Our company had the exciting opportunity to work with the San Francisco Fire Department earlier this year. It was a funny process of getting the work too.
We were eating lunch at a local bay view restaurant, and had brought our DJI Inspire with us to collect shots of boats at the docks. While flying the drone, and watching it get attacked by seagulls, a woman approached us and said, “I’m from the fire department.”
Immediately we froze. The legality of drones is temperamental and you’re never sure who might be upset by their presence. If someone was going to step up and say something, it would be a civic service like the fire department.
“Oh, hello!” We cooly responded.
“We need aerial shots of the city for our YouTube channel.”
A wave of relief washed over us, discovering that we were safe and in fact this was a great ice breaker. After some discussion, I exchanged business cards with her and followed up via email.
The fire department was facing an interesting problem in their marketing and public outreach. They had a lot of online support and certainly a great deal of discussion and public awareness, but their limited resources and time prevented them from diving into intense social media. They needed to show people clearly what they do, and why they are a critical part of any metropolitan area.
To kick off what we hope will be a long video campaign for their social channels, we produced a short promotional video which features real firefighters working from Station 1 in San Francisco’s SOMA. We were given exclusive access to their brand new Truck Five, and even recorded a voice over with their Chief.
Thanks to their already hungry social audience, the video broke 50 thousand views on Facebook alone in only a couple days.
This is an excellent example of how social media isn’t a platform to find an audience for content, but instead a place to deliver content to your audience. Our video certainly didn’t bring those people to the San Francisco Firefighters, they already had their attention. Now the doors are wide open to continue creating media and uploading it for their community.
Additionally, with the increased attention to live streaming, the audience a live stream could generate on Facebook now leaves the SFFD in a good place.
We really look forward to the next video project we can work on with them.