In today’s context, when historical knowledge is still considered dry, difficult to remember and seemingly unattractive to Gen Z, the marketing team of Hoa Lo Prison Relics has proven this. opposite.

With a new storytelling style and modern expression style, Hoa Lo Prison’s media channel has succeeded in spreading the love of history to the community and especially young people.

1. Media context Hoa Lo cabinet

1.1 Market context

Having gone through many struggles and defenses of the country, Vietnam is proud to be a nation rich in historical values. However, there is a paradox that Vietnamese people cannot deny: history test scores in national exams are always low.

Existing with the title “Extra subject”, it is no wonder that many people think that memorizing this subject is enough. The obsession with “dry” learning at school partly causes History to lose its inherent interest.

Considered a testament to the nation’s heroic past, but similar to the fate of history subjects in schools, historical sites with great visual value are not popular attractions.

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Gen Z customers visit Hoa Lo Prison – photo:

As of 2020, Vietnam has more than 41,000 relics, of which historical and cultural relics account for more than 51%. However, tourism products associated with historical sites have not really attracted young people.

Objectively speaking, young people are not indifferent to the nation’s history. Typically, if we search on YouTube for the keyword phrase “Vietnamese History”, we can easily get results of many meticulously produced videos attracting millions of views and hundreds of comments.

For example, the channel “Torch” with the non-profit project “Vietnamese heroic history” has more than 455 thousand followers. Each video is a historical film about great people of Vietnam such as Ly Thuong Kiet, Nguyen Hue… or famous dynasties such as the Tran Dynasty, Ly Dynasty,… The historical film Binh Ngo Great War has been released. in theaters in 2021 and attracted more than 5 million views after 2 years of release.

It can be seen that young people are also very passionate about national history, perhaps the way we convey History in our modern times needs to change.

1.2 Brand context

Impressive with the words Maison centrale on the main gate, Hoa Lo prison relics are widely known to tourists as one of the most important national historical relics.

Originally a central prison built by the French colonialists to imprison prisoners of war during the anti-French period, over many decades, Hoa Lo prison today has become a museum preserving vivid stories about crimes. war and the indomitable spirit of Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers.

With the above significance and great role, since the first days of operation, the Hoa Lo Prison Relics Management Board has always wondered how to diversify ways of propagandizing, educating about history, and attracting visitors. It’s getting more and more crowded.

Some proposed options include:

  • Truly recreating the lives of prisoners of war with 9 themes displaying documents, items, and images of more than 1,600 Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers imprisoned here by the French colonialists.
  • Organize live talks with historical witnesses, along with many competitions to learn about relics on major holidays in the Capital and the whole country.

This effort has helped Hoa Lo Prison Relics become more and more known to domestic people and international friends.

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Hoa Lo Prison attracts visitors to check in at the gate – photo:

According to data provided by the Relics Management Board, the number of visitors in 2012 reached over 194 thousand, an increase of 60 thousand compared to 2010. However, 80% of them were foreigners.

Realizing this reality, relic managers are increasingly concerned about how to educate patriotic traditions in general and the historical value of relics in particular to a large number of people in the country, especially local people. young friend.

In the previous period, like many other traditional historical relics, the Hoa Lo Management Board also preferred long-form content, purely explanatory sentences to tell historical stories. history, or post updated images of visiting groups offering incense at the monument.

But as the process of economic and international integration becomes more and more rapid, along with the trend of developing tourism associated with historical relics, it has created motivation for the Management Board to redefine its main media audience. .

Hoa Lo Prison’s target customers  are Gen Z young people, a dynamic, creative generation interested in social, cultural, and artistic issues, instead of customers at all levels. age in general.

The media team of Hoa Lo Prison Relics boldly chose a completely new way of expression to reach their intended audience.

Starting with the Website channel, then Facebook, then Instagram and Podcast, Hoa Lo Prison Relics has brought a diverse “Menu” of content suitable for all “customers” passionate about history.

