Second Life aims primarily to offer users genuine value added in the form of fun, creativity and interaction.

Paul Holmes


The launch of a presence in the virtual world of Second Life aims primarily to offer users genuine value added in the form of fun, creativity and interaction. Deutsche Post manages to do this by building a bridge between the virtual world and reality: avatars can send photos from Second Life as genuine postcards in the real world. This communicative approach underlines the corporate goal of Deutsche Post – to link people beyond borders. The Second Life presence not only strengthens the image of the Deutsche Post brand, but simultaneously adds emotional value to one of its key products, the postcard. The uniqueness of this project makes it a very suitable candidate for a SABRE Award.



The rapidly growing 3D online world Second Life has, with impressive dynamism, grown into a popular Web 2.0 community with millions of participants. Second Life has consistently proved itself to be the most flexible way of using the internet, and has in the past few months developed into a key to the future – a virtual research centre, particularly important for businesses. The ideas visible here are quite possibly part of the reality of tomorrow. At the start of 2007, the Deutsche Post wanted to underline their claim to be an innovative communications provider by

developing their own presence in Second Life.



The goal of the Deutsche Post is to actively encourage the creative potential of the Second Life users and to create new ways of communicating. In the virtual Post Tower on Post Island, the residents have numerous possibilities to live out their creativity and find individual ways of expressing themselves. The Deutsche Post gives them opportunities to communicate with the company, but above all to come into contact with people all over the world, by building a bridge between the online world and real life. Here too, the Deutsche Post plays to its strength: connecting people, everywhere, through diverse communication media.


At the same time, the new online world of the Deutsche Post offers completely new possibilities for the company’s own presence on the market. For the residents of Second Life, the fastest growing and most popular internet community in the world, the company becomes tangible and, above all, arouses emotion.



To position the Deutsche Post successfully in Second Life, komm.passion develops a long-term

PR strategy. Initial experiences had showed that purely representing a business in Second Life

achieves relatively little. To genuinely attract the attention of the SL players, an entertaining

presence with interactive elements is required. An element of fun and the chance for the players to genuinely gain something are the keys to a successful presence in Second Life.



The innovative lynchpin of the Second Life presence is the building of a bridge between the worlds: users can, for instance, produce their own postcards in the photo studio in the Post Tower on Post Island and send these to recipients in the real world. Avatars do not just choose from existing motifs, but create their own postcards from photos taken in the Second Life world, and add a personalised message. The Deutsche Post then deliver these as genuine postcards – safely, quickly and reliably, all over the world. With this unique service, the Deutsche Post is setting new standards in connecting the online world with real life; something which has been reflected in relevant coverage in the real world. A further interface for the communication between the real and virtual worlds is the landing page www.deutschepost.de/secondlife, which functions as a communicative platform for the virtual presence in the real world. Here, journalists and users can access up to date information, press texts and picture material.


The communication strategy also includes direct dialogue with the residents of Second Life. To realize this, two hostesses are available for two hours a day to provide information and answers for visitors to the Post Tower. Through direct conversation with visitors, they help build trust in the brand amongst customers and, furthermore, make active issue management possible.



The diverse campaigns of the Deutsche Post in Second Life – from the adventure game “The Quest for the Secret Stamp” to the “Speed Academy Racing Cup” are regular elements of the coverage. In addition, various media cooperations both within Second Life (e.g. with AvaStar and the radio channel Life-4-U) and in the real world ensure publicity for the Deutsche Post. Die Welt, Tagesspiegel and the German Financial Times reported on the Second Life presence of the Deutsche Post, as well as macwelt and marketing media such as ONEtoONE, Horizont and absatzwirtschaft.


In total, over 140 media reports have been generated, reaching 8.6 million readers. Furthermore,

the placement of self produced Machinima adverts on youtube.de and myvideo.de ensured extremely wide distribution. In total, the online clippings reached a readership of 370 million. An additional, important proof of our success is that the interactive offer has been taken up very well by the Second Life community. The Deutsche Post thereby significantly strengthened their profile as an innovative communications provider, and established the company in the virtual

world. Correspondingly, further projects and the development of communicative activities are planned. The experience gained in the 3D online world sector will be used in the continual further development of the company’s representation there, whilst the knowledge gained will help optimise products and services in real life.

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