105 Todays Digital Media
Every fire department should have won because people are going to be out there looking. Your your community is going to be out there looking. They're gonNA WANNA know phone numbers if they need to reach out to you. Will you will together. One continuing to serve always brotherhood. Academy radio? Podcast guys and girls. Welcome back to the Brotherhood Academy radio. Podcast I am Nick Hilton and I am here with your full length episodes. So welcome back everybody. This is exciting because I am in studio by myself however I do have some other living creatures behind me. So you're going to hear this. Probably maybe throughout the show you hear some scratching pecking and peeping In the background that is because we have moved our baby chicks to a bigger bruder. What Bruder is then. You know what I'm talking about if you don't know Bruder is you put baby chicks in to keep them warm and feed them and let them grow before you put them outside into a chicken coop but we have is. We have moved it down to the basement. Because that's obviously where everything goes in. This house is down to the basement and It's actually much better setup for them as they grow so you're going to hear them in the background. I do apologize if you don't like chickens and we don't like the sound of pecking in and scratching and keeping. But you know. Hey you'll get used to it We sure have here. So let's first before we get into the show Talk about as we always do the down to fight fire. F. Volunteer Firefighters podcast out of Canada. Great Group of guys. Please give them a follow. Subscribe to them on itunes. Or whatever other podcasts platform you listen with because I can guarantee you. They'll be there. They are also on facebook and twitter. Instagram Tick Tock. They're always posting really really good stuff really good content. They create their own videos. They do a lot of training videos. And it's pretty pretty sweet and I just realized that they were guests on another podcast A few weeks ago the behind the shield podcast which I've never listened to and I'm going to subscribe to it and I'm going to listen to that because there's an array of firefighting podcasts out. There and they're all great and they all hit on different different topics and provide a lot of value. So but the D. tff guys provide a ton of value. It's a big group of guys volunteer firefighters in a rural setting in Canada western side of the country and right now as their wildfire season. So they're starting to ramp up there and they're They get some crazy fires that way so please go check them out. Dt F F down to fight fire volunteer firefighters podcast. So here in Maine. We've been having some really really strange weather. And if you have ever lived in Maine or do live in Maine. You knew exactly what I'm talking about because it's not really at all that strange after all because we never know what the day is going to bring. The weatherman can say one thing and it's GonNa be completely different. Good example is today yesterday. Let's just let's start off yesterday. Yesterday was a beautiful day. We did a lot of yard work. Outside is a great little Saturday. started to build our raised garden bed. It's actually it's a big one eighteen eighteen foot garden bed and And you know credit to Captain Dave osgood. We had him on the show a few weeks back when we were at the fool's doing fools of an we had him on the show. He has a mill in his yard and he has a lot of land and he enjoys cutting down trees and milling up would and giving it away so we were Nice. He was nice enough and we were fortunate enough to get some really really good fresh rough. Sawn Pine Two inches thick and total to be about Eighteen by eighteen of an area. We were able to do so anyway back to the story her a Nice Day. Yesterday we had a pretty decent morning today Little Bit Windy but not so bad but we ended up having to Permited Burns out of control and when I sat control the first one that I got to I was The first fire officer on scene and it was moving. It was moving up a hill in towards the house and we had one after. We just got that knock down. We had another one come in right across town same idea now now because it was dry now it is rainy and it is windy and everything in my backyard is blowing all around. All the kids toys are blowing around. It's just crazy and that's what we have to deal with here and that's what we've been we've been doing today is now. I'm expecting the power to go out now. I'm expecting to be running. Power Line calls tonight in trees down and all that good stuff because it would not surprise me. Welcome to Maine. I don't know if it's like that in any other parts of the country but the way the weather changes here is just absolutely just weird. And I'm surprised if it's not. It's not snowing if I don't wake up tomorrow if I I hope I wake up tomorrow if I wake up tomorrow and there's no snow on the ground. I'll be surprised because that's just that's just how it is here. So but this week's topic I want to talk about is how to communicate digits digitally how to communicate digitally with the public. Your public your citizens the people that you serve in your agency in your community okay. What I've learned and being With my new career. I'm I'm self studying right so I am getting out there to learn all the fire departments in my territory and I've learned a lot by doing that because I'm doing it on the Internet right now because we obviously have to do social distancing. We can't get out and about so. I'm relying on the Internet and relying on social media and websites and all that jazz. So what I've learned is we need to change our website. Firefight apartment okay. We have to because the times have changed so much. We created a website back in two thousand two thousand one. Okay and it's I've come to realize that things have changed when it comes to maintaining website for fight apartment in what kind of content should be on there and where the content that was on. There should be now type of thing so I wanNA break it down for you guys a little bit and explain to you where certain pieces of content should be placed on the Internet and how they should be portrayed so I've come up with a list of different ways that we can communicate digitally to the public with the public and the first thing on the list is a website. And then this should be your hub. This should be your home base. Where everything about your fire department sits where people who are looking to see about your agency can go on there and find the information the basic in the in the pertinent information that they need so you should have your department profile on. There should be a description of your department your services and everything you do. It should include the address of your fire station or stations of you've got multiple stations. It should include a phone number to your station and the multiple stations and even the history. Okay you're you're department profile should somewhere explain your history now. You could put that in a separate page separate link on your on your website but you should have your department history on their secondly on. Your website is to have contact information. This is critical so every fire station that you have have contact information a phone number to get there. There should be list of your chief officers. Okay go right down on the side of the page and make a list of your chief officers in your line officers. Give them a little bit of recognition but also give the public the knowledge of WHO's there who's running the organization but also include ways to get a hold of them. At least the chief officers fire prevention investigation