Especially during the time when the tourism industry was “sleeping” because of the pandemic,  Hoa Lo’s Social Media channels  were still “hot” with interesting content, with huge interactions showing the correctness of innovation from Monument Management Board.

2. Communication goals

Not wanting to stop being a historical and cultural relic of Vietnam that is only of interest to foreign tourists, or an old place for the older generation to visit when they want to reminisce about the nation’s heroic past; The media team of Hoa Lo Prison Relics also identifies its great role in the task of propagandizing and educating the younger generation about History.

Hoa Lo Prison Relics itself as well as many other relics on the S-shaped land all carry vivid stories about patriotism and national pride.

From the emotional vibrations before the preciousness and sacredness of Hoa Lo relics in particular and the nation’s history in general, Hoa Lo’s communications staff, with their enthusiasm, persistently pursued their goal. :  “Spread the love of history to the community, especially the love of national history to young people.”

3.  Customer insight

From the early days of its establishment, Hoa Lo Prison Relics has determined to serve the needs of all visitors of all ages, classes or countries. However, the younger generation is still the most interested customer group.

Especially in recent years, more and more young people have passionately devoted themselves to reviving historical values. The appearance of names like EZ Su, Su Talk, etc. shows your level of interest and seriousness in this field.

Realizing that reality, the Hoa Lo Prison Relics Management Board also wishes to contribute to the mission of arousing and nurturing the love of national history. Therefore, in the period of innovation, Hoa Lo Relics has chosen a creative and common communication direction to implement.

The dominance of the digital era has made Gen Z citizens easily exposed to the internet from a young age, familiar with social networks and smartphones. Based on 2018 research conducted by Mckinsey, Gen Z is known as the truth-seeking generation.

Therefore, it is understandable that instead of having a one-sided or passive approach to history, young people today will search and consult many sources of information at the same time. Among them, Google and social networks (Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram etc.) are the most popular channels.

Appreciating breakthroughs, novelties, and quickly catching trends on social networks, Gen Z has posed a not-so-easy access problem for the communications staff of Hoa Lo Prison Relics when refreshing the content. historical content.

Understanding the desires and needs of the young generation, the communications team of Hoa Lo Prison decided to convey traditional values ​​in the closest way, through modern channels to attract and attract Gen Z customer group.

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4. Implementation activities

Having clearly defined tasks according to the new development orientation, in the period 2017-2021, the Hoa Lo Prison Relics Management Board has focused on building an official electronic information page such as a website to provide information and introduction. Introduction to monuments.

In particular, starting from the idea of ​​”digitizing” calendar content to attract the younger generation, social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and many modern communication options such as Podcasts were chosen.

The communication team itself is trusted by the Hoa Lo Prison Relics Management Board and is also made up of young people who share a passion for history.

Specifically, how is this innovation in communication activities implemented? The correct answer will be analyzed in the following section.

4.1 Historical content but not dry

On all media channels, the main topic focused on is still stories about Hoa Lo Prison Relics, followed by the topic of the Vietnamese War in particular and Vietnamese history in general. It can be seen that there is no shortage of material to make historical content.

The content creation team of Hoa Lo Prison Relics themselves once shared that: Not infrequently, the group was surprised and admired the indomitable spirit and steadfast heart of imprisoned former political prisoners. at Hoa Lo Prison.

These inspirational stories have become a source for the Communications Department to create historical content that is not dry at all. With the Communications Department of Hoa Lo Prison Relics, history can completely become attractive media publications if we know how to bring them to life.

In order to balance traditional historical elements and “trendy” trends welcomed by young people, the Hoa Lo Prison Relics content creation team has deployed historical content in two main groups. Includes professional post group and interactive post group.

Professional content is a group of content containing professional information, based on in-depth research and collection of historical documents, about “real people, real things” proposed by a team of professional consultants. Based on this, the communications department will edit and select the appropriate communication form for the composition.

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The specialized content group provides knowledge and historical documents. (Source: FB Hoa Lo Prison Relics)

Interactive content is often a group of content created by the young creative team. Content trends that are suitable for integrating historical elements will be selected for use by the communications department. To avoid distorting or causing mixed reactions regarding historical content creation, interactive posts need to be carefully approved by the content moderation team before posting.

