How 11 neighboring municipalities successfully formed a common model region
The location brand “Familjen Helsingborg” [The Helsingborg Family] (formerly Helsingborg Business Region) is the result of a political and commercial municipal cooperation between eleven municipalities in northwestern Skåne. The brand unites the municipalities in order to create added value, primarily in relation to tourism, the business sector and being an attractive place to live. Familjen Helsingborg’s vision is for northwestern Skåne to be perceived as a cohesive city and one of northern Europe’s most creative regions – a model region.
ACTIVATION WORK TO SAFEGUARD THE STRATEGY
Even though a brand platform for Familjen Helsingborg was developed back in autumn 2012, the strategy had not been successful in creating the desired movement among the different municipalities. They therefore chose to turn to Hubbster for help with their activation work.
“We live in a dynamic region with many wills and dedication. The brand is dynamic. Properly used, it can create amazing change in our region. That’s if everyone pulls in the same direction. That’s why we are using Hubbster,” says Nils Djurklou, Director of Communication for the City of Helsingborg.
The goal of the activation work was to strengthen local engagement in Familjen Helsingborg in all eleven municipalities, and to ensure as much as possible that the strategy for the brand began to be put into practice by the different “family members”. This would begin to generate concrete and relevant activities and behaviors in line with the strategy for Familjen Helsingborg.
VISION, BENCHMARK MEASUREMENT AND ACTIVATION
The goals were clear, but needed to be concretized, spiced with local initiatives, and transformed into action to truly strengthen the region and municipalities.
A group of 300 people served as the core troop out among the remaining municipal employees and the small “resource pools” distributed among the eleven municipalities, primarily made up of communication officers, trainees and enthusiasts. Their tools for this work were found in Hubbster’s solution.
“Familjen Helsingborg is about the vision to create a model region of eleven neighboring municipalities in northwestern Skåne. We want to create added value by working together. Hubbster helps us make that happen,” says Nils Djurklou.
The working name of the improvement project was “Familjeresan” [The Family Trip], with a focus on creating and implementing concrete, relevant activities that created added value for both the municipality and the region.
“I see Familjen Helsingborg as evidence of northwestern Skåne’s high ambitions for the development of the area and opportunities for the people living in it. Familjen Helsingborg is modern and forward-looking, and aims to become even better. That is what ‘Familjeresan’ is all about,” continues Nils.
Focus was on activating one political vision/set of goals: Becoming a model region, known for its ability to unit people and improve opportunities. In addition to this, the strategy had six strategic focus areas and four common values – Human, Welcoming, Creative, Shared.
The steering committee for Familjen Helsingborg divided the strategy process into three steps:
- Engagement survey: Benchmarking of engagement in, understanding of and use of Familjen Helsingborg.
- Local activation: Concrete, relevant activities in line with the strategy/goals generated using Hubbster’s tool.
- Ongoing analysis, communication and lessons learned for increased effect at each new activation stage.
DESIRE TO TAKE INITIATIVE, ENGAGEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
Hubbster’s solution helped Familjen Helsingborg drive forward cooperation and development in a fragmented organization and concretize a shared set of goals for the eleven municipalities working together.
“The tool’s clear, automated process and simple digital interface made it possible to create opportunities to share completed, successful activities, provide tips on pitfalls to avoid, and foster engagement in the purpose of Familjen Helsingborg and the added value of working together. The activation also generated an authentic basis for communication, both internally and externally,” explains Nils.
OWN WIKIPEDIA PAGE, FAMILJEGIRO BICYCLE RACE, AND DEVELOPMENT FORUM FOR MANAGERS
The brand engagement survey conducted at the start of the activation work showed that Familjen Helsingborg was clearly characterized by Community, Collaboration, Togetherness, Different, Welcoming and Unclear. 62% were positive associations and 25% were negative.
- With Hubbster, the uncertainty and anticipation that created thresholds for strategic success began to quickly turn into initiative and engagement with achievability of 53% as early as the first activation stage.
- The concretization level was high right from the start, and 20% of the activities received the highest score on outcome. – One example of best practice activities was the creation of a Wikipedia page that clearly and in simple terms explained what Familjen Helsingborg was all about.
- A bicycle race – the Familjegiro – throughout the region was created.
- A new development forum for municipal managers and leaders was started.
“We live in a dynamic region with many wills and dedication. The brand is dynamic. Properly used, it can create amazing change in our region. That’s if everyone pulls in the same direction. That’s why we use Hubbster,” concludes Nils.