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Eric Hurst

Public Information Officer
South Metro Fire Rescue

Eric Hurst is a social media manager for South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) in Metro Denver Colorado.  SMFR is an ISO Class 1, internationally accredited agency located in a top 20 media market. Eric responds as the lead spokesperson to all-hazards emergencies across a 287 square mile urban, suburban and rural district.  During breaking news coverage as a Public Information Officer (PIO), Eric has created a nationally trending hashtag and his videography has gone viral multiple times across international news platforms. As a video producer and vlogger Eric contributes to the “South Metro Fire Rescue PIO” YouTube channel, the most subscribed to official fire department channel on the platform.  As a photographer Eric’s images can be found on the cover of magazines and newspapers, in various firefighting periodicals and digitally, including National Geographic online. As a social media aficionado Eric is a contributing author to FireEngineering Magazine and presents on the topic of fire service social media across the country. As a student Eric is thirsty for fresh ideas and cutting-edge technology to help raise the bar for the community and media partners he serves.

Eric Hurst’s Session

YouTube, The Social Media Megaphone: How South Metro Fire Grew to 100k Organic Followers

During 2020 the South Metro Fire Rescue YouTube channel gained an organic following of over 100,000 subscribers. South Metro Fire became the second public safety agency in history to reach that benchmark. This session will be a case study of South Metro Fire's YouTube success, time commitment, positive, negative, and unexpected results, along with concrete steps you can take to start your own channel. 

Key takeaways:

  • Compelling statistics and real-life examples to justify their own official agency YouTube channel to policymakers.
  • Learn from Eric's successes and mistakes when it comes to the technical aspects of video including capturing, editing, and producing
  • Quick tips to improve their on-camera and storytelling presence.
  • An understanding of what comes next once the channel is launched.
  • How to prepare for the results of your success, and how Eric accommodated the demand for more content, the fan mail, the visits from subscribers on vacation, and the requests for agency merchandise
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