Besides, the Communications Department also does not ignore some unique new content collected from newspapers or social networking sites. If this historical content is verified and authenticated by the research department, the team will share it again with full source citations.

4.2 Diverse transmission methods

In the process of spreading knowledge and love for Hoa Lo Prison Relics in particular and national history in general, the difficulty of the media team is how to both communicate about history creatively and at the same time. does not lose its meaning, accuracy and practical value. To solve this problem, the communications team of Hoa Lo Prison Relics has used the website and social networks to convey extremely interesting historical content.

4.2.1 Website

Known as the oldest online media channel for Hoa Lo Prison Relics, the website of the same name was established in 2016, containing the most comprehensive content about the Relics. Including: Event information, thematic content displayed at the Monument, Historical documents and stories about many events, characters and artifacts associated with Hoa Lo Prison during the war.

With diverse content, the website is not only a useful information channel providing official knowledge about history in general or Hoa Lo Prison Relics in particular, but also provides basic information to help visitors. Visit and easily consult and search for suitable content such as opening times, how to buy tickets, historical tours, etc.

Although the official homepage of Hoa Lo Prison Relics is designed simply and purely to provide information to readers, the birth of this media channel is still an important milestone marking the first transformation. in the determination to digitize the content of the Monuments Management Board.

4.2.2 Hoa Lo Prison Relics Fanpage

The Hoa Lo Prison Relics Fanpage is considered the greatest success of the content team when for the first time there is a media channel about history that attracts so many young people’s interest.

Launched in 2017, now after 5 years of appearing, Hoa Lo Prison Relics Fanpage has more than 200 thousand followers. On the Fanpage, seemingly dry historical knowledge has been licensed and expressed in many forms such as text, images, and videos. Ingenuity has made historical messages much closer and more accessible to readers.

The diverse content plan on the fanpage is always updated weekly to closely follow the previously set communication orientation. To ensure content quality and authenticity, the creative team must always work closely with the research, collections and education departments. Thanks to this valuable historical source, the content creation team can cultivate more intellectual knowledge to inspire readers through interesting posts.

The topic “History” on the Hoa Lo Prison Relics Fanpage is conveyed in a variety of categories such as: #HistoTEA category provides little-known stories about many interesting historical events; #humanofhoalo series tells about individuals who were attached to Hoa Lo Prison in both peacetime and wartime. As for readers who are curious about the artifacts on display at Hoa Lo Prison Relics, the content team has created the series “Artifacts” to introduce them.

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Historical content but in a witty way in the column “HistoTEA”

In particular, the factor that makes this Fanpage successful that few historical relics units can do is the creative way of taking advantage of popular content and hot trends on social networks. to integrate history. Specifically, the funny meme content line that is close to young life has contributed significantly to making the Hoa Lo Prison Relics Fanpage viral and known to a large number of young people.

>> See more: The art of creating viral content – ​​do marketers know?

In a study from the Danish University of Technology published in 2019, the attention span of social media users is getting narrower. Therefore, to find a place on young people’s newsfeeds, instead of just focusing on words, the communications team of Hoa Lo Prison Relics also uses images to express ideas.

Many outstanding design styles such as scrapbooks, meme images or humorous images that are popular with the online community all make historical content more vivid. The proof is that the posts of Hoa Lo Prison Relics Fanpage receive thousands of interactions and hundreds of shares, not inferior to any major entertainment media channel today.

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Viral post during Tet 2023 (Source: Hoa Lo Prison Relics Fanpage)

In addition, emotional messages, natural emotions of visitors to Hoa Lo, peaceful and quiet scenery, or many activities and everyday moments at the Relic are also welcome. The media department updates regularly.

It can be seen that, thanks to their own love of history, the young team of the Hoa Lo Prison Relics media team has contributed to rekindling the joy and pride of young people with Vietnamese history. On the journey to find traditional values, the Prison Relics Fanpage has always been a close friend and trustworthy guide of the Gen Z generation.

