Helsinki was thrust into the global media limelight last month for hosting the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump on 16 July.
The summit, together with its venue, were discussed in well over 300,000 online articles and provided media exposure worth 3.2 billion euros for the Finnish capital, according to media exposure and network analyses commissioned by the City of Helsinki and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
“Money can’t buy visibility on this scale,” states Jan Vapaavuori, the Mayor of Helsinki.
Vapaavuori estimates that the city succeeded “very well” in providing a fitting venue for the high-level summit and gained positive media exposure that will underpin its reputation as a well-functioning tourist destination and as a city capable of hosting congresses and international meetings.
A total of 343,000 articles about the summit that featured one or both of the keywords ‘Helsinki’ and ‘Finland’ were collected for the analyses between 2 and 20 July. The articles had a potential click rate of 342 billion, according to the analyses conducted by Sometrik and Meltwater.
The majority of the articles were published in the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Finland and Helsinki were typically mentioned in a neutral or positive light as the venue of the summit, but some news outlets also took the opportunity to write about the host city and country in more detail.
Issues that gained particular media attention included the press freedom campaign staged by Helsingin Sanomat, a demonstration organised in support of human rights and democracy, and a limited-edition lager launched by the Kuopio-based Rock Paper Scissors Indie Brewery. Finland was also portrayed as a liberal, developed and progressive country in the discussions surrounding the summit.
Petra Theman, the director of public diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, reminds that succeeding in organising such large-scale events tends to have a positive impact from the perspective of country branding only in the long term.
“As to immediate visibility, the Helsinki meeting itself and, above all, major media professionals’ countless glowing comments about Finland single out the event as an unprecedented success,” she enthuses.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi