Client Spotlight: Tourism Ireland

This month, our Client Spotlight shines on Tourism Ireland, the marketing entity that promotes the Emerald Isle to travelers around the world. We were delighted to speak with Brian Harte, the organization’s head of Customer Engagement and E-Marketing, as he gave us a peek inside the genesis of Tourism Ireland and how they strive to present the essence of Ireland through social media and community.

How did Tourism Ireland come about?

Tourism Ireland is responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas as a holiday and business tourism destination. It was established under the framework of the Belfast Agreement of Good Friday 1998 and we work closely with the two tourist boards on the island, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI, and with our partners in the tourism industry at home and abroad in delivering on our remit.

Tourism Ireland’s 150 staff create marketing programs in 23 markets across the world as well as centrally in Dublin and Coleraine – we all have the same core passion and love for the island of Ireland!

Tell us how you bring Ireland to the world through joy and authenticity on a localized level. You have a presence in countries all over the world, and you engage customers locally on social. Share with us the drive behind that approach.

The Irish people and the perception of the Irish abroad are some of Tourism Ireland’s biggest assets, along with the attractions/sights and history, as well as family history connections.

The wonderful tapestry of individuals on the island give us a rich diversity of surprising, spontaneous, and “only in Ireland” experiences to use. They’re authentic, not staged, and are both historical and contemporary. We are highlighting Ireland’s captivating people, who freely give insights into our culture that are delivered in a fun, engaging, human, and conversational way.

Our brand promise is of joyful immersion, which we describe as “the feeling of living in the moment, up close and personal with a place and its people.” Our goal through our community management work with ModSquad is to make this real for our audience in advance of their visit and to build their anticipation.

What were some of the community and social media challenges you faced?

Tourism Ireland is one of the few tourist boards to offer Twitter and Facebook pages in the native languages of our key markets, so we have to ensure proper use of the relevant languages. If we’re posting Spanish-language posts geared toward visitors in Spain, we have to ensure accuracy. Tone of voice can be tricky; we absolutely want to be able to transfer the sense of joy into our messages. And there’s always the issue of localization–some posts are not suitable for all markets, and our Irish humor might get lost in translation.

Why did you choose to work with ModSquad?

What brought us to ModSquad was your ability to engage with customers on numerous social media channels and e-mail, your community management experience, the availability of multiple languages, a flexible staffing model (with which we’re able to ramp up or down the hours needed, depending on our requirements), and a good selection of reporting tools. In particular, we wanted a partner who could grow with us as opportunities are identified. We pay a lot of attention to the digital horizon – it was essential for our partner to do the same.

How has it been working with ModSquad?

Very positive! Everyone on the team is very approachable and proactive, and there’s a great attention to detail. We also get quick responses, the Mods are well-organized, enthusiastic, and always willing to take on new projects. Finally, we appreciate that there’s a wide range of knowledge throughout the management team.

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