Day-1 of the Advanced PIO class at FEMA’s EMI! #MPIO

Starting out the Advanced PIO class week with the big cheese – a warm EMI welcome from the new FEMA EMI Deputy Superintendent Steve Heidecker!

My buddy!

Phil laying down the usual ground rules like…

  • Don’t look for Camp David.
  • Don’t open windows.
  • Don’t touch helos.
  • Don’t break anything.

And yes, today, I was fortunate enough to introduce my favorite Indianapolis Fire Department Batt Chief/PIO Extraordinaire….Ladies and Gents….put your hands together for BC Rita Reith!!!!!

Glad to see so many of my former students come here to FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute for more training. And they get to hear my same PIO instructor jokes again.

PC: Cody McDonell

PC: Cody McDonell

And great to meet so many of online peeps for the very first time aka #IRL. Yes of course there will be lots of tweeting and #hastagging going on this week.

You in my class? Holla yo!

Reporting live from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute’s Advanced Public Information Officers class…

@rusnivek

 

Multiple picture post and Instagram video views do not make more Insta likes #SMEM

For those in the social media realm of Public Information Officers (PIOs) – I want to address a common question I get all the time:

How do I get more likes on Instagram?

My response: It’s not how much likes per Insta post, it’s really about how much engagement or interaction you have with your identified audience.

That’s right – while likes are one form of measurement of your post, it is not the only form of engagement that you can have on Instagram.

For those that post videos, you can likely include the number of views as a point of engagement.

For those that count the amount of click-throughs out of your main page (listed in your link on your Instagram profile) – yes, that too is a form of engagement.

And for those that post multiple pictures on one post, IMHO, it will likely get you more swipes! But think for a moment, that is a deterrent to more likes?

While I think posting multiple pictures are cool, I would lightly discourage it as it takes away from the viewer’s attention span – and likely causing them NOT to like as they have already committed a swipe or click to your post by reviewing other images. They are not likely to re-engage and double tap your already multiple pictures they spent time on swiping left or right on. Consider multiple pictures in one picture (Layout or PicStitch).

Yep, videos and multiple pictures will likely get you less likes because of the inherent human action replacing the actual double-tap (like) by actually viewing your posted video or viewing your multiple picture post.

So to recap:

  • A video will likely cause you to decrease your likes.
  • A multiple picture post will cause you to decrease your likes.
  • Just some food for thought this Tuesday.

Prediction: I believe Instagram will add more emotions to their posts to increase engagement (similar to Facebook’s multiple emotional reactions).

Don’t forget to Instagram that.

@rusnivek

 

Joint SM and Intel SOG reviews for a large upcoming event

Reviewing my SOGs and social media assignments for the all-hazards social media specialists / intel positions in the JIC for an upcoming large scale national event.


An important part of any Joint Information Center (JIC): Now discussing the best non-verbal urgent alert hand signals for all staff deployed to the JIC.


Clearly, Mama PIO wins this round.


PIOs serving our community as well as our nation and of course planning for all kinds of “stuff”.

Great plans with solid PIO peeps makes all the difference.

Trust me on this one.

@rusnivek

Safety-PIO-SM 15-002: Tornado or ICBM launch? #Instagram

15-002: Tornado or ICBM launch?
Agency: ReadyOC Topic(s):         Picture and hashtag use
Date: 02-13-15 Platform:        Instagram

Pictures are such an important part of every social media post. Instagram is mainly based on pictures and hashtags to engage all users. This was evident when Orange County’s Emergency Preparedness team posted this on their Instagram feed.

IMG_0543

To the untrained eye, it does seem like a severe microstorm/cloud/tornado. However, the picture shows a launch of a rocket pulled from google images or desktop computer wallpaper. Furthermore, this post could also be misconstrewed as a missile/ICBM launch or an attack on US soil.

Finding original content is tough, but professionals take the time to discern the little details in the pictures to showcase the safety theme and share actionable information. It is our duty to correctly inform the public on dangers that we encounter. We also must strive to provide actionable information with our engagement digital strategies.

If ReadyOC used the correct picture of a tornado, adding safety tips to the post (like those featured below) could have enhanced their theme.

“Monitor weather reports provided by your local media. #NWS #NOAA #Tornado #Prepared2015”

or

“If there is a power outage, have extra batteries for a battery-operated radio and your cell phone including your cell phone charger #Tornado #Prepared2015”

or

“Consider buying a NOAA Weather Radio/All Hazards receiver, which receives broadcast alerts directly from the National Weather Service #NWS #Tornado #Prepared2015”

Right now, the hashtag #photography is unnecessary because it doesn’t relate to the post. Remember social media, especially Instagram, is a visual medium. Your reader’s Instagram feed space is at a premium.

