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Wildfire Prevention

Background and Objectives:
The most robust and successful social media efforts for Smokey Bear began in July 2009, in the months leading up to his 65th birthday. Goals of the programs included further communicating Smokey Bear's longstanding message of wildfire prevention and engaging Smokey's key target audience, young adults, in supporting Smokey on social media channels. With young adults as the campaign's key target audience, social media was an ideal way to encourage them to "Get Your Smokey On."

PR and Social Media Strategy:

  • Launch timing preceding July 4th holiday
  • Blog/online news outreach
  • Facebook, Twitter and YouTube strategies and engagement
  • Development of new digital assets, including a Smokey Bear birthday e-card, Wildfire Awareness and "How well do you know Smokey Bear?" widgets, a "Choose your favorite Smokey Bear PSA" application, online games and puzzles
  • Online birthday photo contest on Flickr
Results:
Smokey Bear's Facebook page is one of the most engaged Ad Council communities on Facebook. With more than 39,000 "likes" (and growing), Smokey's community responds enthusiastically to his posts, at times with several hundred comments and "likes." Nearly 500 photos have been submitted and posted on the page (everything from Smokey snowmen to carved pumpkins and tattoos) and outreach to influencers has also helped grow the community. Smokey's 65th birthday resulted in more than 40 posts on outdoor/environmental, entertainment and consumer blogs. Social media has provided a wonderful opportunity to engage Smokey Bear fans throughout the country and also develop a new community of online ambassadors who are enthusiastically communicating his messages about our critical role in wildfire prevention.

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