4.2.3 Instagram

After Facebook, in 2022 the Hoa Lo Prison Management Board will continue to establish an official page on the Instagram platform – the most popular media channel among young people in the world today according to DCDX’s 2022 report.

Sticking to the direction of content that is both interesting and educational, the media team decided to rely on featured series on the Fanpage such as “Artifacts” #HOALOfact images, to convey stories surrounding Di Hoa Lo Prison through images. Not stopping there, with the desire to increase interaction with visitors, Hoa Lo also chooses to post Stories – short videos on Instagram with diverse content such as: Events / Special tour programs at the Monument, moments from the visitors themselves or Q&A answers about the service.

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Instagram is the next youth-oriented media channel developed by the Hoa Lo Prison Relics Management Board. (Source: Hoa Lo Instagram)

Depending on each major holiday of the Capital and the whole country, Hoa Lo’s Communications Department also conducts quizzes to provide more knowledge about the monument or pose questions to evaluate the satisfaction of visitors. . This creativity makes Hoa Lo from a seemingly solemn and ancient National Monument into a close and interesting destination for young people.

4.2.4 Podcast

Statista statistics have shown that by the end of 2022, the estimated number of podcast listeners in the world will account for more than 20% of the total number of Internet users. This shows the development potential of this digital content channel. Quickly grasping the content consumption trends of young people, in 2021, the Hoa Lo Prison Relics media team launched its own radio channel with the name “Time Travel”.

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The podcast “Time travel” of Hoa Lo Prison Relics has brought a completely new historical discovery experience.

Contrary to the humor and fun on the Facebook platform, the content exploited on the Podcast channel of Hoa Lo Prison Relics is aimed at quality and emotional products. The radio channel is like a train that takes the audience back to “time travel” to listen to humanistic historical stories about comrades, comrades, and love for the homeland.

With the desire for the community to experience more multi-sensory history, with love and seriousness, the Podcast of Hoa Lo Prison Relics has achieved several achievements such as Top 2 Spotify Vietnam Podcast rankings, Top 1 Apple Podcast Vietnam history category; Top 24 categories Apple Podcast Singapore History. Even though it is one of the latest media channels to be born, the Podcast channel of Hoa Lo Prison Relics still finds itself a solid foothold in the hearts of young people passionate about history.

5. Conclusion

From the success story of the Hoa Lo Prison Relics media team, we see the role and meaning of a systematic and unified content marketing strategy.

From the initial step of selecting target audiences, to strategizing and implementing content production, Hoa Lo Prison’s media channels are consistent with its core value of connecting lives. modernity of the youth and the heroic historical pages of the nation.

That’s why at every media touchpoint, whether it’s articles, images or podcasts, young people can receive the beauty of content rich in historical value and imbued with national pride. but close and real.

With uniquely designed publications, creating diverse content from providing historical information, to interesting entertainment content, and trendy communication methods, the Fanpage in particular and other communication channels of Di The Hoa Lo Prison site in general has shattered the prejudice “History is dry” in the minds of many young people.

All in all, it can be seen that Hoa Lo Prison is one of the few long-standing relics that dare to change and renew itself. It is these active activities to innovate traditions aimed at the younger generation that have helped Hoa Lo Prison Relics successfully attract a group of young domestic tourists.

In 2020, despite difficulties caused by the Covid epidemic and restrictions in the tourism industry, Hoa Lo still welcomed more than 108 thousand visitors, of which students accounted for 60%. These numbers prove that we can make history creatively.

The content creation team of Hoa Lo Prison Relics once shared: “We started this journey with love and enthusiasm rather than strategies and visions.” Perhaps for that reason, every content broadcast, no matter what format, touches the viewer’s heart and makes it vibrate.

The success of the Hoa Lo Prison Relics Communication Committee has become a source of inspiration for many other units that are also “struggling” to “create historical content”. Because if you know how to exploit and convey interestingly, historical stories will still attract love and interest from the young generation of Vietnam.