WoF Communications praised for role played in taking WFC to a global platform through social media

2 October, 2015


WoF Communications praised for role played in taking WFC to a global platform through social media

2 Oct,2015Training

Ten staff members from the Communications, Marketing and Fire Awareness Department including Henry Nene from HAT received high praise and recognition for having contributed to the huge success of communicating the activities and events of the recent World Forestry Congress to a global audience

They were part of the WFC Social Media Project and they also attended a three day Social Media Bootcamp. The WFC Social Media Project and Bootcamp was led by world renowned social media expert Peter Casier.

The #Forests2015 Social Media Project


  • Awareness: Raise awareness before, during and after the conference of the #Forests2015 topics, discussions and outcomes, and document the conference on social media channels.
  • Inclusion: Allow stakeholders who are not physically present at #Forests2015 to participate virtually in the event and discussions.
The #Forests2015 Social Media Team

The Forests2015 social media team consisted of 313 people, mixing youth, online volunteers, professional communicators and boot camp participants. The participants were very active in the online discussions (there were 570 online postings in the discussion group) and online outreach.

We had several mini-projects to instill the group dynamic, augment people’s skills and involve onsite and remote members into the actual project.

Positive report on WoF Communications

At the conclusion of the WFC Peter praised WoF for having contributed significantly to the success of the Social Media Project and he also stated that he has no doubt that a well thoughtout social media outreach will be very successful and contribute to the overall visibility of the WoF Programme.

“At the start of the Social Media Bootcamp (SMB) the WoF Team all stuck together at one table, as they came in, but I dispersed them, so they could more easily integrate with the others. Which they did. Linton clearly led the group, and was a good support to the other staff in this phase (and later). By Day 2, the WoF participants started to actively engage.

They were almost “leading” the pack: VERY lively, active, inquisitive, engaged, competitive, eager to learn. They also became more confident of their own abilities (as many are not experienced social media users). Even at that point, some thought of “sticking to their guns”, and only use some of the social media tools they were familiar with. But they agreed “to take the risk”, and try it out, which proved very successful later on”.

“During the Congress itself they were a central part of the larger group’s dynamic. They were very active and enthusiastic, and bonded with many other people in our team. For as far as I could see, all of them became active on Twitter and wrote at least one blog post. Virtually all of them came to me to discuss their blogpost and tweets, and were eager to learn more, and get more experienced during the conference”.

“Christalene De Kella wrote the best social reporting blogpost from the whole conference (not only from our group, but amongst all the blogposts I received). The WoF staff not only fully engaged in the #Forests2015 social reporters’ team, but were crucial to its success.

Their positive “can-do” mentality and approach also made the others even more enthusiastic and engaged”.

Key figures:
  • The Forests2015 Social Media Team consisted of 313 people.
  • The social media boot camp had 54 participants.
  • The Forests2015 blog had 117,054 page views, read by 39,376 different people;
  • We published 294 blogposts, which received 8,401 comments.
  • 4,137 people from 40 countries viewed the webcast.
  • 31,779 #Forests2015 tweets were sent by 8,666 different contributors, delivered to 32 million different Twitter users.



Related Articles

Introduction: Dr Piet-Louis Grunlingh

Introduction: Dr Piet-Louis Grunlingh

Dr Piet-Louis has a PhD in Natural science (Geography: Wetland Hydrology) with 29 years' experience in wetland research, rehabilitation, protection, training and wise use. He has managed the implementation of projects within the Working for Wetlands Programme, as part...

Female Drivers appointed in WOF Mpumalanga

Female Drivers appointed in WOF Mpumalanga

Working on Fire employees, Primrose Tsotetsi and Hlobisile Madida recently got their blue cards and are now drivers in Mpumalanga. With October being Transport Month, Working on Fire shines a spotlight on the Transport Department, which plays a significant role within...



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.