Chapter 15: Promoting and covering an event. How blogging and social media can be used before and during a conference, convention, exhibition or sports game

A further case study…

You’ll find an additional case study to those in the book version of Brand Journalism included following these links.


These links take you to the source material for this chapter in the book version of Brand Journalism. They are here to make it as easy as possible for readers of the print edition to refer to sources and further reading and research material. All links were active when the book was researched and published. If you find a boken link, please let me know at

1 BBC report on FC Barcelona following

2 on FC Barcelona’s mobile strategy

3 Econsultancy on FC Barcelona’s FCB app for Facebook

4 on FC Barcelona’s social media strategy

5 Digital-Football

6 Reputation Metrics on FC Barcelona’s media value


7 RSA Conference

8 Shift Communications

9 CEO Todd Defren on the strategy

10 The RSA Conference

11 RSA Conference brand journalism strategy

12 RSA use of social media

13 The Senior PGA Championship

14 PR 20-20 agency

15 Keith Mohering writing on the PR 20-20 blog

16 TwitterGrader

17 Senior PGA Championship blog


A further case study: Eurostar live

Eurostar Live ( is an interesting cross-media project from the operator of high-speed trains between Paris, London and other European capitals designed to promote one of its lesser-known destinations – Amsterdam.

The audience

Travellers, including those who take European city breaks with airlines

The business goals

The scheme was designed to promote Amsterdam as a new Eurostar destination. It played upon travellers desire to be informed about new opportunities in city destinations, and their keenness to share their tips by creating a partly crowdsourced insider’s guide to Eurostar’s destinations, starting with the lesser-known one of Amsterdam.

The pitch was this: “What makes the soul of a city like Amsterdam? Is it the people? The food? The penchant for carved wooden shoes?

“At Eurostar Live we’re asking for your shots and suggestions of what makes Amsterdam great and showcasing the best on billboards across London.”

The brand journalism strategy, and the platforms used

The goal was to build increased social engagement between the brand and travellers, through the collaborative building of a guide to Amsterdam.  Crowdsourced contributions were published live on 363 billboards around London as they were submitted, as well as being used on dedicated websites. A prize of a weekend for two in Amsterdam was offered as an inducement to participate.

Lionel Benbassat, director of marketing and brand at Eurostar, told Social Media Influence: “Social engagement needs to run through our entire business, with customers openly sharing their experiences to help inform other Eurostar travellers. We believe that in getting this right, we can in turn enhance the power of conventional channels to drive acquisition and customer loyalty.”

The screens featured adverts for Eurostar’s Amsterdam service and up to 4,000 tweets and Facebook updates a day.

Comments and images uploaded online could be re-purposed within minutes to appear on screens, including on LCD and cross-track projection screens on London Underground – so they appeared on billboards visible to those waiting on tube station platforms. Benbassat added that while comments were be moderated to avoid anything damaging or libellous appearing, both positive and negative experiences were included.

So that the campaign began with substantial information and recommendations already available, the London agency We Are Social (9) was commissioned to gather recommendations in advance of launch on food, music, fashion, photography and other topics from UK and Amsterdam-based bloggers who knew the city well.

Both commissioned and crowdsourced material was posted on a dedicated Amsterdam area of the Eurostar website. (

The result

Eurostar aren’t revealing this information, but in their annual report recorded “particularly good take-up” on the route.