YOW Social Media Campaign #NameOurDog

Social Media Campaigns

In our ongoing efforts to strengthen airport security, the Ottawa International Airport Authority formed a Canine Unit in 2011. When a new canine recruit was added to the team in 2014, the Authority decided to run a social media contest to name the new dog. The contest was launched on April 24th on Twitter (@FlyYOW) with the hashtag #NameOurDog and on the airport’s Facebook page (facebook.com/flyyow). The rules were simple: the name needed to be male, 1-2 syllables long, and should not end in the sound “o.” Entries were limited to one per person, and suggestions were to be emailed to social.media@yow.ca (although many people submitted their entries directly on social media). The contest closed on April 30th. Over the week-long contest, we received over 1200 entries. A panel of judges comprised of representatives from the Communications Department and the Canine Unit met and, after much debate, selected the winning name: Jet. This suggestion was submitted by several people, so we did a draw and a winner was announced. The winner was given the opportunity to meet Jet and his handler, was treated to dinner at the airport, and received a gift package, which included a stuffed dog and other airport-branded items.

Entry Statement

1. Project Goals: 

The main goal behind this social media campaign was obviously to find a name for the new canine recruit. Instead of choosing a name ourselves, we decided to leverage the opportunity to fulfill the following objectives:
• To raise awareness about our Canine Unit. In addition to the investigative work that the Canine Unit does, they also complete regular patrols throughout the airport property. Their presence acts as a deterrent, and helps to strengthen airport security.
• To engage our social media following. Social media has become a key method of communicating with our passengers and the community. The more engaged our social media following is, the better we can get our messaging out.

2. Production: 

This social media campaign was run exclusively in-house by our Communications Department. The tweets and Facebook posts were written, translated, and posted by our staff. In addition, our staff photographed the dog so that we would have some key visuals to accompany the posts and generate interest. For a full list of posts, see the attached documentation.

3. Evaluation: 

This social media campaign far exceeded our expectations! Our main goal in running this campaign was to find a name for our new canine recruit. This goal was easily achieved, as we had over 1200 entries to choose from.
With this campaign, we were also seeking to engage our social media following. The very first tweet we sent resulted in 10,122 impressions, with 597 total engagements. The main language of Twitter is English, but since we are a bilingual organization, we put out our tweets in French as well. The uptake on our French tweets is typically minor, but our first French tweet resulted in an amazing total of 6,000 impressions and 91 engagements. The subsequent tweets over the course of the week had a good uptake as well. Over the course of the social media campaign, we had a total of 432 link clicks, compared to our average of 30. We also gained 87 new followers on Twitter. As for our Facebook engagement, it was also very strong, with a total reach of 41,637. The contests posts had a total of 533 likes, 727 comments, and 123 shares. The total post clicks tallied 5,840. We also received 122 new page likes on Facebook during the contest timeframe.
Perhaps the biggest indicator of the success of the campaign is that the contest was picked up by our local paper, The Ottawa Citizen, in an article entitled “Important: Airport needs help naming cute dog” (http://ottawacitizen.com/storyline/important-airport-needs-helping-namin...). This was posted to the Ottawa Citizen’s Facebook page as well, where it received a great number of comments.
Our final goal with this campaign was to increase awareness about our Canine Unit. With the number of people who participated in this contest, and the local news coverage, news of our Canine Unit spread through the community. One submission included the following note with the submission: “Best wishes to [Jet] and his handlers, be safe and know you bring honor to our country in your protection of the innocent.”

4. Budget: 

The only costs associated with this social media campaign were tied to the prize awarded to the winner. The winner was given the opportunity to meet Jet and his handler, was treated to dinner at the airport, and received a gift package, which included a stuffed dog and other airport-branded items. The total cost to the airport for these items was $200.