Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Total Croatia TCTI Viber Community Wins 3 Medals at Polaris Awards in London

June 1, 2021 - Having already won the 2021 HUOJ International Grand PRix for crisis management, more recognition for Manjgura and Mediacor and the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community with no less than 3 medals at the 2021 Polaris Awards in London last night. 

Just over a year after its founding, the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community (TCTI) achieved more recogntion at the Polaris Awards 2021 in London, a gala event which was held virtually this year.

TCTI was a project by leading Croatian PR company, Manjgura, Mediacor and Total Croatia News, to create a Viber community to provide much-needed travel information in real time in multiple languages to tourists wanting to come on holiday. With almost no official information available in May, 2020, TCTI became the main source of reliable information for tourists wanting to visit. A large part of the success of the community was thanks to outstanding cooperation with the Croatian Border Police, in particular Marina Mandic, head of PR for the Ministry of the Interior.

In addition to helping tourists and helping to facilitiate two weddings, TCTI was also responsible for assisting ABC News on a week-long trip of Dubrovnik. The ensuing coverage to the important US market comprised 6 feature stories, including the one above on Good Morning America which was watched by 12.5 million people. 

The awards were in the following categories:


Silver medal in the category of Creative Use of Data.


Silver Medal in the Social Media Campaign category.


Bronze medal in the Pubic Affairs Campaigns category.

Manjgura founder, Kresimir Macan, had this to say:

"They usually ask me why we did it at all with no budget, and what kept us going. We became the virtual welcome desk of Croatia. The main rule of hospitalty is to never turn away a potential guest. And the questions just kept coming. One very important thing everybody forgets - pos- Covid travels were very complex and usually the main challenges were at the first steps  of the journey while still at home, or attempting to board the plane. I’m so proud to say that all of our community members and many others successfully boarded their planes in spite of all the challenges, and they landed and entereed Croatia without problems."

And it was nice to see some other familiar faces among the winners...

PR agency Vajt from Split, owned by Jerko Trogrlic, and Dutch entrepreneur, came home with a bronze medal in the category of Social Media Campaign for their sterling work on the introdcution of the digital nomad permit to Croatia. 


About Polaris:

Polaris Awards is a global competition rewarding exceptional work in political management, election campaigning and public affairs.Now in its 4th year, the competition seeks to identify and celebrate the best political communication programs undertaken for political organizations and candidates, as well as the most innovative use of communication techniques and technologies by campaigns, political consulting and technology firms, and marketing, media and public relations agencies around the world.

Entries are judged by an international panel of 26 political management experts from all over the globe, including campaign managers, political consultants, communications professionals and academics. Awards are handed out in 18 categories based on the techniques and the media used.

You can see more of the winners on the Polaris Awards Facebook page, as well as Manjgura and Mediacor

The TCTI Viber community is still very active, and you can join here (you will need to download the Viber app)

Friday, 23 April 2021

TCTI Viber Community, Manjgura, Mediacor Wins 2021 Crisis Management PR Grand Prix

April 23, 2021 - The Total Croatia Travel INFO (TCTI) Viber community, in partnership with Manjgura and Mediacor, has won the 2021 HUOJ International Grand PRix Award for Crisis Communication.

It was a project with no money, an unbelievable amount of work, and no official recognition, interest or thanks. 

Blood, sweat and tears, with a total investment of just 2,000 kuna (US$320) that generated more than 10 million euro of tourism spend for the Croatian economy in 2020. 

And that is without counting the free PR for Croatia, including a visit organised for ABC News, which led to 6 features on Dubrovnik, including one by Good Morning America - watched by 12.5 million people. 

It was one of the biggest and more significant learning experiences of my digital life, and a key factor in my thinking to create my own national tourism portal in 10 languages that launches in Dubrovnik on May 1 (you can get a sneak preview here). 

I have already written the story of how the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community came to be, after Manjgura and Mediacor were shortlisted as one of three finalists for the presitigious PR award in the category of Crisis Management. You can read the whole story here

The postscript to that article is that last night, the winners were announced, and TCTI won the category for the best project in the category of crisis communication, beating the official Koronavirus.hr project (with a price tag of 1.1 million kuna). 

Although the award is associated with TCN, it actually goes to the partners with whom I worked, Croatia's oldest and (in my opinion anyway) best PR agency, Manjgura, and Mediacor. You can check out Manjgura services here, and Mediacor here

The project was conceived by Manjgura founder, Kreso Macan, who had the vision to see the need, and the determination and drive to pull off the project. It was a masterclass of how to achieve the goal. 

Macan brought others into the team to expand the functions, and Aleksandra Djermanovic from Mediacor and chatbot queen Jelena Sipusic Jurcic from 4app.hr were beyond magnificent. 

A huge thank you to Marina Mandic and the team from the Croatian Border Police. Their efforts to assist were truly outstanding, and I have never seen a public institution which works as effectively as MUP. 

Massive thanks to the Manjgura and TCN interns, the legendica that is Iva Tatic, and also special thanks to Ivica Mrkoci from MUP, who is volunteering his time to answer questions - superb effort, and we are very grateful. 

And a big thanks too to all members of the community, whose feedback and participation allowed us to provide the very best information to people at a time when there really was none.

You can join the TCTI Viber community here (you will need to download the Viber app)