Churchill award winning firefighter Bronnie Mackintosh was on the hunt for a social media consultant. As a NSW Fire and Rescue Training Officer and member of over a decade’s experience, Bronnie had won the Churchill Memorial Trust to further her research into improving diversity and particularly female participation in firefighting services. Working with digital products and social media to promote her good work was not a natural thing for Bronnie. But she wanted to involve people in her upcoming tour in a friendly way while also facilitating collection of her research along the way.
Unashamedly Creative was asked to work as marketing advisor and social media consultant for the Girls on Fire Tour. And to help support on the ground situations as they arose.
As a social media consultant, Unashamedly Creative’s aim was to:
- Provide the Girls on Fire Tour with a low barrier, easy to use and effective digital collection platform for Bronnie’s interviews, thoughts and research
- Take Bronnie from collecting her good work and travels from paper and notebooks to safe yet easily accessible digital means
- Help Bronnie with starting the process of collecting her data
- Create a centralised, public facing platform that could be accessed by people anywhere
- Ensure a disaster plan and contingencies were available to Bronnie for the life of the Girls on Fire tour
- Edit and produce content based on the Girls on Fire tour research notes that was approachable and positive
- Incorporate several audiences into Bronnie’s travels including those in firefighting and frontline rescue workers, key stakeholders within the Fire and Rescue organisation, the fire houses Bronnie visited (including those who have English as a second language), parties interested in female participation and diversity in a wide variety of sectors, the GLTQI community, women and male feminists, Bronnie’s friends and family
The first step of the process was to realise the constraints of the project at hand. Bronnie was 1 day away from flying out to her first research destination. Up until this point, Bronnie had only collected her travels in scrapbooks and memorabilia. Without a website already in existence, social media was chosen as the right platform. Through conversations via Skype, Unashamedly Creative identified that Facebook would be the most appropriate low barrier to entry social media platform.
This in itself was not without its challenges. Bronnie had little to no understanding of running a Facebook fan page and no experience of Facebook Live.
As social media consultant, Unashamedly Creative followed this process:
- Identifying a Facebook fan page and use of Facebook Live as the most appropriate centralised point for Bronnie’s activities
- Training Bronnie on using the fan page on a basic level
- Instructing Bronnie on the download and installation of Facebook video and Facebook Live as well as rudimentary camera and sound techniques
- Writing the bios and building the presentation for the Facebook page
- Transferring a disused feminism geared Twitter account to Girls on Fire as a secondary point of information sharing to widen distribution and supplying training on Twitter usage
- Developing a key target list with the client to grow the audience quickly via social media and email outreach
- Creating a content strategy that included Australian content on the fire services as well as research on each specific country of the tour inclusive of teen fire camps
- Incorporating the importance of male champions and diversity supporters as a voice within the campaign
- Including relevant news articles about female participation, fire fighting, feminism, workplace opportunities for women, male championship of female participation and localised news articles
- Editing written pieces and fleshing out bullet point research observations supplied by the client
- Listening to the video content and pulling salient points from it for the creation of Facebook Notes for public consumption and as a support to the research
- Developing a robust disaster plan against backlash, trolling, objections, culturally insensitive comments as well as a framework designed to keep the content and community as positive as possible
- Supporting the length of the Girls on Fire tour under retainer as both social media consultant and as someone who created and managed content
The Girls on Fire tour page exceeded all expectations. At the height of the tour, it was enjoying visibility of 40K eyeballs across the Facebook landscape via sharing and a core audience of over 1K per post. Relationships and the localised tactics paid off with fire services all around the globe sharing the information on their fan pages and tuning in to comment.
Bronnie was also able to collect interviews in an easy to use and share format that supported her research. The usage of the Facebook page and the analytics were also used to further prove her results and the interest in the community in firefighting, female participation and in aiding in recruitment.
At the end of 2016, NSW Fire and Rescue hit 50-50 gender recruitment levels for the first time.
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