Telling Stories by the Sea

by Samantha North on March 25, 2016

The Hague Bloggershuis city brand

The Hague knows the value of telling a good story

So much so in fact, that the city’s marketing team has created the ‘Bloggershuis’, a dedicated space where visiting bloggers can stay while they discover all that the Hague has to offer. As an added bonus, the Bloggershuis is situated right on the beach!

Samantha North talked with Mieke Smid, public relations manager at Den Haag Marketing, to learn more about the Bloggershuis project, due to launch this summer.

SN: What gave the city the idea for the Bloggershuis?
Mieke: Having our own Bloggershuis was on my professional wish list for several years now. This was after we heard about the first successful initiative of Blogville Emilia Romagna in Italy. But we, The Hague Marketing, the city itself and the municipality, weren’t ready for this kind of initiative yet, and we were still searching for the ultimate home to profile The Hague as a city by the sea. Now, with this beach house, our relevant experiences with bloggers & vloggers over the past few years and the ability to monitor social media properly, have made 2016 the year to open our Bloggershuis, the first in the Netherlands!

What are the unique selling points of The Hague?
The Hague has a few unique selling points: we are the only Dutch city by the sea, we are the international city of Peace & Justice (with the Peace Palace as an icon) and we are a Royal city, The Hague is where the Royal family live their lives and work. That has been the case for centuries now and you can sense the Royal allure in the city.

How does the Bloggershuis tie in with all this?
The Hague’s Bloggershuis is a beach house on the beach. This is the perfect tool to profile  and position the city as a city by the sea! It shows that you, as a tourist, can combine two type of destinations within one trip: a beach holiday and an interesting city trip.

The Hague Bloggershuis Netherlands

“The power of this bloggers house is that other people will tell the story for you. How great is it that this can be done from a building on the beach in the only Dutch city by the sea?”, said Marco Esser, director of Den Haag Marketing.

What sort of stories do you hope the bloggers will write about?
We’re looking for different kinds of stories, destination reports from the real destination geeks, and stories by niche bloggers on food, arts & culture, festivals, sports (sailing/surfing) , lifestyle and beauty or shopping. With must sees like the Girl with the Pearl Earring from the famous painter Vermeer, The Peace Palace, our Royal palaces, 11 kilometres of beach, the Victory Boogie Woogie or the museum of Escher, the range of stories can be very wide!

What do The Hague residents think of the Bloggershuis idea?
The Hague residents are enthusiastic and proud! We’re the first to have a Bloggershuis, we can show the city that we love to influencers all over the world. We would also love to hook up certain bloggers (niche) with a local expert on the same topic. Several locals have already shown interest in this idea.

Does The Hague have any additional goals for the Bloggershuis initiative?
Our main goal is, of course, to draw attention to our city by the sea in a special way and a way that’s unique for Holland. We love to see and hear from other people talking about their experience in The Hague. We strongly believe in others telling the story of The Hague and we’re curious to see all the stories, pictures and videos from our visitors.  But an initiative like this one can only be a success when your own residents believe in it, and support it. So we’re also happy that it makes residents of The Hague feel proud.

The Bloggershuis will start up at the end of March on Kijkduin Beach in The Hague. It will be open during the 2016 beach season, exclusively for Dutch and international travel bloggers and vloggers.

This article was first published on PlacesBrands

About Samantha North :

Samantha North is a freelance journalist specialising in country branding, soft power and public diplomacy. She has a Master's degree in international business and management, and has worked on diverse projects in China, Belgium and Qatar over the last 7 years. Samantha is managing editor of the website PlacesBrands, (which can be found in the links to the left of this page). She is currently based in Istanbul.

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