IF YOU LIKE LATVIA, LATVIA LIKES YOU! by Leo Burnett Riga for Latvian Institute

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IF YOU LIKE LATVIA, LATVIA LIKES YOU!

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Industry Colleges, Universities & Education Centers
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Latvia
Agency Leo Burnett Riga
Creative Director Edijs Majors
Art Director Orians Anvari
Released January 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Public Sector
Advertiser: LATVIAN INSTITUTE
Product/Service: LATVIAN INSTITUTE
Agency: LEO BURNETT
Creative Director: Edijs Majors (Leo Burnett Riga)
Art Director: Orians Anvari (Leo Burnett Riga)
Managing Director: Ansis Egle (Leo Burnett Riga)
Media placement: Facebook Applicaton - Facebook - January 27, 2012

Summary of the Campaign
The whole campaign was aimed at improving the government's communication of Latvia locally and internationally. Apart from regular ways of communication the government decided that it must seek new means and channels of how to convey different messages about Latvia on local and global scale. The government decided to run a completely different project through which it is possible to speak to an audience using different methods, approaches and content in order to gain awareness and recognition and be relevant to the topic of the country's interests.

The challenge was set: a completely new approach that matters. Thus Latvia's official Facebook page was created. A strategy was set that all communication should be presented in a contemporary way with infographics and community involvement. All digital solutions are aimed to reach goals of involvement and an emotional approach towards the messages the government wants to spread.

As a result, instead of reaching the planned new followers target of 10,000, the project reached 25,000+ followers and numbers keep growing. An opening act of Latvia’s official page launch was chosen: the concept of collective Latvian rye bread baking efforts, which united local audiences with an act of patriotism. Together as one Latvians want to get noticed on a world scale and be equal with everybody else in our own special way.

This project has PR elements such as dealing with public perception and changing it, improving understanding of the country’s brand, explaining the context of such a project and many other PR elements such as press conference, distribution of opinions, and interviews with opinion leaders.

The Situation
Latvia has a rather dull and blurry image on a world scale for the last several years. Taking into account contemporary means of communication, the government of Latvia discovered that a country's brand can be improved using wise and advanced contemporary communication techniques in order to explain our own point of view and change status quo to the one which we desire by our own. That's why a united effort was created where everybody can express his or her attitude by using appealing forms of communication in order to spread the word and change perception for the better.

The Goal
The objective of the campaign is to change public perceptions locally and abroad about the country of Latvia from dull and blurry to the new and contemporary. The target audience is rather passive, that's why we need an active means of communication, which can be used by almost everybody at the same time, speaking to the local and international audience. Research was taken along with Latvian Institute about the perception of the government communication and it clearly stated that old means of communication no longer convey the message to the people. That’s why collective methods should be used in order to encourage and involve audience.

The Strategy
The planning of the campaign included observations of potential media as well as a notion that there were restricted resources for the campaign. Via several publicly open discussions it was concluded that there are social networks, which have necessary audiences as well as a contemporary means of communication in the format of applications and other ways.

The public were called for their best suggestions and the best one was chosen. The best was decided through public voting and experts voting, thus ensuring popular appeal for the chosen idea and approach for how a country can promote itself. The selection of social networks ensures that the idea and execution is available almost to everybody these days as people are really connected through social networks and ideas are easy to share and spread.

Execution
First step of the plan was to launch a collaborative rye bread baking effort. It started on January 27 2012, and within a few days it brought a massive following, 'likes' and 'shares' from everybody involved. Unplanned debates about financing (the economic state of the country is unstable )and additional spending – usually publicly perceived as unnecessary extras – had to be tamed. Within days discussion turned into admiration. The next step was a press conference, which drew quite a lot of attention and sparked pride for success and positive messages across all media channels – public opinion calmed. The following is growing constantly and followers engage more and more with daily activities. The original plan was adjusted according to the situation constantly. Development of content for the next stage consists of an adjustment of current affairs in different fields like sports, politics, innovations, nature towards creative and touching stories about Latvia’s success in all these fields.

Documented Results
Since the launch of the page on January 27 2012 till the end of February 29 2012 we set goal for 10,000 followers. The figure has been exceeded since the campaign began and at the end of February 29, 2012 we had more than 20,000 likes – 35% of them foreigners from 80+ different countries. By December 31, 2012 we have aimed to reach 100,000+ 'likes' for Latvia’s official Facebook page. As seen from communication and comments followers positively perceived the project and happenings around it, thus giving us a positive outlook for potential transaction in terms of travel to Latvia or other activities related to the country of Latvia. There is positive feedback from other Facebook communities - e.g. European Union official Facebook page (which has 129,000 'likes') - about Latvia’s way of expression; industry medias such as LiftMag and Creativity-online.com published Latvia’s official page as pick of the day; Deutsche Welle radio interviews also took place, amongst other things.