One Year of Silence – a campaign that silenced radio stations
Communications and media relations,
When you have a big emergency, you have to make a lot of noise. Other times, you can make your voice heard most effectively by being quiet. This was the case with the #VuosiHiljaisuutta “One Year of Silence” campaign, which Mellakka Helsinki planned and implemented together with the Finnish live music association LiveFIN ry.
The event sector was severely hit by the Covid pandemic and had to cope without any operational capabilities or future prospects. The first anniversary since the start of the year of silence caused by the restrictions was approaching, and something had to be done.
“One Year of Silence” was a four-day campaign that culminated in a moment of silence at 14:05 on Friday 12 March 2021, exactly one year after the Government recommended banning gatherings of over 500 people.
The aim of the intensive campaign was to highlight the emergency and generate public support in order to influence the decision-makers behind the demands. The campaign had to reach the actors in the field, the general public and the decision-makers.
The main actors who participated the campaign contributed on a pro bono basis. The media budget was 0 euros, so all the actions of the campaign were aimed at earned visibility in different forms.
When working on the concept, we thought about what would best communicate the problem and make the injustice visible. “A Year of Silence” not only described accurately what happened but also the opposite of live music: silence.
The #VuosiHiljaisuutta “One Year of Silence” hashtag motivated a huge number of people to voluntarily share on social media how the year of restrictions had felt like to them.
Artists, festivals, live music venues and other actors were also encouraged to join in the conversation. They were contacted around a week before the start of the campaign so that their views could be published during the campaign week. These posts rapidly fuelled even more discussion.
The hashtag also did not exclude actors outside the music industry, as actors from the restaurant industry, for example, also participated in the discussion.
A moment of silence
Focusing on a single moment made the campaign an event and gave it concrete shape and a climax. Holding a moment of silence is also a strong, emotional statement. Fortunately for us, radio stations across a broad front joined in regardless of their media agencies. In addition to the radio stations, the audience was involved by means of a Facebook event, which proved to be very popular.
Solutions to remedy the situation
The campaign did not confine itself to drawing attention to the prevailing unfair situation but also proposed solutions. In connection with the campaign, it was possible to clearly communicate what the decision-makers should do to correct the situation in the industry.
LiveFIN’s key demands were formulated into a clearly understandable agenda in the press release and social media posts, from which it was also easy for the general public to copy and share them further.
The campaign united – quite historically – Finland’s commercial radio stations. The moment of silence was observed on around 20 radio stations, most of which are nationwide. Participating radio stations included Aito Iskelmä, HitMix, Iskelmä, Me Naiset Radio, Radio Helsinki, Radio Nostalgia, Radio Nova, Radio Pooki, Suomipop, Radio Rock, Radio 957, SuomiRock and SuomiRäp – basically all the main ones in Finland.
Other media outlets also grabbed the story. The campaign attracted 67 print and digital media hits with a potential coverage of nearly five million, as well as numerous radio interviews and even a spot on morning television.
Nearly 3,000 public social media posts were published using the campaign’s #VuosiHiljaisuutta hashtag, including many by Finland’s top artists, including Antti Tuisku, Vesala, Maija Vilkkumaa, Suvi Teräsniska and Ellinoora, as well as political figures, including then Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko.
The potential reach of social media mentions grew to almost 7 million. The Facebook event for the moment of silence attracted nearly 10,000 participants and reached 300,000 people.
The campaign was highlighted during Parliamentary question time and promoted important discussions with MPs and other political decision-makers. The campaign hashtag continues to live on and still attracts regular hits.
“One Year of Silence” was awarded Silver Medal at the Vuoden Huiput creative design competition in 2022.
- The campaign attracted 67 print and digital media hits with a potential coverage of 4.7 million.
- The media value of the digital news media covering the campaign was €481,000.
- The campaign also attracted numerous interviews on radio and television.
- A moment of silence was observed on around 20 radio stations.
- The campaign inspired over 3000 social media posts with a potential reach of 6.8 million.
- The moment of silence FB event attracted 9800 participants with a reach of 300,000.