Each country’s cultural heritage is a crucial part of individual and community identity. But compared to other European countries, Romania lacks the thorough inventory and appropriate funding for heritage elements.
Impaired by the lack of public interest towards the subject, the Romanian National Institute of Heritage (NIH), subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, reached out to Zaga Brand in May 2018 to lay out a budget-free communication project highlighting the Institute’s activity and relevance in this day and age to a general public that would comprehend its significance.
Tackling the issue
In the initial phase of the campaign, we grasped the main issue we were going to face: communicating to an audience made out of connoisseurs (extremely niched and aged) would not generate a change of attitude towards the importance of national heritage.
According to the May 2018 Cultural Barometer, 57.3% of Romanians aren’t capable of naming one single heritage site, revealing a generalized lack of knowledge of the term and its meaning. Statistics show the only age groups that react to the subject are people aged 50-65, 40-49 and over 65.
Focusing the conversation on the age group that didn’t seem to react to the heritage issue – people aged 18 to 35 – became our main focus. After all, we are talking about the most active and involved segment in recommending and backing up ideals they believe in.
Also, the conversation needs to be done onto social platforms, where most of the generation Y and Z representatives (commonly known as Millennials) are active for more than 3 hours a day. Using the most recent studies to determine the dynamics of different social channels, we decided to focus our efforts on Instagram, due to its visual component, stories, engagement rate, overall reach and the ability to receive quick feedback.
General Information:
Strategy: The main challenge was to translate a perceived elitist subject from the academic language to Millennial dialect, keeping it relevant for younger audiences, but staying within a €6,000 budget. WHERE to communicate and at WHAT cost became crucial. To tell the story of the heritage objectives, we developed a mix of digital storytelling focusing on Instagram (visual storytelling), Facebook and blogging (for the main target audience), alongside traditional media – for promoting the campaign to the general public (secondary audience).
To illustrate the concept, we chose to join two contrasting terms, both relevant for the subject in question. CRONICAR (chronicler in Eng.) is an old Romanian word, while DIGITAL symbolizes the technological era. Cronicari Digitali aims to create a link between generations, and its call to action “Let’s make the cultural heritage viral!” urges each person to become a Digital History Teller, and a spokesperson for the campaign.

What we set out to do in the first 6 months of the campaign:
Raising awareness of cultural and natural heritage elements for the digital generation, and involving the 18 – 35 age group in heritage related conversations (a field explored solely by experts and persons aged 50 or more), by:
· Touring 50 different heritage elements in the offline, giving the young generation a chance to become historytellers themselves and to share their experience with their social media communities
· Reaching out to 1,000,000 young people by the end of 2018, the European Year of Cultural Heritage, a target we reached in ONLY 3 months
· Reaching an engagement level equal to the maximum value of the Instagram average (3 – 6%) on a nondescript topic for Millennials
· Getting influencers with large Instagram and FB communities (over 150,000 followers each) to become involved pro bono in the campaign by mid-December
· Attracting two media partners to promote the campaign and its objectives
Secondary objectives: - the correct understanding of heritage and its diversity, by creating direct interactions between experts and the Y and Z generation.

Getting to work:
1. Presentation website – the main display of the campaign, where cultural heritage and its diversity are described in Millennial dialect.
2. Instagram account – the main communication channel with the young “digitals”
3. Facebook account – the main narrative for all the activities of the campaign
4. Media partnerships
5. Instagram partnerships with relevant influencers on Instagram
6. Together with NIH experts and managers, we devised 6 routes throughout Romania towards different heritage sites and monuments. In our search to provide attractive visual destinations and interesting stories, we combined castles and mansions that are not open for public viewing with memorial (communist prisons), ecclesiastic, industrial, archaeological, natural and gastronomic heritage. These personalized routes where we invited Instagrammers, bloggers and journalists were named Heritage Trips.
7. Photo contest for Instagram users. By photographing a heritage element and posting it on the social network using #cronicaridigitali, the winner is set to go on a 1-week personalized Heritage Trip.
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