CURATORS OF SWEDEN by VOLONTAIRE for SWEDISH INSTITUTE

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CURATORS OF SWEDEN

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Industry Public awareness
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper
Market Sweden
Agency VOLONTAIRE
Released June 2012

Awards

Eurobest 2012
PR Best Use of Social Media Gold
Media Best Use of Social Media Marketing Silver

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Technique
Category: Best Use of Social Media
Advertiser: SWEDISH INSTITUTE/VISITSWEDEN
Product/Service: SWEDEN
Agency: VOLONTAIRE Stockholm, SWEDEN
Advertiser SWEDISH INSTITUTE/VISITSWEDEN
Product SWEDEN
Entrant VOLONTAIRE Stockholm, SWEDEN
Type of Entry: Technique
Category: Best Use of Social Media
Title: CURATORS OF SWEDEN
Advertiser/Client: SWEDISH INSTITUTE/VISITSWEDEN
Product/Service: SWEDEN
Entrant Company: VOLONTAIRE Stockholm, SWEDEN
DM/Advertising Agency: VOLONTAIRE Stockholm, SWEDEN

Describe the campaign/entry
Objective
Position Sweden as a progressive country.

Plan
How do you create curiosity, interest and sympathy for a small nation of 9m far up in the north of Europe? And how do you prove their core values (openness, authenticity, care, innovation)?

PR Strategy
Start conversations instead of one-way communication, in order to let people spread the word voluntarily - without a given budget. Use the fastest medium to reach journalists and multipliers globally: Twitter.

Idea
Remove nation-branding conventions by letting ordinary Swedes control the official @sweden account 1 week at a time. Let them represent Sweden through personal reflections, thoughtful, provocative and fun tweets. Then repeat the procedure week after week, putting new persons in charge of the account. Tweet by tweet, the image of Sweden is built: dynamic, personal, innovative and deeply human. Then add: No censorship. No limits. Just like Sweden.

Results
Within 6 weeks, we attracted over 26,000 followers from 120 countries and started thousands of conversations, sparking discussions on transparency in social media and how technology can be used for democracy as well as inspiring others to start similar accounts like @WeAreAustralia, @PeopleOfTheUK, @TweetweekUSA and @CuratorsMexico.

The campaign was featured in all major media, such as The Times, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News; blogs, such as boingboing, thenextweb, readwriteweb and mashable; as well as on sites such as Huffington, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Vogue, WashingtonPost, Globe&Mail, LaStampa; and was broadcast on Swedish, Italian and US radio for an equivalent PR value in excess of US$19,800,000.

Describe the brief from the client
The overall objective of the initiative is to show Sweden's progress in action.

The goals were two-fold:
1. Create maximum PR effect with the democratic action of handing the control of an official communication channel over to the citizens;
2. Create a picture of Sweden different to that that can be obtained by the usual tourist brochures.

Target
1. Journalists within the twitter community worldwide;
2. People outside of Sweden who are to various degrees interested in the country of Sweden, Swedish culture, values and everyday life;
3. Citizens: Get them involved in the discussion and through their enthusiasm promote the country.



Results


Results
Within 6 weeks, we attracted over 26,000 followers from 120 countries and started thousands of conversations, sparking discussions on transparency in social media and how technology can be used for democracy as well as inspiring others to start similar accounts like @WeAreAustralia, @PeopleOfTheUK, @TweetweekUSA and @CuratorsMexico.

We’ve been featured in all major media such as The Times, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News; blogs such as boingboing, thenextweb, readwriteweb and mashable; as well as on sites such as Huffington, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Vogue, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, La Stampa; and was broadcast on Swedish, Italian and US radio for an equivalent PR value in excess of US$19,800,000.

Some media have been contacting our curators directly for interviews after their week was up. We think this is great!



Creative Execution


Curators of Sweden is not a campaign, but an ongoing initiative that lives in real-time on the Twitter platform. The initiative started on Nobel Day, December 10th, 2011. Each week sees a new spokesperson for the country, which is revealed on Sunday night, before starting his/her honorable task on Monday morning.

An archive function of the curators’ tweets and a short description of the project are available in parallel on the curatorsofsweden.com website.




The global tourism industry has not yet adapted to the changed communication landscape and mostly relies on glossy brochures and advertising campaigns. There are only a few official national Twitter accounts, and those few are run by Government employees who tweet traditional one-way tourism messages. Even @sweden had been run in this way since 2009.

Twitter's main opportunity is its affinity within the target group of journalists and multipiers globally with a special focus on Swedish issues, like freedom of speech.




Strategy
Twitter is the platform of choice as it enables people to share thoughts and views in realtime, globally. Twitter is easy to share and update and encourages followers to engage in a dialogue.

Twitter was, amongst other things, chosen for its affinity within journalist circles all over the world, potentially resulting in earned media - as it did.

Creative Strategy
The key creative idea is the democratic act in itself, followed by the selection of curators to create a both interesting and representative mix of Swedes to start-off the project. The design-possibilities within Twitter are limited, the execution - with its weekly-changing avatar-pictures with the overlay of 'I’M' followed by the account signature @sweden - makes for a powerful statement for each and every curator, i.e. 'I am Sweden'.