About me

To get this straight right away: I can still sleep very well at night. Even though I’ve spent a larger part of my professional career in the midst of crises.

Larger ones like 9/11, the Icelandic ashcloud or, more recently, the crash of Germanwings flight 4U 9525. Medium scale crises like pilot strikes or the layoffs of a French unit with 200 employees and six unions. And smaller ones like cus timer newsletters promoting flights to see the “wild side of life”, which turned out to head to Cairo, in the midst of the riots on the Tahrir Square.

Over the years, the word “crisis” has lost its scare factor to me and turned into something which can be managed, by applying professional standards and tools.

That’s exactly what I today: I consult large and medium-sized companies in the area of crisis communications. I look into their risk culture, their processes, their tools. I help them to improve the existing setup and prepare them for challenging situations. Currently my main client is the world’s largest tourism company, TUI Group, based in Hannover.

Previously — from 2000-2015 — I worked in various frontline positions at Deutsche Lufthansa, most recently as Director of International Communications (2012-2015) und as Director Corporate Communications The Americas (2007-2012), based in New York. During most of my time at Lufthansa, I had a second hat on, in addition to my day job: I was responsible for the airline’s crisis communications strategy, its plans, procedures, trainings and the policies throughout the Group.

Martin Riecken, 2015 in Cannes/France

Martin Riecken, 2015 in Cannes/France

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To get the picture complete: I kicked off my career as a PR manager at VEBA AG, with little to zero crises. VEBA is now better known as Germany’s largest utility provider E.ON SE, which currently deals with plenty of issues and crises.

I hold a master degree in mass communications, economics and politics. During my university times I worked as a radio reporter, a bar tender, a driver for a gourmet wholesale company, as well as founder and owner of an event agency which still exists (without me). It may sound a bit nostalgic, but I learned something for my professional life from every job. Well, at least from the bar tender job…

Feel free to drop me an email by using the form to the left or by writing to info@eleven59.de. Whether you have a comment, a question or just want to say hi – I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

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If this sparked your interest: I also hold lectures, give speeches and publish articles on – yes, you guessed right! – crisis communications. I’m also available for consulting projects. Feel free to contact me on any of these subjects.