Macra na Feirme (the young famers’ organisation) with support from our client ABP Meats, runs a series of safety training events around Ireland aimed at young farmers. (Young farmers have disproportionately more accidents than their more experienced counterparts, due to a combination of inexperience and overconfidence). Our client had a very constrained budget to raise awareness of these vital training courses. Traditional media was out of the question, especially in the expensive Christmas period. We knew that Macra had a modest following on Facebook, but though it was small it was made up of exactly the kind of young farmers we were targeting. We knew that if we could create content that these followers genuinely found shareable, we could reach a much greater number of the right people. It being Christmas party season, we decided to fake a major social fail on the Macra FB page. Over the course of a couple of hours one Thursday evening (December 22), the page moderator appeared to accidentally share a string of very personal posts to the page. (The gist was that he was trying to convince a girl he knew to join him at a dance.) Within 15 minutes of the first post this embarrassing string of messages was widely picked up and shared – at first just by followers of the Macra page, and then quickly by online news sources. Within two hours, the Daily Edge, breakingnews.ie, joe.ie, thejournal.ie and various radio stations had picked up the story. By the time the stunt was revealed with an official statement the following day, the posts had been liked and organically shared hundreds of times, and the story had earned tens of thousands of euro worth of free coverage – for the price of half a day’s copywriting. The safety training events were sold out by early January and are currently running a waiting list.