angle-left Meeting of US and Russian Presidents provided Helsinki and Finland with significant media exposure

Meeting of US and Russian Presidents provided Helsinki and Finland with significant media exposure

Finland was mainly viewed in a positive or neutral light in international online articles and social media discussions. A recent media analysis shows that Helsinki succeeded well in seizing the opportunity to bask in the spotlight of the international media.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the City of Helsinki commissioned analyses of media and network exposure of the impacts of the Helsinki meeting of the US and Russian Presidents on discussions about Helsinki and Finland in various social media channels and online media.  The analyses were based on the use of Helsinki and Finland as search words. Both the content and quantitative results were examined and the figures were compared with figures collected in June.

International digital news media were monitored from 2 July to 20 July. During the monitoring period, over 343,000 articles were collected with a combined potential click rate of 342 billion. By far the most articles were published in the United States, followed by Russia and the United Kingdom. The value of the media exposure gained by Helsinki through the meeting is calculated to amount to EUR 3.2 billion.

The majority of the online articles focused on reporting on the meeting. Helsinki and Finland were mentioned as the venue of the meeting in either a neutral or positive tone. In some articles, however, the host country and city were discussed in more detail. A campaign launched by Helsingin Sanomat, demonstrations and a limited-edition lager, inspired by the meeting, gained special visibility. The international Media Center at Finlandia Hall was also the theme of several highly favourable articles. 

In monitoring the social media coverage from 26 June to 17 July, Trump, Putin and Finland or Helsinki produced 404,546 hits in the ten most-often used languages.  On 16 July, the day of the meeting, these search words were used 85,700 times in social media channels. The search words' potential reach on social media was over 17 billion displays. Facebook accounted for 9.4 billion and Twitter for 7.6 billion of the total number of clicks. (Facebook's reach is based on its open pages only, excluding private, closed pages.) In the same period, the potential reach of social media content related to Finland, that is, discussions using only #Finland as the search word, without Trump and Putin, was 571 million.

In the meeting-related discussions, Finland is portrayed as a liberal, developed and advanced country as well as a mirror reflecting developments in the two countries (USA and Russia).  The number of messages relating to Finland on the day of the meeting grew sevenfold in English and fivefold in Russian when compared with the monitoring period conducted in June. The growth in the number of new participants in social media and online discussions was also positive.

"Money can't buy visibility on this scale. It was Helsinki 's task to provide the best possible venue for the meeting and in this we succeeded very well.  A positive media exposure strengthens the reputation of Helsinki as a well-functioning destination for tourists and also as a city capable of hosting congresses and international meetings," says Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki.

"From the perspective of country branding, the benefits gained from a positive experience of a meeting will often show only in the long term.  As to immediate visibility, the Helsinki meeting itself and, above all, major media professionals' countless glowing comments about Finland single out the event as an unprecedented success," says Petra Theman, Director of the Unit for Public Diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


More information:

The analyses were conducted by Sometrik Oy and Meltwater Oy

Search words entered by different media: Helsinki Summit, Trump and Putin (including mention of Helsinki or Finland), Helsinki2018

Potential reach (impressions) refers to the potential value that is based on unique monthly number of persons visiting online pages and the number of visitors on social media. It is generally estimated that approximately 1/40 followers of online media and social media channels have actually seen the contents in question.

In calculating the advertising value, an algorithm is used that takes into account the potential reach. Calculation formula = potential reach x (1/40) x EUR 0.37

The tone analyses of articles have been done partly automatically and manually.


Contact details:

Laura Aalto, CEO, Helsinki Marketing, tel. +358 40 507 9660,

Petra Theman, Director, Unit for Public Diplomacy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 558,


Corrected translation, 9 August 2018: "people" replaced by "displays".