Fireweed Zinc CEO Brandon Macdonald was raised in the mining and mineral exploration industry. His path to executive leadership, however, is somewhat of a unique story.
After spending some of his childhood gathering soil samples and staking claims, the Yukon native went on to a Geology degree from the University of British Columbia. Timing of that degree proved to be a hardship in the late nineties while the resource industry was facing a bear market.
So Brandon, the geologist, diversified a bit and looked to the technology sector as a means of career progression. It was during this time, Brandon admits, where he began adopting and utilizing social media and digital communications, a strategy currently utilized by Fireweed Zinc.
"Tech probably influenced the social and technological awareness I have now," Brandon says.
Following a stint in the tech sector, Brandon enrolled and obtained an MBA from Oxford University in the UK, further diversifying his professional experience to lead him into the mineral exploration market. Nonetheless, the use of digital communication tools has been an important aspect throughout his career.
"When you talk about the importance of social engagement, the two original founders of the company found me through someone I met on social media," he said. "That was three years ago during a very tough time in the industry."
It was during the recent bear market when Brandon utilized social media to network and invest in his personal and professional brand.
"My role here [at Fireweed Zinc] can directly be attributed to my willingness to engage socially."
Brandon's observation of the junior mining industry's use of social media is one more of distribution rather than social engagement. He sees most companies utilize the networks as a means of sharing corporate information which are positive reflections of the company's progress. He suggests that companies in the junior mining market may begin to rethink this strategy by being open to sharing the challenges of the company with transparent messaging.
"I feel strongly this cannot be a release channel. It has to be a channel of conversation and engagement because that is where its the strongest. If you don't engage, I don't necessarily believe your followers are tuned in."
Listen to the entire conversation with Brandon Macdonald above. Learn his approach into using the tools to listen to shareholders and his peers within the industry while also giving his concerns on reaching novice and new investors.