Nicole Matejic, chief executive of Australian social media strategy firm Info Ops HQ, has told Defence Connect of her fascinating career trajectory, from firstly working in Customs to positioning herself as that rare commodity: a social media expert with an inside knowledge of the local defence sector.
Speaking to Defence Connect’s Phillip Tarrant, Matejic said that after her stint with Customs, she had worked at several airports.
“I [also] did some intelligence work [and] went through to defence [where] I did some strategic communications and ministerial services,” Matejic recalled.
“Then, while I was in defence I actually got pinched off LinkedIn and my blog. Someone over in the US was reading my blog, and I thought that was rather peculiar because I was just blogging at home in my Star Wars pajamas thinking no one was reading my stuff.
“Then lo and behold, I get this LinkedIn message saying, ‘Hey, we'd like to do some stuff’.”
She went on to explain how, at that stage, the broader defence industry was just beginning to consider social media more seriously, launching an inaugural training course of its own.
“They were doing a massive online open course and they wanted me to be an instructor on that,” she said. “And then I've been sort of working in this space with international [organisations] and governments ever since.”
Matejic also emphasised just how disruptive the advent of social media and its pervasive reach had been to the industry across the board.
“And you know, there are still places that do throw leaflets out the back of an aeroplane when they do leaflet drops, but that's a real shotgun approach to communications,” she said.
“You've got to assume that the person on the ground is actually going to pick it up, they're actually going to read it – if they can read – and in some communities, that's not the case.”
Subscribe to the Defence Connect daily newsletter.
Be the first to hear the latest developments in the defence industry.
Matejic also said it was particularly difficult to gauge success of a broadcast campaign when throwing a stack of leaflets out of a plane.
“How many per cent of those leaflets get trodden into the ground and become part of the landscape, and how many actually get picked up, taken home [where] people read [and] share it, that kind of thing?” she questioned.
“So social media gives you the metrics to actually pinpoint these people and basically geo-fence your messaging so you get a good idea of the saturation of the messaging going into that geographical area."
To hear more from Matejic, tune in to our podcast here.