Communicating technical knowledge in understandable terms – a real passion.

From Open House days to the Long Night of Science

As a press and public relations officer, I am probably what you would call “old school”. After all, in order to proofread my first articles at the newspaper, I had to look at lead type in reverse. When I worked in public relations during an internship at a sporting goods manufacturer, I was allowed to guide real people through the Sport Shoe Museum. And that’s when I realized that I loved to pass on technical knowledge in understandable terms to interested people. Regardless of the employer, I feel I was born for providing information, passing on knowledge and information and offering small useful tips.

It is a passion hat has never left me. Whenever time permits, I still guide guests through toy or furniture testing at TÜV Rheinland or explain the various facets of product testing – live on TV or in-person to visitors, customers, children and technically interested people. Open House days, guided city tours, Long Nights of Science – whenever I have chance to present my employer and its activities, I am ready to go. I love this direct way of communicating.

Virtual tours: perfected in times of Covid-19

The virus with all its consequences for meeting other people, was a heavy blow for me because a beloved part of my activity was briefly put on hold… briefly. After experiencing the first video conferences, however, an idea was quickly born – to offer my beloved “live” presentations via Zoom or Teams using a smartphone. After a bit of technical upgrading (Gimbal and EarPads) and a few test runs through the labs with my partner and a colleague from Berlin serving as a test audience in a video chat, the virtual tours had been invented. Today, even my colleagues have gotten used to the crazy guy who – obviously talking to himself – walks through the labs and test halls, explaining our tests and services almost like in the old days. My virtual tour is a popular part of the program especially during presentations for new colleagues from all over Germany.

Nothing beats the “live” experience

But still, I’m missing something. I miss the people in front of me, who listen to me. I miss the sense of wonder in their faces. I miss the questions I’m asked, even though I’ve probably heard them all before. I miss the look of disbelief in their eyes when I talk about the “standard-compliant soiling” of dishes in the dishwasher test. It’s a story I like to include in every other presentation or so.

I miss the people in front of me, who listen to me. I miss the sense of wonder in their faces.

I would really like to experience all of this again soon. Very soon. That’s why I am looking forward to 3 October 2021. For years, this has been the so-called Mouse Door Opener Day, invented by the “Die Sendung mit der Maus” (The Show with the Mouse), an entertainment and education series shown on German television. On this day, doors that are otherwise closed to the public are set to open for children. As always on Mouse Door Opener Day, we want to show children and adults our toy testing lab. It is when I would love to explain the testing of teddy bears and other toys, look into curious children’s eyes, pass on shopping tips and, as an aside, talk about “standard-compliant soiling”, even if it has nothing to do at all with toy testing.

Author

Rainer Weiskirchen

Rainer Weiskirchen

Press Spokesman

Rainer Weiskirchen is TÜV Rheinland press spokesman in Nuremberg, Franconia, and therefore has no problem using the Southern German dialect term “Fasching” instead of the “carnival” on Western Germany’s RTL breakfast television. When he’s not talking to the press, he’s busy organizing the Long Night of Sciences, preparing the indoor marathon or running as TÜV Rheinland Panda at the ToonWalk.

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