Croatia is a wonderful country. Unfortunately it is ravaged with bad government decisions, corruption, and bureaucracy, which lead people to general disappointment and a search for alternatives.

Statistics show that every six minutes, one Croat leaves his or her homeland in the pursuit of a better life. All Croatian counties except one have recorded a decline in the number of inhabitants. Experts say the demographic crisis in Croatia is a significant and long-term economic and national problem that makes smaller towns simply disappear from the map.

If this emigration trend continues, Croatia could soon become a no man’s land.

As the most powerful media outlet in Croatia, 24sata makes no compromise in a fight for the rights of the ordinary people and their everyday problems. Whether it’s government’s absurd decisions or little injustices, the interests and problems of our readers become our own.

In June 2018, the president of Croatia presented a proposal of demographic measures based on the conviction that Croats leave their country only for a better standard. This was a trigger to start a national campaign with a goal of alerting the public how serious the emigration problem is, but also to illuminate all motives, reasons, and causes of the mass exile of Croats to foreign countries.

The campaign started with a survey among our readers about emigration and the answers served as a base to explain why people are massively leaving the country. We compared the data with that collected by the Central Bureau of Statistic, and the results were displayed in an interactive infographic on a microsite dedicated to the emigration problem and in our newsletter. It showed 70% of Croats consider leaving, not only because of low living standard, but because of corruption and lack of confidence in the country’s development.

So what is the government doing to stop the emigration? The Croatian government is active on Twitter, so we decided to spam their feed every six minutes with a simple question: “Another person left Croatia. Have you done anything today to stop the emigration?” to remind them of a fact that every six minutes Croatia loses one person due to emigration.

Attention-getting art drove home the reality of how many Croatians are leaving their homeland in search of better opportunity.
Attention-getting art drove home the reality of how many Croatians are leaving their homeland in search of better opportunity.

Provocative messages were used as a part of online communication to attract people’s attention and further raise awareness about the emigration problem. We interviewed people who left Croatia to find out their reasons for leaving and to get a real insight into life abroad.

Instagram was used for a unique quiz and storytelling experience. Following a series of Instagram profiles, which changed depending on their answer, people could find out to which foreign country should they emigrate. Whichever was the quiz result, we encouraged them to stay and help us rebuild better Croatia.

Overall the campaign generated a huge buzz:

  • The message has reached every other citizen.
  • Every 45th Internet user in Croatia has completed the survey.
  • 2,200,000 content views.
  • 247 tweets per day.
  • More than 17,000 comments encouraged a discussion.

We raised awareness about an important national problem, as our fight for the rights of ordinary people continues.