By laying it out this way:

  1. The correct picture will draw readers into the picture and (possibly) click the link in the profile.
  2. You don’t cause panic by showcasing a missile launch and calling it an #emergency.
  3. You incorporate a preparedness action phrase to your audience for #tornado safety on Instagram
  4. You use Instagram’s prime digital real estate to share good hashtags to find great information.

Time is valuable, so gram good stuff.

@rusnivek

To download the one-pager, click on the link here: Safety-PIO-SM-15-002-TornadoOrICBMLaunch

 

We got a #FacebookDown-Safety-PIO-SM-14-009

14-009: We got a FacebookDown
Agency: Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. Topic(s):         Non-related current event messages
Date: Fall 2014 Platform:        Facebook and Twitter

Just like any other service, social media platforms are bound to go down. And when that happens, a small amount of the population does NOT know how to react appropriately. Some residents of California decided that calling 9-1-1 was their only resort to getting logged back into Facebook.

IMG_5167

Ahem. Clearly, this is NOT an emergency. Sgt Brink is right in making it very clear to his audience (on Twitter) that Facebook’s non-service is not a Law Enforcement issue. Common sense right?

Most agencies should have an easy contingency plan when this type of situation happens. Social Media postings and engagement will help decrease calls to various public safety agencies…including during non-emergency times. So having this type of canned responses ready to push out when a major social media platform has the hiccups, might help your constituents navigate their (loss of) digital life. Additional use of a trending hashtag will bring more visibility to your post by informing others of actions, or in this case, non-actions.

A more effective tweet could have read:

#Facebook is NOT a law enforcement issue. Pls don’t call us about it being down, we don’t know when FB will be back up #facebookdown

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You sternly address that this social media platform is NOT a law enforcement matter (duh).
  2. You use a hashtags that is trending (#Facebookdown) that will help increase visibility in your tweets.
  3. You highlight the importance of being current and active on recent news/events.
  4. You stress the importance of engaging with your social media users on various social media platforms.

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

 

@rusnivek

 

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

WeGotAFacebookDown-Safety-PIO-SM-14-009

 

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.

IMG_4353

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

Your image on social by monitoring your name Safety-PIO-SM-14-007

14-007: Your image on social by monitoring your name
Agency: Lakewood Fire Topic(s):         Monitoring your name/branding
Date: Fall 2014 Platform:        Twitter

Monitoring your namesake has been debated for years. But with decreased staffing and less time to do more with less, many agencies are bypassing this critical piece of community relations and image/branding. A good example is when a citizen commented on Lakewood Fire’s SUV parking.

IMG_1372

Everyone has a camera these days. We use them not only to capture memories and precious moments, but also for documentation and shaming. I believe Todd was going for the public safety shaming factor here. I am unsure on the previous relationship between Todd and Lakewood, but there was never a response on Twitter back to Todd. Truth be told, these days, unanswered public questions are sometimes perceived as a government agency cover-ups/issues. Similar to the “No comment” – a non-response might even be worse.

How do you monitor your agency’s name or any derivatives? Try these free services: Google Alerts, search columns in TweetDeck or Hootsuite, or frequent basic vanity searches on any search engine or social media platforms.

While Todd’s use of hashtags is fairly standard social media malarkey, a swift response with a timely and direct reply to Todd’s tweet would help stop the perception that LFD is breaking the law or even setting a bad example. Remember, social media is about digital interaction.

The response could also be a teaching point so share with your audience some insight into your normal operations with a simple message on Fire Prevention activities – like hydrant testing. And using the hashtag #FirePrevention pulls up thousands of tweets about educating the public specifically in fire safety.

An effective @reply response to Todd’s tweet could have read:

@stwrs1974 During an emergency, it’s tough to find safe parking. FYI-we also check/flush hydrants twice a year too #FirePrevention 

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You immediately address the issue directly with the citizen citing the issue.
  2. You provide insight into scene safety during an emergency.
  3. You call attention to your normal operations (in this case-hydrant flushing).
  4. You use the hashtag #FirePrevention to call attention to…well…Fire Prevention.
  5. You show the general public you care about your image and want to get the story right.

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

@rusnivek

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

YourImageOnSocialByMonitoringYourName-Safety-PIO-SM-14-007