Weber Shandwick/Army Strong Stories

Weber Shandwick worked with the U.S. Army to create a comprehensive campaign for soldiers to share their stories digitally.

Objective

Throughout its partnership with the U.S. Army, Weber Shandwick has led digital communications campaigns that tell the Army story – from media relations to grassroots initiatives. Following a comprehensive landscape analysis to identify what was being said online about the U.S. Army relating to recruitment and military life, it was found that there was much conversation, but no participation by the Army itself. As such, Weber Shandwick took several steps to showcase Army life through digital channels.

Process

In 2008, the team launched Army Strong Stories, the first-ever official Soldier blog, inviting Soldiers to share their unfiltered perspectives on military life. As Army Strong Stories grew, establishing credibility as the Army’s signature Soldier blog, and as people’s digital habits skyrocketed, the team seized the opportunity to expand Army Strong Stories and to introduce new integrated digital storytelling platforms.

The Weber Shandwick team deployed a comprehensive campaign to share the Army’s story digitally and redesigned and re-launched Army Strong Stories, welcoming anyone to share. Among others, the Army also launched “Inspire Stories,” inviting social media influencers to events and installations, and deployed e-newsletter and email campaigns. 

As a natural extension, Weber Shandwick launched an iPhone application and a mobile website to accompany its Army Strong Stories blogging and storytelling platform.

Results

The program was extremely successful and generated more than 1 million Army Strong Stories site visits; a more than 250 percent increase over the previous year, and more than seven times the goal. Overall, the program reached more than 17,000 Army influencers through Go Army Advocates, Army Ed Space and e-newsletters. Today, the program has grown to more than 800 Soldier bloggers, more than 4,000 posts and story submissions from Soldiers and supporters and nearly 4,000 user-submitted comments.  Army Strong Stories has received some of the industry’s highest recognition, including the PRWeek Award for “Best Use of Social Media/Digital,” the PR News Platinum Award for “Blog” and a silver SABRE Award for “Blog.”

Screenshot from Army Strong Stories
A PR Week Tweet about Army Strong Stories

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