Category 11 - Other
Martin County Aquatics Center Facebook Page
In 2006, The Martin County Board of Commissioners passed a
voter-approved half-penny sales tax earmarked for acquiring
environmentally sensitive lands as well as for investment in parks and
recreation. At that time, the construction of an aquatics center was
identified as one of the top priorities to receive funding. Martin
County’s only public pool was an aging facility with limited public
access that was located at Martin County High School. More than three
years later and, while the County was facing a multi-year fiscal
shortfall, sufficient funds were collected to build the proposed
aquatics center. On Tuesday, January 26, the Martin County Commission
was scheduled to vote on whether or not to move forward with the $9.6
million project. Although funding to build the facility had already
been collected, there was still concern among the commission and some
citizens about starting such a project in the current economic
climate. With only three weeks before the vote, research was conducted
to find communication vehicles that could rally support on a limited
timeframe. The Firefly Group volunteered to assist the Aquatics team by
quickly creating a Facebook fan page as one of the tactics to generate
buzz and rally support prior to the Commission vote. The team hoped
the Facebook page would help them reach their target audience of Martin
County citizens who would utilize the facility, including parents,
students in swim teams, parents of special needs children, elderly
citizens, rehabilitation patients, etc.
The ultimate goal was to secure the Martin County Commission vote to
move forward with the construction of the aquatics center. The
objectives for the Facebook page were to:
(1) Provide a centralized hub of information about the project that
would reach a diverse cross-section of the community - at no cost.
(2) To amass at least 200 Facebook Fans prior to the vote on January 26.
(3) To use the Facebook page to encourage supporters to attend the
commission vote, with at least 20 people attending the meeting.
A Facebook Fan Page was created and populated with text and images. The
images included concept plans of the aquatics center as well as generic
aquatic images. Copy was drafted that included key message points for
the project. News articles were shared via Facebook posts. A Facebook
event was created for the Martin County Commission meeting and fans
were invited to attend. The site was promoted through word of
mouth—Facebook fans were asked to invite their Facebook Friends to
become fans of the site. Within one week the page accumulated more than
500 Facebook fans! Fans also interacted with each post that was added
to the site.
More than 100 people packed the Commission chambers to support the
aquatics center, including a diverse cross-section of the community
such as student athletes, parents, children, children with
disabilities, and business owners. More than 30 citizens made public
comment in support of the aquatics center. The Facebook Fan page was
used as an example of widespread support and fan comments were shared
with the Commissioners. The Martin County Commission approved the
construction of the Aquatics Center with a 4 to 1 vote.
1) The Facebook Fan page acted as a critical information hub of
information about the project that reached a diverse cross-section of
the community - at no cost.
2) More than 700 Facebook users became fans of the Martin County
Aquatics Center by the Commission meeting. [Note: subsequent to the
vote, the Fan Page continues to generate fans and is currently at 882
3) More than 100 citizens attended the Martin County Commission meeting in support of the aquatics center.
There were no costs associated with the creation of the Facebook page.
The Firefly Group’s donated approximately 15 hours was donated.