DIGITAL ON THE STREETS: “Social Channels”
“It’s one thing to promise progress as a city brand. It’s another thing entirely to actually empower your residents to enable that progress themselves. That is the truest form of taking an existing social community and not only growing it, but also making its effects tangible. This campaign represents a growing trend at the confluence of creativity, technology, and utility—that sweet spot that is normally in the realm of giant brands and technology offerings like Nike or Apple—where technology truly enables a community beyond the technology platform itself. This campaign brings real-world community benefit and positivity to the City of Cape Town from inspired and involved online community management. Exemplary of the way we need to start applying real utility to our communication ideas, and then use technology smartly to deliver them.”
The City of Cape Town courageously used digital to turn itself into marketing media, in order to bring to life the city’s new tagline, “Making Progress Possible. Together.” It accomplished this feat by reinventing the way it responded to residents concerns, such as reports of water main breaks. To begin, it established a large team that could respond quickly to residents, and it empowered them with a new, simple escalation process involving the city’s different departments. Then the city invited people to report their problems via social media. Anyone online could track the reports of problems and the team’s responses, and the resulting transparency became an essential source of information, especially during a period when wildfires were spreading across the peninsula. As a result, the campaign turned the city’s biggest problems into wins for the city itself.
Select Success Metrics
- The city enjoyed a 20% increase in positive sentiment
- It generated 250,000 engagements a month, an increase of 252%
- An average of 904 service requests were answered each month, an increase of 640%