As the brand-new host of the Eurovision Song Contest, Rotterdam was supposed to have a great year in 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 had other plans: all festivities were cancelled and the city went into lockdown. The number of international tourists reached an all-time low and entrepreneurs were struggling. In times like these, it was more relevant than ever to highlight the power of local communities and Facebook’s positive impact. That’s why we got to work on a 360° campaign for the launch of the Facebook Community City Guide Rotterdam: the first Dutch city guide that was created in collaboration with local Rotterdam Facebook groups and their administrators.
We kept a close eye on the sentiment among entrepreneurs and the media. This allowed us to launch the Facebook Community City Guide Rotterdam the moment Rotterdam was ready to re-open and entrepreneurs were ready to make up for their lost revenues. This way, Facebook would be able to contribute to getting entrepreneurs back on their feet, and help people to rediscover the city, reserving a special spotlight for local entrepreneur heroes and the (stories of) the selected Rotterdam Facebook group administrators.
The campaign for the City Guide was made up of different elements, starting with writing, editing, designing and printing the guide itself, for which we collaborated with our content partner Contentbureau. We also used drawings by Jeffrey de Bruin of Urban Sketchers Rotterdam. In the meantime, we kept ourselves busy with an extensive press lobby, including a press and influencer mailing with local items and snacks from the companies that were featured in the guide. We also set up a media day for press photos and speed dates with journalists.
To generate even more awareness for the guide, we launched a two-week Out Of Home campaign in the city center of Rotterdam, consisting of eight posters, picturing the eight group administrators who contributed to the City Guide. In addition, we collaborated with local tourist organization Rotterdam Partners (including a social campaign on their channels), launched a social campaign on Facebook with stories and tips from the local Facebook groups, arranged for a 1/1 print page in AD Rotterdam (a large local newspaper) on the day of the launch and we had ‘Recommended by the Facebook Community City Guide’ door stickers made for all entrepreneurs that were featured in the guide.
In short, we kept ourselves pretty busy, which led to great results. We realized over thirty quality publications in tier-1 titles and the campaign was featured in a tv broadcasting by OpenRotterdam. Total reach was more than twelve million, not counting the one million impressions of the social campaigns. The guide itself was completely ‘sold out’ within two months. Fortunately, you can still view it online.
But it’s not all about the statistics; the campaign had more positive results. The administrators of the Facebook groups were overwhelmed with positive response. Jeffrey de Bruin, for example, organized an exhibition that drew many more visitors than he’d expected. And the guide resulted in a collaboration between Facebook and one of the Rotterdam group administrators: among others, he developed a header for the monthly Facebook consumer and business newsletter. Finally, the project was also nominated for the prestigeous SABRE Award and European Excellence Award. For the latter, the 360° campaign for the Facebook City Community Guide Rotterdam reached the top three in the Technology & Consumer Electronics category; for SABRE, the award ceremony takes place on June 9th. We’re pretty proud of that!