Facebook Live and Periscope has become a significant tool in the armoury. Here a fire and rescue service talk about how they used it to allow firefighters to explain what their job was about to potential recruits.

 by Abdul Aziz

Here at Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) we finally launched into the world of social media live streaming with our very first Facebook Live and Periscope event. Some may say we’re a little late to the party but I’d like to look at it as well timed.

The aim of the inaugural broadcast was to promote our ‘On-call Recruitment’ campaign through a question and answer session with experienced and recently recruited firefighters and a member of our HR team.

The plan was to keep it informal and casual so people can relate to our guys and see it as a chat amongst friends where they’d be comfortable to ask questions.

As this was our very first broadcast, it would’ve been foolish to say that we weren’t expecting some hiccups, because nothing ever runs smoothly first time does it….

Overall, the broadcast went very well. However, as mentioned, we did come across some ‘technical issues’, which we will learn from for next time, some of which other people will already know, such as:

·         Finding out that Facebook Live doesn’t work very well with android screen orientation, so you have to shoot in portrait, or adjust the phones rotation settings before going live. I can sense the smirks from all Apple users at this point because apparently they have no issues….

·         Having a big whiteboard or a flip chart will be handy! If you need to get a message to your panel it’s the best way to do so. Don’t write on a little piece of paper and hope they can read it without their glasses.

·         Making sure the Wi-Fi signal is strong, sounds simple enough but I’m sure we’re all aware of the ups and downs of IT.

We had planned to keep the broadcast relatively short but time seemed to fly by and questions kept pouring in, so the session ended up lasting 40 minutes and during that time the figures for those who joined the broadcast on Facebook alone was really encouraging:

• 423 views (live viewers 339) – Periscope

• 2,933 unique viewers (highest audience were men and women aged between 25 and 44 years) – Facebook

• Audience reach was 9,619 – Facebook

• 359 post engagements (likes, comments, shares) – Facebook

And it’s still growing to date.

All said and done, we were very happy with the results and how it all went on the night. Our panel had a great time and we got really good feedback, not only from our viewers but also from staff members within our service, which is always a bonus. But ultimately met our objective!

We will definitely be carrying out more live streams in the future and can see it playing a regular and big part in a number of our Comms plans.

Abdul Aziz is marketing officer at Kent Fire & Rescue Service.

Original source – comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people – comms2point0

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