A campaign with a difference to connect with the Diaspora throughout Britain was launched by Tourism Ireland today. Using Twitter, the campaign – which is called My Irish 140 – will encourage people with Irish ancestry, and those who feel a connection with Ireland, to explore that connection and talk about it in their Twitter stream.
The campaign will work around the number 140 – the maximum number of characters in a Tweet. It kicked off earlier today at 1.40 am and will continue over 140 hours (or 5.8 days). Followers will be encouraged to tweet their connection to Ireland using the hash tag #makesmeirish and can also include pictures and links. Their Tweet enters them in a competition and the prize on offer for the best ‘sweet tweet’ is a 140-hour short break in Ireland, with smaller prizes awarded at random every 140 minutes. A specially created webpage myirish140.com will highlight the best tweets and will include a list of the top 140 things to see and do in Ireland, which will be released gradually over the course of the 140 hour-long campaign.
The tweets can refer to any connection people feel with Ireland – from loved ones or relatives living at home in Ireland, to being a fan of Father Ted, or maybe to owning a dog called Shannon! The recent Irish Times online conversation #greatthingsaboutireland ticked similar boxes – but Tourism Ireland wants to extend the reach of this campaign to connect with people around Britain who may not be as familiar with Ireland but who nonetheless feel some connection.
With an estimated six million people throughout Britain claiming Irish descent or affiliations with Ireland, Tourism Ireland is actively reaching out to the Irish Diaspora, in GB and in other countries around the world, inviting them to come home and visit the island of Ireland in 2011 to rediscover their roots.
Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland Chief Executive, said: “Tourism Ireland has been working hard to maximise the use of social media, including Twitter and Facebook, to promote the island of Ireland as a fantastic holiday and short break destination. Twitter is a great way for us to promote Ireland and engage directly with potential British holidaymakers in 140 characters. We can keep in touch with people around GB, track what they are thinking, inform them about news and events in Ireland in a fun way, inspiring them to come and explore the island of Ireland.
“The impact of online word-of-mouth cannot be underestimated, particularly when it comes to travel and holiday decisions. Tourism Ireland aims to be part of a lively conversation about Ireland, to engage with fans and get them talking about the many great things to see and do here. This is part of our overall marketing strategy which increasingly uses social media to complement both our traditional and other e-marketing channels.”
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Note to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• 7.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2009, delivering revenue of €3.7 billion.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 20 different languages covering every continent. In 2009 discoverireland.com attracted a record 13+ million unique visitors, a +34% increase in visits on 2008.