Mike Daisley, CEO for the Mountain Safety Council chatted with us about their hugely successful tramping video series released in late October last year that has had over 400,000 views across the council’s social media and YouTube channels. The videos are also embedded in the relevant DOC page for the track. The twelve-part series, made in partnership with a number of the Council’s partner organisations – notably DOC, LandSAR, Metservice, NZMGA, NZOIA, NZMGA and NZ Police – was developed to engage the various groups of people that recreate on certain tracks around New Zealand.
“What we wanted to do was create a track-specific resource that gave the participant good advice on what things they should consider before and during their trip.”
“Ultimately, we landed on a video series as the best medium to deliver these important messages. We felt that by keeping the video as engaging as possible we’d have a better chance of holding the interest of the viewer which would open an opportunity to discuss safety issues in a contextual way and framed as planning advice.”
“We partnered with Quite Nice Films in Wellington and they delivered a great product that is rich with animated iconography, drone footage, 3D maps and point of view shots from the track itself. By approaching it this way the viewer can see exactly where the hazards are and has a visual reference for decision making points, for example.” The Council wanted to go one step further and try and measure what impact these videos were having on the participants. Daisley said “It’s not enough to measure views alone, we needed to demonstrate that the series was having an impact and changing people’s behaviours, and with Research New Zealand’s (RNZ) help, we’ve done so conclusively. This gives us the confidence to expand the series, which we intend on doing in the next few years; watch this space!”
Emanuel Kalafatelis, Director, RNZ said that ““In my 35 year plus years’ experience, I have never ever seen behavioural results as strong as these that can be attributed to one single initiative. There is no doubt, that the videos have had a significant positive impact on trampers’ safety-related behaviour. And this is reflected in the fact that the ‘test’ group gave the safety video a ‘Net Promoter Score’ of 43.” – Emanuel Kalafatelis, Director Research NZ and Fellow of the Research Association of New Zealand (RANZ)
The findings are due to be released sometime in August this year, but the Council let us have a sneak peek at some of the exciting findings. The ‘Net Promoter Score’ (NPS) is a measure used widely to establish how likely a person would be to share their experience with a product or service with their friends and family. Anything over a 30 (positive) is considered excellent, so for a safety video to achieve 43 (positive) is almost unheard of.
With respect to the results from the research the MSC discovered that after watching the video – specific to the track the respondent was about to undertake – 85% said they understood the track better. 82% knew more about the hazards along the track and 78% said they now knew where the key places to make decisions were. After watching the video, a staggering 40% said they felt ‘even more’ prepared for their walk than they had been.
Daisley said this was the kind of impact that they had been hoping for “We know a great deal about the places and people that are getting into trouble in the outdoors around the country, so it’s exciting for us to be able to get hyper-specific to a track to deliver the most contextual and relevant information to the participants.”
“We’ve got a lot of people to thank for this one, but most importantly are our Council member organisations and partners. Without their continued and overwhelming support in the evidence-driven work that we do, the participant would in this case be back to trying to figure out the trip from a topo map or guide book. That’s fine for experienced people, but if, like thousands of people each year you’re new to the outdoors, it’s mostly an experience of figuring it out when you’re out there.”
“If you’re able to see the terrain, as you are in the videos, then you suddenly can see why you’ll need more insulation layers than you’d thought, or why you might need ice axe and crampons for example.”
“We’ve had several people get in touch after seeing the videos saying that they we’re so pleased they’d seen the track in advance because they realised it might have been out of their abilities at the time. Taranaki summit walk is a great example of this and has seen several serious incidents in the last decade from people underestimating the hazards and scale of that trip.”
The series is available to view on the MSC’s YouTube and Facebook pages. If you’re heading into the outdoors you ought to give this series a watch, and make sure you send it to your friends that are getting into tramping. We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe out there, and there are few better resources to get your teeth into tramping than this series.