Covid-19: State government of Saarland now also provides information automatically via messaging app

Together with MessengerPeople, Saarland is the first state government to offer up-to-date information about Covid-19 via Telegram, Facebook Messenger and Notify to their citizen! The project was realized in record time – within one week.

Munich, March 24th, 2020 

Fast and Direct Citizen Service via Messaging App

Saarland is the first government authority to provide information immediately with an automatic messenger service via Telegram, Facebook Messenger and Notify, which details the most important concerns and most frequent questions of the last few weeks. Saarlanders can contact this service around the clock and obtain specific information about the rules that apply to them and how they are implemented.

Setting up this automated service is the next step for us towards even better and faster delivery of information.

“Our citizens receive information, can offer help or report fake news. Especially now it is very important to us not only to talk about digital offers, but also to implement them as quickly as possible. If we expect people in Saarland to obtain information from reliable sources, we must also make these sources available”, explained government spokesman Alexander Zeyer.

Facebook, Telegram and Notify

The service is offered via Facebook Messenger and the messaging apps Telegram and Notify. Those interested in the service can find the channel either via the Saarland’s Facebook page or via the Telegram and Notify app by entering “Corona Newsroom” in the search field. Data processing within the automated system takes place exclusively on German servers that have been certified by the Federal Office for Information Security.

Data security and data protection are fully guaranteed, and the GDPR standards are fully complied with.

Relieves pressure on hotlines – more time for personal concerns

The new messenger service serves as a supplement and does not replace the previous offer of the Corona Hotline or the Corona Newsroom. Alexander Zeyer: “Personal contact with the hotline and newsroom staff is still guaranteed during service hours. However, the automatic messenger service can answer the most frequent and general questions.

This gives the employees more time to respond to the personal concerns and concerns of the Saarlanders.

Since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, the state government has been providing comprehensive information on the status of the measures and their effects on citizens. Last week, the state government’s new Corona Newsroom was created and set to work. It is part of the State Chancellery, is in constant communication with the ministries and authorities and provides prompt and comprehensive information on various platforms about all developments relating to the coronavirus. In the first week, the staff in the newsroom has already answered thousands of comments, mails and messages.

First feedback on Saarland Messenger Service is very positive!

Already after 24 hours the service is very popular with citizens. On Facebook one reads predominantly great comments like:

It is always great to see how the Saarland informs its citizens.

Another user writes:

Very good that such a thing was realized so quickly. Sometimes big things are created in small things.


Corona Info Chatbot powered by MessengerPeople

The automated chat service essentially consists of a chatbot system, which is connected to the various messaging apps. This was set up in close cooperation with the Munich-based messenger service provider MessengerPeople, the Saarbrücken-based social media agency ting and, in particular, the colleagues at the IT Service Center.

If you don’t want to be informed via Facebook, you can always switch to another, secure messaging app alternative. We offer two different services, Notify and Telegram, in order to give the Saarlanders a wide choice.



Messenger Communication Platform – quick and ready-to-use Software

The project can go live within 48 hours!

according to Bernd Aumiller, MessengerPeople Project Manger of the Saarland Corona Messenger Service.

The “Messenger Communication Platform” by MessengerPeople provided an automated information service with guided dialogues through a chat system designed for this purpose on the one hand, and a directly connected ticket system with the possibility of 1:1 chats on the other. In addition, a “quick news” function and a possibility to report fake news is available.

The system as such allows the use of variables for input processing, the use of tags and command parameters and the integration of a data model. This enables us to flexibly adapt the system to the circumstances that arise in real operation.

The Corona Newsroom team can perform various functions on a role-based basis and thus respond to enquiries. By making the bot available for various messaging applications, large parts of the population can be reached. If necessary, the automatic system can be individualised for the respective messaging app channel or, depending on the application, can also be used to distribute push messages.

The system was planned by creating event-driven process chains that clearly visualize and document the structure of the system. Changes to the productive system are made in real time and allow very short reaction times and continuous content updates.

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