Media consumption as a drug
Even though the scorched earth left a lot of trouble and displeasure in Hamburg, the indignant people all over Europe have mostly gone back into their everyday lives.
Only those in Hamburg, who have to build up their house, their shop, their possessions, will be busy for a long time - physically and mentally.
What questions does communication raise?
If you are already on holiday, you are often followed by other insatiable conversations with insurance companies and attorneys. And the attention of the former media consumers has long been on the next topic.
Let us leave the question of political and social sustainability as well as the psychological analysis of the need for violence at the G20 summit in Hamburg, the focus on communication leaves a few notable comments.
Where does communication matter?
Allow me a little numbers game here. Around 150 million € were the security and follow-up costs. Another 50 Mio € are still likely to damage. The pure talk times among the G20 summit participants were limited to a few hours.
If everyone wanted to talk to everyone and we divide it up by the total time of the session, a dialogue would have been about 1000 words. 20 times such a conversation makes 20.000 words and that for around € 200 million results in around € 10.000 / word. The question remains: Isn't that cheaper?
4 theses on communication at G20
I am not concerned here with any political appraisal or condemnation, nor with a discussion of the trend towards pointless violence tourism. In fact, a few noteworthy statements are indeed made in the focus of communication, which is ultimately responsible for much of our lives.
1. Communication on peacekeeping
Basically, the idea was, with the G20 summits, to ensure communication among the self-proclaimed, most important states. It's safe to say that as long as they talk - from person to person - that's a good sign. Communication was and is, if used honestly, part of peacekeeping.
No matter what comes out - as long as you still eat together at the same table, it's good. But true communication would probably also be a two-way communication or a mutually-oriented relationship in politics. Sometimes one person talks and the other takes it seriously, sometimes vice versa. Time the political Guide, sometimes the people.
2. Communication channel violence
The outbreaks of violence understandably play a very dominant role in public perception. The question arises:
- Is violence, at all events, a very bad communication channel?
- Would it be possible to avoid violence if people who were powerless could otherwise express themselves?
This is not about the violence-seeking “guests” - some of whom traveled from several hundred kilometers - but about those who plan their “demonstration” peacefully, but thanks to their activities also attract media and attention. Without them, the excesses of violence would also receive fewer “windows”.
3. Communication = Think it - say it - do it!
Around the G20 summit there were “excellent” teaching examples in terms of communication. Mr. Trump terminated the Paris climate agreement a few days earlier. The outrage is great and from my point of view it is really a bad sign politically and communicatively. On the other hand, the question is allowed:
An agreement that everyone signs and sees as important, but which nobody will stick to afterwards, is probably a bit of a swindle. You say something, but you don't. It is also not credible in the long term. Basically, it can be said quite soberly: someone does not sign an agreement that no one adheres to anyway. Maybe it's more honest. Although the person concerned was probably not just about honesty ...
4. Crime communication only general places
Finally, another chapter was written in crisis communication. Mr Scholz, mayor of Hamburg, in the run-up to the summit, left his clear words in the drawer when the riots broke out.
The actual host was silent before he had a couple of sentences delivered through the speaker, in which he thanked the police officers. The fact that the violence could not have been prevented despite supposedly "careful preparation" is "depressing", the statement said. These are general places and polished test tube phrases from political rhetoric. Real dismay and shock read differently.
A G20 summit that has political repercussions but is unlikely to be in the participants' interest is a laboratory of learning lessons for people interested in communication. And it shows one thing: life is communication and communication is life.
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