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A social media strategy for Haren after Project X



A fifteen year old girl from the village 'Haren' invited by accident everyone in the world for her sixteenth birthday. Her facebook- event went viral and became known as Project X Haren. A few thousand people attended the event and in a few hours the whole happening escalated. The police and the riot control service had to force the event to finish.


Criticism afterwards was that the council of the municipality was insufficiently informed about the developments on social media, and had taken too few precautionary measures when the upcoming facebook event went viral. The mayor and the head of the police department had to resign.


Faceless organizations are a thing of the past. These days, people care not only about what they need, but also the type of organization they’re needing it from. For a social organization like a local government there are good things that we can attribute to social media, primarily in terms of providing a voice to people and groups who previously struggled to be heard and of making information transparent and portable. A social media strategy defines how an organisation will use social media to achieve its communications aims and the supporting platform and tools it will use to achieve this.


In spring 2014 (after ‘Project X’) I was responsible for the development of Haren’s complete socialmedia- strategy and format. Haren became active on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. For six months I was directly involved with the production and editing of all content published through these outlets. In December 2014 I handed the project over to Haren’s communications department.


UPDATE: Haren used the format until her fusion with the city Groningen in 2019.


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