When Sascha Pallenberg announced at the end of 2016 that would be taking up a position in corporate communications at the Daimler Group, the news caused quite a stir in Germany’s social networks.
Which is hardly surprising, given that he has been an influencer since before the word "influencer" even became a buzzword. His main focus as a blogger was on smartphones, laptops and tablets, but he would also frequently weigh in with a clear stance on Internet policy issues and online discussion culture and etiquette.
In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, Pallenberg made it onto Freescale Semiconductor’s list of "Top 20 Smart Mobile Device Pundits", an honor he shares with tech journalism heavyweights like David Pogue (NY Times) and Walt Mossberg (Wall Street Journal). In 2013, he was also named as one of "The NEXT 100 Top Influencers of the European Digital Industry" and since that time has been widely regarded as one of the German-speaking world’s most influential bloggers. His move to Daimler also saw him step down from the tech blog "Mobilegeeks.de", which he co-founded with Nicole Scott in 2012.
Pallenberg's job at Daimler is to set up an in-house newsroom. According to Jörg Howe, Daimler's Head of Global Communications, the company plans to make greater use of its own communication media because this gives it the freedom to bounce new ideas around, without the pressure to generate sales leads. "Whether that will result in more elegant or interesting content remains to be seen. But I think it is something worth trying," Howe said.
Pallenberg himself had the following to say on the matter in a recent interview with the media portal meedia: "I was looking for a new adventure, and as I've been a big fan of Daimler’s brands since earliest childhood, the offer of a job there was a dream come true." He believes his new job is a good fit because the auto industry for its part has increasingly moved into the digital arena, creating a natural point of intersection with his established career path. As he sees it, the move to Daimler gives him the opportunity to actively shape the digital transformation.
In terms of his strategy for communication in the auto industry, he said: "It’s about the current changes in the automotive industry and the various trends towards mobility services. These developments are not a 100-meter sprint. We're at the starting line of an ultra-marathon, and that’s not a race you can win if you start celebrating during the warm-up." Just what that means will be made clear when Pallenberg takes the d!talk stage at CEBIT in June 2018.