Sister Cities International has a wide array of engagement ideas, templates, and other resources available to strengthen existing sister city partnerships. As part of our partnership with Wunderbar Together, the following engagement strategies and resources are tailored to U.S.-German partnerships, but many are also broadly applicable. Members are welcome to contact Sister Cities with further ideas or questions.
Sample Ways to Get Involved
- Join Our #SCIWunderbarTogether Communications Campaign: Use our #SCIWunderbarTogether hashtag, promote our Wunderbar Together webpage, and engage with us on social media: [smbtoolbar]
- Submit U.S.-German event summaries, partnership summaries, and testimonials for us to showcase here
- Reach out to Sister Cities for more information on how to contribute to a blog post interview
- Begin a regular online newsletter to provide updates on your U.S.-German partnership, spotlight exchange alumna, encourage involvement, etc.
- Collaborate with your German sister city to address global issues such as climate resilience (smaller-scale collaboration could involve learning about and promoting the climate resilience initiatives of the other)
- Form a business partnership with your German sister city (as one example, learn about how Fort Worth and Trier collaborated to brew and present their own beer here)
- Host an information session about your U.S.-German partnership (or add a presentation on to a local event or town hall)
- Raise the profile of your event or initiative by partnering with local German-American organizations and contacts, such as the Goethe Institut, German-American Chambers of Commerce, the German Embassy’s Honorary Consuls, German departments of local universities, and other German-American organizations throughout the country
- Partner with fellow Sister Cities members on regional events, using our Membership Directory or Map of U.S.-German Sister Cities to find nearby members
- Join existing German-American cultural events in the area with an information booth or fundraiser
- Provide outreach to local schools or community organizations about your youth exchange programs
- Host a regular Stammtisch meeting to speak German and/or discuss your city partnership
- For further questions or involvement opportunities, members are welcome to contact Sister Cities
U.S.-German SCI Resources
- U.S.-German Language Toolkit (Talking Points and Messaging)
- SCI Member Services (including Communications, Cities Seeking Cities, Connect with Our Network, and Governance and Policy)
- Sample promotional avenues: SCI is glad to put members in contact with a State Representative upon request, promote member events on our social media and website, include U.S.-German initiatives in our weekly newsletter, and more. A full listing of promotional avenues can be found under Communications on the SCI website here.
- SCI Publicity and Event Ideas for Programs
- SCI Templates and Toolkits (including communications templates)
- Webpage on SCI’s Partnership with Wunderbar Together
- Interactive Map of U.S.-German Sister Cities
- History of U.S.-German Sister Cities
- All Wunderbar Together blog posts
- Facebook group for U.S.-German members to exchange updates and ideas
- Testimonial Template (Text can be added on a free photo editing platform or in Word or PowerPoint. The font SCI uses is Book Antiqua 13.5 pt. For an editable Photoshop .PSD file, please contact Alexandra Hoenscheid)
- Sample U.S.-German Tweets (Expandable)Note: It is recommended that all social media content be accompanied by images showcasing your partnership (provided you have the usage rights).
This year, our [U.S. City- German City] partnership forms part of the @SisterCitiesInt partnership with @wunderbar2gethr, showcasing the shared US-German heritage, values, and interests. Learn more about how to get involved here: https://sistercities.org/wunderbartogether #SCIWunderbarTogether
Did you know that with 100 partnerships, Germany has the fourth most U.S. sister cities in the world? Partnerships such as the one between [U.S. city] and [German city] foster transatlantic cooperation on the city and citizen level. Join our impact: [link] #SCIWunderbarTogether
Our recent [delegation/exchange visit] from [German city] fostered mutual respect, cultural awareness and understanding, and transatlantic cooperation. The impact of #citizendiplomacy on perspectives can last a lifetime and even across generations. Read our summary here: [link] #SCIWunderbarTogether[Pull quote from testimonial] Our latest testimonial from [Name] further signifies the impact that U.S.-German exchange can have throughout one’s lifetime, even across generations. View further testimonials here: [link] #SCIWunderbarTogether
U.S.-German city partnerships enable cooperation on the local level, even in areas of national policy divergence. Learn more about how our partnership with [German city] helped to address the global challenge of [challenge i.e. climate resilience]: [link] #SCIWunderbarTogether
Are you looking to sustain transatlantic relations through #citizendiplomacy? Learn more about our partnership with [German city] at our upcoming event [Title] on [Date]. Further event and RSVP information is available here: [link] [#EventHashtag]
- Examples of Successful U.S.-German Programs and Events (Expandable)
Sample programs strengthening city partnerships: Youth exchange, professional exchange, delegation visits, musical performances, art exhibitions, regional gatherings, participation in German-American cultural events, business partnerships, partnerships to address global challenges, participation in the Young Artists and Authors Showcase, writing contests on the role of sister cities in U.S.-German relations
Digital ways to strengthen the partnership: Promoting testimonials, event promotion, webinars, newsletters, development of social media, closed Facebook groups, listing the partnership on the city’s website
Examples of successful events: In the past year, Sister Cities has partnered with Wunderbar Together on a panel and Maifest in St. Charles, a U.S.-German Mini Summit at the SCI Annual Conference in Houston, an “America and Germany: Friends in Business and Community” event at the BMW Zentrum in Spartanburg, and more. U.S.-German members have also organized events through Wunderbar Together, such as “Stronger Together: Telling the Stories at the Core of German-American Friendship” by Sister Cities of Newport News. Members have also organized independent events such as Portafest by Sister Cities of Porta Loo.
This blog post forms part of Sister Cities’ “Wunderbar Together” series, part of our ongoing involvement in “Wunderbar Together,” funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut, and supported by the Federation of German Industries (BDI). This year, we are showcasing stories that highlight the impact of German-American exchange on the local level, as well as the heritage, interests, and common values shared by the United States and Germany. To submit your own experience with German-American exchange or involvement in a German-American sister city partnership, please fill out our form here.