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

A lonely shortened Facebook link on Twitter – Safety-PIO-SM-14-004

14-004: A lonely shortened Facebook link on Twitter
Agency: South Central Sierra Interagency IMT Topic(s):         Shared information/update
Date: Summer 2014 Platform:        Twitter

 

Speed is primarily the reason why everyone loves social media…especially Twitter. Many agencies use social media to provide updates and information when assigned to certain incidents. That’s what the South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team did during the French Fire in California when they pushed this lonely shortened Facebook link out on Twitter.

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I get that 140 character max on Twitter is short…and you have lots to say…and you don’t have time…and blah blah blah. Everyone else doesn’t have time too. But pushing a non-descript link, does raise a concern that perhaps your account has been compromised by spam bots. Your agency has worked diligently to establish solid working relationships. During an emergency is the WORST time for your audience to question and/or ignore your official accounts with trusted reliable information.

 

If your social media plan calls for directing all efforts to Facebook as the primary source of information, a Public Information Officer (PIO) should still take the time to provide a little information (like a short description) on other platforms driving the traffic to that primary source. Providing just a link is not enough.

In the PIO business, we are forced to be precise, however just providing a link pertaining to a dangerous situation or disasters will not be enough to satiate the Twittersphere’s social interest.

 

Audiences change on various social media platforms, however, many agencies *think* they are all the same.

Knowing your audience is the hallmark of success. If you pair your Facebook and Twitter accounts to save time and to pass the exact same message – you should consider separating them now. Remember, you write/post/share information differently on various social media platforms.

 

A more effective tweet could have read:

Still assigned to the French Fire here in California-Check out pictures frm @BLMNational Interagency Fire fb.me/1BV35Tytx #CAWildfire

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You have more visibility by informing your followers that your team is still assigned to the incident.
  2. The link looks less spammy and readers know what the specific content is in the link.
  3. Your #hashtag will give more information about the current overall disaster/emergency.
  4. Your readers are likely to click on this hyperlink because it will take them to a picture. People love pictures.
  5. Your agency shows coordinated efforts with national response agencies when you use @mentions on twitter.

 

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

 

@rusnivek

 

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this: ALonelyShortenedFacebookLinkOnTwitter-Safety-PIO-SM-14-004a

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