PORTRAIT

Effective communication for sustainable commitment

We are convinced that the balanced interplay of the environment, society and the economy is the key to the future of our world.

That is why we support players who champion sustainable development. As a reliable partner providing effective communication, we ensure that they advance quickly and efficiently.

We offer high-calibre communication services and personal, flexible service. Our services range in subject from strategic communication consulting, brand management and corporate design to the creative implementation of online communication measures (web and social media), corporate publishing, media relations and dialog marketing.

Our clientele includes up-and-coming start-ups and locally rooted family businesses, non-profit organisations and public administration as well as companies globally active in a wide variety of sectors.

We cultivate openness and close, exciting communication within our team and with our clients and network partners. As an owner-run communication agency, we act independently and strive to achieve organic growth. In these efforts, we are mindful of the resources we employ for ourselves and our customers.

We also have an obligation towards the UN to promote commitment to sustainability with pro-bono services amounting to ten percent of our sales.

Our pulse

We recommend transparency to our customers and want to follow suit ourselves. In this section you can see where we stand.

47

Active customers

157

Projects

2

Business locations

10

Employees

4

FTE

4

Languages

Our milestones

See how our agency has developed, from the first step it took nearly ten years ago down to the present day.

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Sharper sustainability profile

Polarstern is focusing even more closely on sustainability topics – taking on communications for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy’s “Confederation: exemplary in energy” initiative, media relations for environmental issues at Migros, a publication for the Sustainable Construction Network Switzerland, and renewing its cooperation with Swisscom and the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

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New corporate design

The agency launched its new cor­po­rate design in early February. It em­bodies the growth and content development that Polarstern has en­joyed since its first day in busi­ness some ten years ago.

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Expansion of the Lucerne facility

Polarstern initiated the first coworking space in Solothurn. It opened on 5 January 2015 and net­works people committed to ecol­o­gical, social and economic sus­tain­ability. Alejandro Jiménez has been at the helm of the Lucerne facility since November.

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Strategic development

Polarstern enhanced its business model by adding new services. The agency relied even more heavily on effective communication for com­mit­ment to sustainability and sought to deepen its collaboration with the clientele. In the future, cli­ents were to be closely assisted at any time all year round. New cli­ents included rommelag, Kurszen­trum Ballenberg, LerNetz and PostFinance.

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Further growth

Michael Suter joined the agency in April. He became the second per­ma­nent employee of Polarstern along­side Andreas Renggli. The agency began serving two So­lo­thurn companies for the first time, namely Almeta Metallhandel AG and Fraisa SA. Further new clients were the interior design office Bureau Hindermann, Neue Aar­gauer Bank (NAB), the interior de­sign­er Fredy von Büren, the higher professional college Höhere Fach­schule Bürgenstock, the can­ton of Lucerne and the special pur­pose association for in­sti­tu­tion­al social welfare and health pro­mo­tion ZiSG.

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Second business location

In May, Polarstern opened its sec­ond business location in So­lo­thurn. It became the first Swiss com­mu­ni­ca­tion agency to agree to provide the UN with free services every year equivalent in value to ten per­cent of its annual sales and to offer services at reduced rates to or­ga­ni­sa­tions and companies com­mitted to sustainable de­vel­op­ment. Fol­low­ing a strategic analysis, a com­pre­hen­sive com­mu­ni­ca­tion plan and brand development, the cus­tom man­u­fac­tur­er Emerell en­trusted Polarstern this year with the entire implementation of its com­mu­ni­ca­tion measures.

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Contemporary media observation

The agency won over its first two clients for professional media mon­i­toring with Jazz Festival Willisau and RWD Schlatter AG. Other new clients were the city of Sempach, the sponsors of the historic pre­servation course Hand­werk in der Denkmalpflege, Trinatura, Swiss Alliance against Hunger, and InterOffice. Polarstern joined Öbu, a Swiss association and a think tank for environmental, so­cial and management topics.

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Sustainable development

Polarstern recognised the need for communication services on the subject of sustainability. Just re­cent­ly, the agency began assisting the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health with communication about NPEB, the national nutrition and exercise program that forms part of the sustainability strategy of the Swiss Federal Council. On behalf of the corporate responsibility team at Swisscom, Polarstern also closely followed Bertrand Piccard’s solar flight adventure aboard the Solar Impulse. At the end of the year, Andreas Renggli acquired all orig­i­nal shares in the company from the previous co-owners.

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Strategic consulting

This year Polarstern began offering consulting services in strategic com­mu­ni­ca­tion. On 1 June 2009, the agency moved its business prem­ises from Schönbühlring 5 to Löwenplatz 5 in Lucerne. There it began sharing office space with the communication studio Mixer and the cinema Stattkino. It became a collective member of the regional association for PR professionals ZSPR and forged cooperation ar­range­ment with Walker Man­age­ment AG (Lucerne and Sursee) and the agencies ProjektForum (Bern) and Flow Relations (Zug).

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Online communication

Polarstern carried out its first web projects. It added the city of Bern, Blogwerk and the foundation ENTERPRISE to its clientele.

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Editorial focus

The agency took on editorial con­tracts. Among its first clients were the association of Swiss master carpenters and furniture manufacturers VSSM and the vo­ca­tion­al education and training magazine Panorama. Polarstern designed the practical manual “com­mu­ni­cating correctly” for three youth organisations.

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Business idea implemented

In his master’s thesis, Andreas Renggli defined and described for the first time communication co­op­er­a­tion arrangements between media companies and open-air music festivals in Switzerland. The insights from this empirical study were incorporated into his business idea. On 24 November 2006, Polarstern GmbH was formally established as a Lucerne com­mu­ni­ca­tion agency.

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Vision of modern media work

Andreas Renggli developed the pro­to­type for Emerlet, an elec­tron­ic media relations man­age­ment tool in collaboration with Tobias Henz from Bern Uni­ver­si­ty of Ap­plied Sciences. They entered it in a competition for young en­tre­pre­neurs but did not win an award.

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Step 1

At Bern University of Applied Sci­ences, Andreas Renggli, Thomas Gygax, Philip Ritschard and Ralph Eli investigated how information and communication technologies (ICTs) could be used for media work and what significance net­work­ing might attain in the future in these two areas. The study met with great interest. More than 100 professionals took part in the study. The idea of Polarstern as an agency and platform for client proj­ects was born.