PR Suicide? Sweden Hands Its Twitter Account Over to Citizens
How much do you trust your customers? If you’re Sweden, apparently it’s a lot — it’s giving its citizens access to the @Sweden Twitter account. Each week as part of Curators of Sweden, a single citizen will be given exclusive access to the account, with carte blanche for posting. Is this a recipe for success, or disaster?
How it got started
Like any other brand, Sweden wants to have a good reputation. It wants customers, and it wants those customers to leave satisfied. And who better to speak for Sweden than their current customers — those who are happily living and working there? The people tweeting as @Sweden have unique perspectives and stories, and will present their home country in different ways; what experiment creators VisitSweden are hoping is that those ways bring more people into the country.
So who’s going to be tweeting? Turns out everyone from an editorial writer to a priest, a teacher and a coffee-loving trucker lesbian. The first participant, Jack, started things off with a healthy dose of colorful language, humor and (to some) a total lack of respect for the project.
How’s it going to end?
I’m torn between shudders and admiration. Not many would have the...ahem...courage to hand over the social media reins, and here’s Sweden placing their entire tourism industry in someone else’s hands. And some people aren’t happy about it.
One blogger calls the experiment “a disgrace,” although she seems to take issue with Jack, rather than the experiment as a whole. This is the biggest danger of the project: that the people chosen as curators will curate badly, and will be a negative reflection on Sweden.
I wish I could share in the enthusiasm shown on the Curators of Sweden website. I’m interested to see how future curators represent their country, so I’ll be checking back in with @Sweden. I just hope they’re prepared for the negative feedback I’m sure is coming.
What do you think about the Curators of Sweden project — genius or madness? Sound off in the comments!