The ESPO Award 2019 will go to the port authority that has developed a successful strategy to reach out to the local community and is succeeding in directly communicating with the port citizens. Using social media as a new way of communicating and demonstrating a high level of transparency about operational achievements, future strategies and environmental challenges and performance is becoming increasingly important for European ports who can only function and further develop if they receive the licence to operate from the local citizens.
The four projects that are shortlisted for this year’s Award are the projects of Port of Dover, Dublin Port Company, Ports of Stockholm, and Union des Ports de France (UPF).
ESPO is proud to present the shortlisted projects before the winner is announced during the official Award Ceremony at the Albert Hall in Brussels on 13 November 2019.
Dublin Port Company
The Port of Dublin creates online maritime community
ESPO: Congratulations! You have been shortlisted for the ESPO Award 2019! Could you briefly describe your project?
Dublin Port Company (DPC) has maintained a digital presence since 2001 via its corporate website; however social media was a communications space not entered before. DPC recognised social media as the perfect channel to educate the citizens of Dublin and local communities on its daily activities, culminating in the creation of Dublin Port’s social media strategy in 2013, with its main goal to set about integrating Dublin Port with Dublin City.
Social media allows ports to build closer relationships with their local community. Online users now expect organisations to respond and engage with them directly, making them feel more important and that their voice is heard.
DPC utilises all the main social media channels creating an integrated communications framework. Facebook has proved to be an important Business to Community tool, while Twitter was established to improve Business to Business communications with customers and stakeholders. Content on these channels highlight projects and events and communicate key operational information on traffic, arrivals, departures and notice to mariners.
ESPO: How does your project contribute to improving your relationship with the port citizens and does it succeed in directly reaching out to the local community?
Dublin Port Company has been highly committed to its digital media strategy since its launch, believing in its benefit for both the local community and the advancement of the operational capacity of the port. Dublin Port’s social media channels are a forum for open discussion with port users, citizens of Dublin and staff. It is evident that the public awareness of Port operations has improved through a strong social media presence. Ports have extremely interesting and varied stories to tell and Dublin Port’s online maritime community is intrigued to learn about and engage with these stories.
We create linkages between the Port, the local community groups and port citizens by including in our monthly content calendar’s information on local maritime events; boat and yacht club regattas, Port heritage events, employment opportunities, notices to mariners, ship arrivals, Masterplan updates and CSR initiatives. We take a rounded, integrated approach to our content, ensuring that all in our online maritime community are included and informed, resulting in a greater user experience.
ESPO: Could you describe the original and innovative character of your project?
The originality of Dublin Port’s project was to set about integrating Dublin Port with Dublin City by educating the citizens of Dublin and local communities on port operations through social media. DPC’s social media strategy has evolved to be more integrated; content types have developed from originally only sharing port images to now utilising video content and info graphics regularly creating a higher reach. . . . . .
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