The website of the city of Kuopio was renewed in the spring of 2023, when the visual appearance of the website was updated to match the city’s colorful brand and changes were made to the structure to improve citizens’ access to information. Kuopio is an international city, almost 5 % of its inhabitants speak some other language than Finnish as their mother tongue. In order to also serve the international user group, an English version of the website has now been published at www.kuopio.fi/en.
The Russian version of the site is currently in production, some of the content is already online at www.kuopio.fi/ru. Among the foreign language speakers living in Kuopio, the largest language group is Russian speakers. A large number of Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Kuopio in recent years due to the war of aggression by Russia, and information about services in Russian on the website helps a large number of them, too.
“The English-language site corresponds to the Finnish language equivalent for almost the entire scope of the site. The Russian version is a little more limited. With these two language versions, we serve the majority of foreign language speakers living in Kuopio”, sums up communications specialist Ville Titoff.
Social media is used for information about events and sharing feelings
In social media, the city of Kuopio has had a Facebook page “Kuopio International” for several years, where various leisure time tips, events and informational matters about Kuopio are published in English. In September 2023, a new @kuopiointernational Instagram account was also established due to the increasing popularity of the channel.
“Our international Facebook account is followed by some of the foreign-speaking people in Kuopio. In the future, however, we will try to better reach especially younger people, such as international students, so that they become more attached to the city. Through our social media channels, our international people also get information about, for example, guidance and counseling for immigrants, language courses and events in the area,” says communications specialist Henna Lindroos.
The city of Kuopio also uses its social media channels in possible crisis situations, in which case it is important that different language groups are also reached through them. However, Lindroos emphasizes that the main purpose of social media channels is, in addition to conveying information, to create an atmosphere and sense of community among city residents.
“Through social media, people usually look for a good feeling, beautiful landscape photos, a sense of togetherness and information about upcoming events. Of course, we hope that through our channels we would also reach those who are just dreaming of moving to Kuopio. Our social media channels are a virtual window to Kuopio.”