No complaining-offer solutions-Safety-PIO-SM-14-008

14-008: No complaining – offer solutions
Agency: Long Beach Fire Topic(s):         Public Perception and Solutions
Date: Fall 2014 Platform:        Twitter

Complaining or venting on social media is fairly common. However, as an official agency, public displays of affliction does not portray the best image. Long Beach Fire expressed some displeasure on Twitter when discussing the their pilot program.

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After reading this tweet, the public’s perception is that if 9-1-1 is called, no ambulances will respond. This is irresponsible and wrong. (Almost all emergency services have mutual aid agreements or memorandum of understandings in place.)

 

Positioning your agency as a fear mongerer or the Harbinger of Evil will only further distance yourself from people who would be willing to help your cause. Inform them of dangers, but more importantly, engage them publically on social.

 

If there is internal displeasure with the new staffing models, be proactive and offer transparent solutions in the tweet. Cite websites that provide industry information. Publically share statistical data that supports changes with current programs. These online tactics will help direct and educate the general public on how to be better informed on other program and possible other options yet unexplored.

 

Additionally you can rally your constituents behind better initiatives by engaging with them publically via social media. It demonstrates that your department’s community involvement is a key part of a better solution.

As an official account, Twitter’s 140-character limit is really no place to moan/groan.

A more effective tweet could have read:

LBFD resources are maxed out. #Firefighters cannot provide adequate #Paramedic service to our communities. Help us find a solution <insert link here>

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You identify that resources are…well…maxed out.
  2. You use hashtags (#Firefighters and #Paramedic) that will help increase visibility in your tweets.
  3. You stress the importance of providing dedicated service to your community.
  4. You provide a traceable/measureable link that informs and helps bring visibility to this critical situation.

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

@rusnivek

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this file:

No complaining-offer solutions-Safety-PIO-SM-14-008

Write For Different Platforms-Safety-PIO-SM-14-003

14-003: Write for Different Platforms

Agency: Rocky Mountain Area IMT

Topic(s):         Social Media Platform Specific Messaging

Date: Summer 2014

Platform(s):    Press Release vs Twitter

Despite the message being essentially the same, every communications platform is different.

Speed is important, but correctly addressing your audience is critical in the world of public information.

On July 1, 2014, this tweet was posted on the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team’s feed during the Eightmile Fire while deployed in Canon City, Colorado.

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“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” In all caps? All caps use on social media portrays yelling. Professionals should portray calm/control.

Twitter’s social media platform premise is a fast microblog service focusing on immediate information. This templated press release lingo (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) is not necessary. Every tweet is automatically time/date stamped including matching the recipients’ time zone. Do not waste your valuable 140 characters.

To me, this was a cut-and-paste action, or even worse yet, they just linked the agency’s Facebook and Twitter accounts together. No time was spent in addressing the various platforms used to push this valuable information. Remember, PIO actions on each platform in social media are not generic, they are specific. We talk about safety to kids differently than we inform adults on safety right? Likewise, we should address our audiences on social media accordingly to the platform they use.

A more effective tweet could have read:

“Updated information & stats on the #Eightmile Fire ongoing in Colorado can be found here fb.me/6KArLmgFr

By phrasing it this way:

  1. The tweet is shorter and more concise.
  2. Tweet identifies where the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team is deployed.
  3. The main point of contact is identified on the Facebook link provided if more specific information is needed.
  4. Shorter messaging will allow your followers to retweet/repost and amplify your information.
  5. The use of hashtags will help audiences find information about the #Eightmile Fire and identify the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team as a trusted source of information.

Know the differences in mainstream social media platforms because what will work on one old platform (press release) will NOT work on newer platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…) Know social media and use their amenities to your advantage.

 Time is valuable, so post good stuff.

@rusnivek

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this: WriteForDifferentPlatforms-Safety-PIO-SM-14-003