Together with the Visit Halland travel guide, we got over 1,000 media outlets on five continents to report about the Swedish Halland province and its tourist attractions. (Okay, they wrote a tiny bit about Erling Haaland too). How did we do it? We wrote an open letter about football that we posted on LinkedIn.
When Norwegian Erling Haaland became the world’s hottest footballer in the autumn of 2022, the Halland province drowned in badly tagged pictures and misspelt posts about him. Halland risked disappearing on the internet – but we also saw an opportunity to bask in Haaland’s media glory.
That Halland, a Swedish province, all but disappears in the shadow of a brilliant Norwegian football striker is – objectively speaking – fun. We realized it was essential to maintain the tongue-in-cheek tone and David vs. Goliath position when addressing the problem. We aimed to give the media a gift rather than exhaustingly going on about our side of the story.
Although Halland is a Swedish coastal gem, it is a relatively unknown destination for international tourists. Furthermore, the region has a limited budget to attract tourists[UW1] . To draw attention, Visit Halland must dare to be bold and smart, meaning they must seize every opportunity offered – such as Haaland’s success story in the Premier League.
Together with Visit Halland, we wrote a letter to all the world’s football fans and journalists requesting them to start spelling correctly and keep Halland and Haaland separate. The tone was intentionally pompous: “If nothing is done, we fear our dear region is at risk of becoming a forgotten Atlantis, a place only known in stories and ancient scriptures.”
The media picked up the letter worldwide. In total, there were more than 1,100 publications in media in 104 countries. The PR value was estimated at SEK 767 million (Source: Infomedia).
PR value (SEK)