In order to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we sought to find a new way to remember the terrible tragedy of September 11th — one that acknowledges the immense, collective grief but also celebrates the lives of those lost. No individual, publications, or platform meets this objective better than New York City’s very own 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Through an exclusive interview with Jan Ramirez, Chief Curator and EVP of Collections, we sought, through our commemorative Instagram story, to share with our audience the intentional “how” the museum keeps these tragic memories and stories alive in the present day.
Our strategy to meet these objectives can be summarized as follows: (1) We took a new perspective in order to commemorate 9/11. Instead of focusing on the “who, what, when, where and why” of remembering, we leaned into the “how.” (2) We called upon a subject matter expert and let her language direct the focus, pace, and direction of the story. We started off with a profound quote from Ramirez that established her reliability and expertise. We then let the story unfold through her own words as our reporters walked through the traditional progression of the museum — recontextualizing the space through the unique viewpoint of the curator. (3) We mixed media to give viewers both a first person perspective as well as a birds eye view into the museum. Alternating between iPhone and drone footage, we aimed to place our followers in the museum themselves but also ensure they received a comprehensive look at its full range of exhibits and memorials.
In total, the Instagram story attracted 95,841 impressions with each frame averaging 10,649 impressions. The story also recorded a 96% completion rate, indicating that this information proved both timely and interesting to our audience — despite the subject matter existing outside of their typical points, aviation, and travel interests. Where applicable, the story linked to the TPG article "Memories, history and people: Remembering 9/11 through the National Memorial and Museum," which garnered 2,112 pageviews, 34.3% of which came from social media, namely this Instagram story. Even though these numbers are quantitatively lower across social and site than TPG’s usual bread and butter, high numbers were never the intention of the piece to begin with. With this coverage, we stepped outside of our audience’s comfort zone a bit to remind our readers and followers that JFK is TPG’s home airport and most of its reporters are New Yorkers, humanizing our brand to the masses. We set out to tell the story of the introspective intentionality involved in how we as a society remember 9/11. And recording respectable numbers despite such TPG-atypical content proves that, in the end, we accomplished just that.
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