Roma expand missing-children campaign

Roma have had great success with their change of strategy on social media and are now working to “unite the football world” in a mission to help missing children.

The Chief Strategy Officer Paul Rogers revealed how the club has gained their status through an English-language Twitter account.

Roma now have the fourth most followed English-language account of the non-English teams and are inspiring other clubs to take similar routes.

Rogers explain how the Giallorossi approached the tool, to communicate with fans all over the world and interact with people through what they call the ‘Roma Admin’.

“We wanted to take a completely different approach to what many of the other football clubs were doing,” he told ECA Insight. “When we looked around at how they were using social media – and Twitter, in particular – we felt it didn’t really reflect the way fans were using the platform.

“Lots of clubs seemed to be speaking at fans and using the platform to simply broadcast a very conservative and corporate message. That wasn’t the approach we wanted to replicate. To us, they came across as arrogant and aloof.

“We saw an opportunity through the account to present a much more human face of AS Roma to the world. We did that in many ways through the style of the content we created, the tone of voice we adopted, the cultural references we included, the frequency of what we posted and how we interacted with followers.

“By introducing the concept of the ‘Roma Admin’ character, we were able to interact with followers and other clubs and accounts in a unique way – and that meant, we could differentiate between the voice of the club and the voice of the community manager. People felt they could personally relate to ‘Roma Admin’ in a way you can’t really relate to an institution like a football club.”

Roma have received a lot of praise from their campaign to add posters of missing children in their presentation of new players, taking advantage of the audience following football transfers on social media to help the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

Rogers revealed what gave him the idea and how they are planning to develop the project and “unite the football world” to create an “incredible impact” to help the cause.

“The idea for the missing children campaign actually came from reading an article about the video for the song ‘Runaway Train’ by the American band Soul Asylum. The song came out in 1993 or 1994 and I remember that the video, which was played on repeat on MTV and The Box, featured missing American teenagers,” he added. “Only later did I find out that there were actually four different versions of the video released and depending on where you lived, you’d see the version most relevant to you. It was then that I found out that the British version of the video had featured a teenage boy from Liverpool who went missing in 1987 from a pub near where I lived.

“I found it really interesting that they were showing different videos to different audiences – but it was always the same song. There was no internet or social media around at the time, so MTV was the best way to reach a large teenage audience and the video achieved remarkable results.

“I thought we could do something similar with Roma and use much more sophisticated targeting to get the videos in front of the right people. We saw an opportunity to combine football, social media, missing children and the millions of people who follow football transfers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“In the coming weeks, we want to contact all of the clubs in the ECA to join us in supporting the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children on May 25, 2020,” he said. “That day is the International Missing Child Day all over the world and we’d like all clubs to share a single video on social media that will highlight real missing children cases.

“We believe that with one Tweet by each club, the football world can unite for an incredibly important cause and show that we can all be united in helping to reunite some families with their lost children.

“If all of the clubs within the ECA can support the International Centre for Missing Children initiative, the impact could be incredible.”

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