Engagement and cooperation
6.5 COVID-19 increased communication needs and moved activities online in 2020
In 2020, the Bank of Finland moved its communication activities, such as press events and meetings with stakeholders and citizens, online. The pandemic highlighted the vital role of social media in the provision of information. The project to promote financial literacy, launched in early 2020, progressed well despite the exceptional circumstances and resulted in a proposal for a national financial literacy strategy.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 had a major impact on the Bank of Finland’s communication activities.
The safety and wellbeing of staff and the continuity of operations during disruptions and exceptional circumstances are of prime importance to the Bank. In securing these, communication played a key role. Information on our measures relating to the pandemic was provided in, for example, extraordinary press events and publications.
In our internal communications, we utilised channels such as the Bank of Finland and Financial Supervisory Authority’s joint intranet, email and text messages. The Bank of Finland Board and a specially assigned crisis coordination group regularly organised information sessions for staff.
A staff survey conducted in the summer revealed that the Bank of Finland’s internal communications during the COVID-19 crisis had been perceived as open and adequate.
Public events and seminars cancelled or held online – special focus on impacts of the pandemic
The Bank of Finland has actively monitored and analysed the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis from the outset. We have regularly communicated our findings in the form of events, interviews, speeches and various online publications.
In 2020, the Bank was particularly active in providing information on national and Eurosystem policy measures relating to COVID-19.
A new section was launched on the Bank of Finland website (Finnish), giving easy access to publications dealing with the pandemic, such as press releases, speeches, news and blog posts.
The number of visitors on the Bank of Finland’s main websites – suomenpankki.fi and eurojatalous.fi – tripled during the year.
We published six online issues of the journal Euro & talous in 2020 in connection with their dedicated press events. Besides the pre-planned issues, we also published issues focusing on COVID-19 measures and market operations.
Our staff members were also active bloggers. In 2020, a total of 68 blog posts were published on the Bank’s website eurojatalous.fi.
Online events made it possible for anyone to follow our topical issues regardless of time and location. National media supported our communication by participating interactively in information events organised by the Bank. In 2020, some events were also broadcast with sign language interpretation.
The Bank of Finland listens and discusses
In January 2020, the ECB launched a review of its strategy. The aim is to ensure that the ECB’s monetary policy strategy is fit for purpose, both today and in the future.
As part of the strategy review, euro area central banks organised listening events to hear opinions from civil society organisations and central banks’ other stakeholders.
The Bank of Finland organised three listening events (Finnish) at the Bank of Finland Museum in autumn 2020. Everyone could participate in them by following the events live or watching the recordings later. The live broadcasts attracted almost 900 viewers.
Review of the Bank of Finland’s social media strategy
The Bank of Finland wants to be an active content creator and conversationalist on social media. Our main purpose on social media is to share information and be present.
The Bank of Finland is present on a variety of social media platforms. In the course of 2020, we sent over 800 tweets on our main social media channel, Twitter.
In addition, the Bank of Finland’s robot economist, which nowcasts Finnish GDP growth, sent almost a hundred tweets relating to its forecasts.
The Bank of Finland reviewed our social media strategy in 2020. Most importantly, new up-to-date objectives were drawn up for each of the Bank’s social media platforms. Going forward, we intend to be more active in creating content targeted at specific audiences.
We also revised our employer image. This is reflected on our website and social media platforms in the form of an updated employer profile and career stories, for example.
Bank of Finland staff members are also encouraged to communicate and be visible in their professional role on social media. For example, a third of the Bank’s staff are already using Twitter in this capacity.
We drew up Finland's first national financial literacy strategy.
Finland’s first financial literacy strategy
In 2020, the Bank of Finland initiated the coordination of activities related to the promotion of financial literacy in Finland.
At the same time, we began to prepare a national strategy for financial literacy. This was agreed in January 2020 by the Bank of Finland, the Ministry of Justice and other key authorities.
Despite the exceptional circumstances, the financial literacy project progressed as planned. Project work was carried out on the basis of researched data and in cooperation with a wide range of actors.
Information on the progress of the project was communicated openly and regularly, including through blog posts, online events and social media.
A proposal for Finland’s first national strategy for financial literacy was drawn up at the end of 2020. Work to implement the strategy will continue in 2021.
Bank of Finland Museum
Guided tours at the Bank of Finland Museum were cancelled in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic led to the Museum being closed for six months. Public events in the spring were cancelled completely, and from the end of summer onwards the Museum held events online.
The autumn programme period began with a hybrid event featuring the official publication of Antti Heinonen’s book on banknotes – already the fifth of its kind.
Otherwise, the themes of the Museum’s autumn programme were closely related to the pandemic and its effects.
The Bank of Finland Museum was reopened to the public in September, but had to be closed again in December, as the COVID-19 situation deteriorated. Nevertheless, the public have readily found their way to the Museum’s online events.