Jack Murray from brand storytelling agency All Good Tales tells Ivan how leaving the PR person out of the room led to the fall of the Berlin Wall
On the evening of November 9th, 1989, Gunter Schabowski returned to work after a short break. He felt relaxed and laid back – he usually did. But his post-holiday demeanour wouldn’t last long.
On the way to his daily briefing of the international press in East Berlin, Schabowski stopped by the office to check in with his boss Egon Krenz – head of the communist German Democratic Republic.
Krenz had recently come to power in East Germany and took Schabowski along with him by making him the spokesman for the government. He handed Schabowski a two-page memo as they chatted.
Schabowski had studied journalism at the Karl Marx University in Leipzeig. After graduation, he became the editor of trade union magazine, Tribune. Later in life, he became a member of the The Socialist Unity Party and the chief editor of the party’s official newspaper – Neues Deutschland. With all this experience, he was the perfect candidate to be the government party’s spokesperson.
Faced with mass protests, the new regime sought to be the face of change. This was the aim of Schabowski’s daily press conferences.
Schabowski had plenty of media experience, but he was also accustomed to a climate where reporters were told what to write after events had happened. Dealing with the international press was very different.
What happened? Listen below to find out.
Don't forget you can read the full column by going here - http://allgoodtales.com/media-moment-berlin-wall/