Reinvent Tampere Campaign: Meeting the People Reimagining Business, Community and Everyday Life

Grigory Kharitidis introduces his talk by sharing how the pandemic impacted him and his team at Visit Tampere.

Grigory describes being deeply inspired seeing what so many other destinations have been doing to connect and engage as the world shut down.

So Grigory and his team decided that they also need to connect with people on a real level, inspired by the likes of Tasmania, Greenland and Wyoming, and reach out to inspire and connect with people through values.

Grigory Kharitidis introduces his talk by sharing how the pandemic impacted him and his team at Visit Tampere and describes being deeply inspired seeing what so many other destinations have been doing to connect and engage as the world shut down.

So Grigory and his team decided that they also need to connect with people on a real level, inspired by the likes of Tasmania, Greenland and Wyoming, and reach out to inspire and connect with people through values. So to do this, the first question to answer was 'What are our values?' and 'What impact do we want to have as a destination?'

Freedom, adventure, learning new things, self-fulfilment, personal growth and courage: these are the values of Tampere and they realised that they need to be conveyed through the people of Tampere, to talk about Tampere as a state of mind and a lifestyle choice - something that people can experience even if they're not in Tampere.

As a city and as a community, Tampere is all about reinvention. It started out as a village, turning into the industrial capital of Finland and most recently transformed again into one of the most high-tech, cleanest and most dynamic place to live in. But how do you share this story in the midst of a global pandemic? Grigory and his team decided that the most impactful way to reach out to people in this difficult time is to share these values through the curation of everyday stories of the people who represent Tampere. For Tampere, these stories aren't only stories of tourism or the visitor economy, but stories which relate to every aspect of Tampere, through many different perspectives.

Launching the Campaign in July, they started out by creating a microsite at www.tamperestories.fi, with five key curated stories, which increasingly started to be shared through partners, channels and different networks. As the campaign picked up traction, more people from different backgrounds started to come forwards and the team at Tampere started to, for the first time ever, see a change in the way they see things, in the way they come together as a community.

This is not a story about marketing and promotion or a campaign success story. This is a story about community, their success heroes, people they knew: lots of unique individuals who each represent something truly unique and special. But the question is, do we really know these people? Do we know their story, their journey and the transformation along the way - why they are passionate about what they do, what drives them and what is their real story?

They realised through this work that before starting to support the people of Tampere and tell their stories, they really didn't know them. They only knew them for what they were doing but not really who they were and why they were doing what they were doing.

So Grigory tells us that this moment has been something truly enlightening. The process of working on stories is full of revelations, on both sides. They help them connect the dots in their story and this is powerful for them and also for Tampere. This storytelling project, launched in a time of crisis, allowed people to connect with their communities, to inspire others to do like them, to come together on a more meaningful level.

So what do we learn from this? Well, storytelling is more than just marketing. It's about creating meaningful connections with your community, your colleagues, friends and yourself and this is a very powerful process.

Grigory's message to others? Steal their reinvent format if you wish, you're welcome to. Find that topic which really has meaning in your community and don't be afraid to reach out to people, to try and connect the dots. Start with those most active, who can take your storytelling further, they amplify what you're doing and help you to succeed. Don't be afraid to take risks, try your own approach and see where it takes you.

Key Takeaways

1. Start the new year by listing your true values as a destination and as a community. Tampere's values are Freedom, adventure, learning new things, self-fulfilment, personal growth and courage.

2. Don't just state who you are and what you believe in but share the values through the curation of everyday stories of the people who represent the destination or organisation.

3. Change the way you see things and embrace the way they come together as a community.

4. Storytelling allows people to connect with their communities, to inspire others to do like them, to come together on a more meaningful level, especially in time of crisis.

5. Find the topic that has a real meaning in the community and don't be afraid to reach out to people, to try and connect the dots.

6. Start with the most active and responsive people, who can take your storytelling further and amplify what you're doing.

Published on:
November 2020
About the contributor

Grigory Kharitidis

Grigory Kharitidis manages a bunch of marketing projects at Visit Tampere, Finland. As an aspiring essentialist with 15 years of experience in destination and tourism marketing, Grigory believes that the primary focus of DMOs should be on building relationships.