Stampeding Into History; ‘Longmire Posse’ Founder Saves A Popular Show
The heroes of the fictional Absaroka County, Wyo., wear badges, carry guns, and wield wit.
But the hero who saved the "Longmire" television show last year wears street clothes, and wields an incisive understanding of social media that mobilized scores of thousands of fans.
Pamela Nordick oversees a table set up this weekend at Longmire Days at Crazy Woman Square in downtown Buffalo, renamed for three days as the fictional Durant, the county seat of Absaroka County.
Few of the hundreds of Longmire fans who stopped by to say hi had never met or spoken to Nordick, but they all belonged to the Longmire Posse she organized last fall after the A&E Network in August abruptly dumped the most popular scripted show that network ever had.
Nordick had a family connection to the show. Her nephew, Adam Bartley, plays The Ferg, Sheriff Walt Longmire's well-meaning, sometimes bumbling and sometimes deeply insightful deputy.
So when the despondent Bartley called her about the cancelation. Nordick cheered him up and told him, "'this will get saved,'" she said.
Nordick had a career in sales and marketing, and knew the power of social media, she said. "I knew how to direct the energy of people who liked the show."
But throwing hissy fits at A&E or any other network was futile, she said. "It doesn't do well for the show if you're a snarky bunch of complainers."
Instead, she wanted a bunch of enthusiastic fans who would send affirmative energy, Nordick said. "You've got to get it in front of the people with the largest audiences."
Those people were the cast members who already had hundreds of thousands of fans on their social media sites, Nordick said.
She sought and won their blessings for what became the Longmire Posse "stampedes," held one hour a week for 23 consecutive weeks. She organized the stampedes by creating new graphics and new hashtags, and mobilizing tens of thousands of people to post something on Twitter about Longmire.
The fans' persistence and ever-new themes and hashtags for each week got the social media algorithms buzzing that showed up as "trending" on Twitter, which in turn attracted the attention of networks, and ultimately Netflix.
The stampeding hasn't stopped.
Anita Engler from Kimberly, B.C., drove from the northern area of the province with her sister to Buffalo -- first time in Wyoming! -- for Longmire Days, and took over the table for a while on Friday.
Engler was among the thousands of frustrated fans, she said. "I looked around (wondering) what can I do and I found Pam on Facebook."
She joined the Posse, but needed help from Nordick to blitz social media with the stampedes, she said. "I'd never Tweeted in my life."
To join the Longmire Posse, check out these websites: