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Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s AI-Powered Content Strategy

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is on a mission to get people out on the water. The 20 year-old nonprofit produces consumer-facing campaigns to encourage families to go fishing, and provides storytelling and educational resources to federal partners, every state agency, and retailers in the fishing industry.

In 2020, as families are looking for safe ways to get outside, demand for these resources has skyrocketed.

“COVID hit and we had to pivot completely,” says Kendra Lee, RBFF’s Marketing and Creative Manager.

Kendra and her team sprung into action, amping up content delivery and giving partners easy access to resources with the help of PhotoShelter AI, PhotoShelter’s new artificial intelligence solution for tagging images.

First, they quickly created toolkits to help stakeholders educate audiences about how they could safely spend time on the water. They made them available to partners on PhotoShelter, where stakeholders could easily find and download the content they needed.

“It’s been an easy hub to keep giving them these toolkits instead of sending them all these different links,” says Kendra

RBFF’s media library is a critical resource for partners who depend on the organization for not only social media toolkits but also images, video clips, and other content to fuel their communications and marketing campaigns.

Until January, Kendra and her team had hosted the library on Dropbox, but found that it wasn’t user friendly. Just before the pandemic forced the team to go remote, they tapped PhotoShelter for its security and user friendly interface.

Even RBFF’s key partners at U.S. Fish and Wildlife – who weren’t able access Dropbox because of the security risk – can now run a quick search and find exactly what they need. This helps partners work faster and takes work off of Kendra’s plate, since she was responsible for finding secure ways to fill image requests.

“It’s been so easy now getting them up and running,” says Kendra.

Kendra knew the library would be more valuable if all of the images were tagged with relevant metadata, but with only 17 people total, the organization didn’t have enough hands to tag everything manually. “COVID hit, we were all at home, I saw PhotoShelter AI, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is it, this is our time saver,'” remembers Kendra. Now, all of RBFF’s images are tagged automatically with relevant keywords, like “lifesaver,” “sunset” and “family.” The AI technology is even learning how to recognize niche keywords, like “fly fishing” and “waders.” All of this metadata helps RBFF’s internal team and external stakeholders find the perfect imagery for major initiatives and campaigns.

Kendra says she and her team are cutting out steps and saving hours every day. Now, they can focus on the most important part of their work: bringing people together, creating memories and inspiring people to go fish.

“In a world where it’s so divisive and partisan, fishing really does have something for everyone,” says Kendra.


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