CASE STUDY: Social media training & workshops for crisis communications.
Parks Victoria is a statutory authority, reporting to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, and responsible for managing an expanding estate covering more than 4 million hectares, or about 17 per cent, of Victoria. Parks Victoria is committed to ensuring the future of Victoria’s park network are protected, healthy and resilient for current and future generations.
Flood, bushfire, waste and safety management are strategic priorities for Parks Victoria. Communication is essential to the effective management of Victoria’s parkland and the thousands of people who head out bush every weekend. This is particularly true leading into and during bushfire and flood seasons. Social media has emerged as a very important channel during emergencies. It is also a great platform through which to educate and inform, generate a sense of pride in caring for natural assets or seeking input on policy change. Parks Victoria recognised the need for its entire communications team to have the training and knowledge to monitor and use social media effectively.
Ellis Jones was selected to conduct social media training and facilitate a workshop with Parks Victoria staff. We began with research to find out levels of knowledge and confidence using social media. The survey was designed to help consultants provide a tailor-made and relevant social media masterclass to Parks Victoria staff, with the assumption that participants will have a range of skills and perceptions. A training outline was then developed and materials created before a full day social media training workshop at Parks Victoria head office. Four different consultants presented on:
- The global, local and government context for social media use
- Integration of social media with other communication disciplines
- Technical aspects of each major platform: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook
- Voice, narrative and branding online
- Creation and programming of content for different channels
- Using social media to communicate in an emergency
The successful social media training program achieved a number of outcomes:
- Intra-team discourse on the type of social media activity being undertaken, the types of content used, and the purpose of communication
- Identification of competencies and areas for professional development
- Knowledge sharing by Ellis Jones consultants
- Understanding the importance of narrative in online communications
- Content strategy for efficiency and impact
- Integration of social media activity with other communications functions to achieve business goals.
- Greater confidence among team members in executing tasks and fulfilling roles
Ellis Jones also developed a document with clear actions for using the insights gained during the workshop.