When you have a big emergency, you have to make a lot of noise. But sometimes 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 has been severely hit by the corona pandemic and has 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. The industry could not survive a second year.
“One Year of Silence” was a four-day campaign that culminated with a moment of silence on Friday 12 March 21, exactly one year since 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.
And the campaign did. Among other things, it united – quite historically – Finland’s commercial radio stations, when a moment of silence was observed on around 20 radio stations, most of which were nationwide. In addition, 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 and political figures.
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. Work to meet the demands of the campaign continues, but the emergency has now been acknowledged and the silent cry for help heard.