|14-007: Your image on social by monitoring your name
|Agency: Lakewood Fire
||Topic(s): Monitoring your name/branding
|Date: Fall 2014
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.
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:
- You immediately address the issue directly with the citizen citing the issue.
- You provide insight into scene safety during an emergency.
- You call attention to your normal operations (in this case-hydrant flushing).
- You use the hashtag #FirePrevention to call attention to…well…Fire Prevention.
- You show the general public you care about your image and want to get the story right.
Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.
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