For several years, the Cave Spring Volunteer Fire Department (CSVFD) struggled to meet the bare minimum volunteer numbers to function as a sanctioned fire station. With just enough staff to operate two trucks at one time, the department was spread thin. In fact, they faced the threat of a restructuring edict that would eliminate all volunteer positions. The impact on the community would be substantial.
Without the CSVFD, an increase in county spending would be necessary to hire full time firefighters. Even at that, other departments would have to respond to fill in the shortage. As a result, roughly 45,000 homes and businesses would see an increase in wait times by an average of eight minutes. As a last ditch effort to avoid these issues, the department was given state funding to use on a recruitment campaign. That’s where B2C Enterprises came in.
To create the most effective recruitment campaign for the CSVFD, B2C Enterprises began by conducting multiple meetings with the department’s current top-ranked volunteers. B2C also compiled community statistics and assessed the culture of the department to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
Armed with this information and a strong campaign theme, (“What Are You Doing Tonight?”) a recruitment goal of between ten and fifteen new volunteers was established. B2C’s objective was to bring to light the urgency of the CSVFD’s volunteer shortage. With training sessions scheduled for September, B2C set a hard recruitment deadline of August 1, 2016.
Utilizing a total communications budget of $13,000, the B2C team created, produced, and implemented the following tactics across multiple platforms.
In just a little over two months, CSVFD’s recruitment campaign garnered outstanding results. It effectively increased market awareness of CSVFD. It effectively created a sense of what it takes to become a volunteer firefighter and focused on the personal benefits of serving on the CSVFD.
Many of the indirect benefits are yet to be identified. More important, the CSVFD recruitment campaign translated into fifteen brand new – ready to be trained – volunteers for The Case Spring Volunteer Fire Department. The department’s goal was achieved – and then some.