In December 2021, the Saratoga County Office of Emergency Management tasked Baker Public Relations with designing an expansive recruitment campaign for volunteer firefighters at more than 30 fire departments across the county. Volunteer staffing at some of the departments is critically low, placing strain on surrounding departments on mutual aid calls, and further testing the balance of public safety. The average age of volunteer firefighters is also increasing while their physical abilities subsequently decrease over time.
In one month, Baker Public Relations designed a comprehensive recruitment messaging plan from the ground up, beginning with and building from a new brand slogan: “Roll With Us.” Baker Public Relations created and revised the design and logos for the campaign and presented a 9-month proposal to increase engagement from younger target audiences on social media.
The strategic plan’s public implementation launched on May 4, 2022, with a major media kickoff event and demonstration on International Firefighters Day. Subsequently, a three-account social media plan was launched including Instagram Reels and TikTok videos, “featured station” weeks and user engagement. Baker Public Relations strategically used the manpower of over 30 volunteer fire departments to generate raw video and photo content, which Baker Public Relations received and edited into brand-consistent designs that were posted to the campaign accounts.
Various other messaging efforts were launched, including customized 4’x7’ banners to hang at fire stations across the county, and pull-tab flyers with QR code posted at target businesses including gas stations, raceways, auto shops, movie theatres and more throughout the county.
The public embrace of the campaign has been significant, with the county’s volunteer firefighter recruitment information webpage receiving more than 30 signups within just the first three months. Roll With Us accounts on Instagram and TikTok have reached more than 10,000 engagements, with the majority hitting the target demographic: 71% young men, 66% ages 13-34, and the top four engaged communities reached all falling within Saratoga County.
Based on this success, and on the quality of the campaign brand and message, Saratoga County has expressed plans to explore pursuing a continued relationship with Baker Public Relations in the next calendar year.