Visit Sweden/ Curators of @Sweden
Maria Ziv is the bold initiator of Sweden’s now famous and highly-awarded Twitter campaign that embraced extraordinary transparency to showcase the country’s core values, particularly freedom of speech, through the voices of its citizens. Research conducted by the Tourist Board found that travelers prefer to immerse themselves in a culture by getting to know local people, instead of having a “tour bus experience.” As a result, a Swedish citizen became a weekly, rotating spokesperson for the official Twitter account of Sweden. Their unedited tweets served to highlight the diversity and progressiveness of Sweden through the lives and views of its people.
Weekly “Curators of Sweden” must be Swedish citizens, nominated by fellow Swedes. They must follow only three rules: They cannot promote products or services; they cannot write anything that threatens national security; they cannot break the law.
Maria’s goal was to make the initiative part of a long-term communications strategy to raise awareness and curiosity about her native country. Despite occasional controversy, 68,000 followers across the globe have paid attention to Sweden, and Maria Ziv’s breakthrough thinking has transformed Visit Sweden from a National Tourist Office to a communications company that is watched by the world.
Although @Sweden has numerous imitators—@PeopleofLeeds, @WeAreAustralia, @CuratorsMexico, among others—Sweden’s initiative remains the only program officially sanctioned by a government.