It's cosy, sociable and enjoyable: Münsterlanders associate picnics with more than just a meal. Time out in the open air provides fodder for numerous stories from the region. Eleven students went in search of these stories on 13 and 14 June during an excursion in Rheine, to which Münsterland e.V. invited them together with the International University of Applied Sciences IUBH.
The task of the students from Dortmund was to use Rheine as an example to develop stories for the communication project Picknick³ of the "Brand Münsterland" - just in time for the Day of the Picnic on 18 June. "Picnic³ sums up the attitude to life of the Münsterlanders, who are close to nature and appreciate relaxed togetherness. With the Picknick³ project, we want to make picnicking a trademark of Münsterland," explained Klaus Ehling, board member of Münsterland e.V. "Fresh ideas and impulses from students are particularly valuable in this regard."
To get inspiration for their stories, the participants first went on an exploratory tour of Rheine. After a guided tour of the town, they cycled along the Ems to the salt works, had a picnic in the park with regional products from the Göcke farm shop in Wettringen and visited the Bentlage monastery. On Friday, an ideas workshop led by Prof. Dr. Peter Neumann started in the monastery. In small groups, the students created their own stories around the theme of picnics, sometimes based on legends, sometimes on their own life experiences. First they recorded their ideas on paper and presented them to their fellow students, later they made their stories three-dimensional with Lego bricks.
"For me, picnicking in Münsterland means having fun, sitting together, eating something delicious and enjoying nature," explained 22-year-old Angelika Goczol. Student Maxi Janssen emphasised the good link between the region and time out in the open air. "A picnic is often associated with outdoor activities, such as cycling or hiking," said the 21-year-old. "And both can be super combined here in Münsterland."
"Regionality, sustainability and the staging of experiences are very important for brand development," emphasised Dr. André Wolf, who is responsible for the development of the "Münsterland brand" at Münsterland e.V.. "The students have picked up on this very well in their stories and I am looking forward to the results." The students now have until mid-July to fine-tune their picnic stories.
The branding process is a joint initiative of Münsterland e.V., IHK Nord Westfalen and HWK Münster. At the centre of the "Münsterland brand" is the emotional communication of the identity and special features of the region in order to be successful in competition with other regions. In order to make the brand visible and tangible, three meaning projects have been developed. One of them is the communication project Picknick³.