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Case Study

Warbirds Over Wanaka: Media liaison, crisis communications and social media

Warbirds Over Wanaka is a hugely successful airshow held every two years, and the 2018 event 30th anniversary was to be particularly special.

Our brief was to be the Media Manager for the event – ensuring the 60 national and international media had their needs met: managing photographers’ special access into safety areas, finding stories for mainstream media, running daily media briefings and liaising with pilots for interviews.

We also managed the effective delivery of messaging and communications during a crisis – rapidly developing a plan with management and crafting media responses soon after the incident occurred and throughout the day.

Our social media brief was to grow brand awareness of the event in the weeks leading up to Warbirds, to encourage ticket sales within the airshow ‘drive zone’ (Christchurch-Southland). We did this by creating content and marketing to key audience groups ($300 total Facebook ad spend). Results included:

  • Engagement for the month of March was more than 17.3k (monthly post engagement is usually 2.8k).
  • From October 2017-February 2018 the average daily page reach was 3.5k whil in March 2018, the average daily page reach was over 13.2k
  • Average monthly new page likes for WOW is about 250, but in March we increased the fan base by over 2000.

Media exposure highlights include positive, accurate reporting of the incident, plus finding and facilitating stories on young pilots for print and television media, including Prime News and Newshub.

Client testimonial:

“Celia Crosbie came onboard as Media Manager for our 30th anniversary airshow.  We have up to 80 media attend our event from around New Zealand and the world and the Media Manager’s job is to ensure they have all the resources they need to cover our event.  While new to airshows Celia showed great skills at dealing with the media who represented a wide variety of media outlets including specialist international aviation magazines, network television news crews, radio, print and social media.   Celia did a great job in facilitating media representatives while at the same time monitoring and filing to our social media channels.”
– Ed Taylor, Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager


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Warbirds Over Wanaka
Event Media Mananger
Crisis & Reputation
Digital Media