La “Cronaca Italiana” Instagram project: how a main stream media handed out their social account to citizens

Presented at ONA15
September 23, 2015
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Which is the best way to involve local communities in your information’s ecosystem? What does “engagement” really mean? Our answer is: give them your home’s keys. During the summer “Cronaca italiana,” the digital aggregation and social title of Italian national news agency AGL, brought community engagement to a totally new level: we literally gave to communities the keys to our own doors.  We intend to tell you the story of this “social first” project, and the lessons we learned from the test.

We established a partnership with the “Instagramers Italia” association (aka the “Igers”) to jointly manage our Instagram account. For three months four different regional communities of “Igers” were allowed to use the password of our own account to keep a visual diary and tell the stories of their communities with images: landscapes, people, emotions. We had almost 500 pictures posted, more than 13,000 likes, and our newly opened Instagram account acquired seven times the initial followers, all without any need to edit or moderate the “Igers” posts. It’s been a successful experiment in “social first.”

We didn’t want to just “open the door” to our readers, we wanted to make them responsible for a project, bring them on our side of things. We are a network of city and regional newspapers and “Igers” are already structured in the same way, with local chapters of their association – which makes us and them part of the same environment. And it worked: people took it very seriously, they discussed in their chats and groups before choosing to post one picture or another. And they always posted regularly, with no needs of being pushed by the newsroom’s staff. This could be a solid base for other collaborations and projects, online and offline (ie live events, exhibitions), but also the first step towards a membership program.

Andrea Iannuzzi: Editor in chief, AGL, Gruppo Editoriale Espresso. Former deputy Editor, Repubblica Sera. Social media addicted, digital explorer, wannabe sailor (if I had time) 

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