all that stuff include a phone number including email address in it Cetera and keep it updated all right. He should also have a thing on your website about burn permits especially in in this area of the country and any other area where you have a lot of wildland interface. All that good stuff. Maybe not right in the city of you don't issue burn permits and there's no outside burning. That wouldn't apply care but have some information on burn permits people need to know where to get the permits. Okay whether you guys do it online digitally or if you require them to come to the fire station to fill out an actual form. Everybody has different ways of doing things but there should be that information on. There should be a page about your equipment. Showcase your trucks showcase your fire stations showcase the really cool stuff that you've obtained and purchase and that lets the the public knowing your tax payers know where the tax money's going okay and show some pride in your equipment on your website. Really good photos detailed photos help. Okay also on your page. You WanNa have a news area or like a blog area and it's funny because this is how we have our website set up right now with our fire department. Is the landing page when you go to our website. It's instantly it instantly. Brings you to our most updated news stories or our blog and we're going to start changing away from that because that seemed to be the trend back maybe in the two thousands. Okay maybe ten years ago now. That was kind of the trend where we want every time we have a caller do a training or something boom. We'RE GONNA make blog post and that's what it is right there but now that we have social media that kind of does the job for us right and it has a bigger reach right so we're going to transform that landing page from a blog we're going to keep the blog. It's just GonNa be a link on the menu bar but we're going to make our home page more of the department profile and the important contact information. Okay now the cool thing you could do on your website is you could set up a donation link so if you are a volunteer fire service or an on call fire service and you do kind of rely on on donations. You can now do that digitally okay. Who can set up a link where people your citizens and and maybe the visitors into your town of Your Taurus community can actually log online and they can donate money to your organization right so something to think about? So how do you get a website? It's very easy to get a website. These days. You could hire somebody. You could hire a company to do it right but you may not want to spend the money. You may not have the money. You probably couldn't afford to do a website. It's important to have the control of your website. It's important to be able to maintain it and do the things you want to do on their into show your department culture right. There's many ways that you can do this. You can find somebody in your organization who may be web savvy right then. Maybe somebody in there. That's that's pretty talented. When it comes to that and you could put that person in charge of doing this you could empower them to create your website for you all right but find a service a hosting service you get a need. You're going to need a domain. Which is your dot com dot org all right and a Lotta hosting services are kind of all in one so you can get the host. Which is the space right? This is where all your content goes and who holds that space in your your domain so around all right finds something that's rather inexpensive there are companies out there that will Do like a plug and play type. Deal all right. There's wordpress we. We use wordpress on our website. And it's very easy to learn and there's a lot of plug INS. There's a lot of really cool things you can do. You can even open up an online store and you could sell your merchandise to get some more revenue coming in. So I suggest wordpress only because I use it. We use it here and But there's many other as many of the platforms that you can do and who should manage the website will create a team once you have someone that's mastered how to maintain it create a team of people teach them how to do it and and have a a website committee. Okay because it does. It takes a lot of effort. It takes more than one person to maintain it and keep everything updated and whatnot. Especially if you do a roster and I would recommend that too. And that's another thing we're going to do is we're GONNA WE'RE GONNA put our entire roster up on the website because it it gives your members some recognition and it gives them some ownership right when their name on the website so When you gotTA DO THOSE UPDATES. It's it's good to have some sort of team or a committee to do it. Okay so website. That's the number one thing every fire department should have won because people are going to be out there looking your your community is going to be out there looking. They're gonNA WANNA know phone numbers if they need to reach out to you. They're not going to be going on there as much. These days to check out the most updated incident or the most updated training or blog post. It's just not. It's not where it's at these days it used to be before. Social media was huge. But now all of your updates should be updated events in your updated Incidents and calls that you go on should be on social media. And that's what it's GonNa leave me into the next topic here. The next bullet point is Facebook and twitter. Yes younger people out there. Facebook is for old people. Well you know what? Maybe I don't consider myself old but I'm on facebook all the time. I do a lot of stuff on facebook and twitter. I don't use twitter much but a lot of people my age and older use twitter and they rely on twitter for their information. So this is where your fire department should be using these two platforms and this is where you WanNa Post your news right in your blog and say like today for instance we had these two brushfires right. I created a post on facebook about the brushfires. A few photos a brief description. It went up. Your upcoming events can be on their so. Say You hold a fundraiser? Each year or you're going to be doing Some sort of new fundraiser. Or You are going to be hosting you and it could be anything any upcoming events you posted on facebook. It has that ability to create a quote unquote event on the platform. Where you can invite people and it's a great way to get your community to come to your your staff and to help you raise money for your fundraising twitter. You can do the same thing by announcing it. I don't believe twitter has a way of creating events or anything like that because it's pretty much straightforward being. You know a news kind of platform but US both twitter and facebook kind of together right in parallel road. Closures is another really good thing that we use our facebook for when we have a call where there's a you know a decent accident and are in a certain roads going to be shut down for a little bit or if you've got a tree down you give a storm come through you got power lines down. You have a fire or maybe you're even doing your conducting a training situation and maybe some smoke and fire in the area and some training activity and whatnot where it may affect traffic. That's a great way to let people know about that in your community by just making a quick post. Hey this certain roads going to be down and can be closed for this amount of time for this reason. Don't be specific but be vague car accident. Such such road will be closed due to a car accident Blah Blah Blah and. Keep it simple like that. People are going to pick that up and they're gonNA share it right. They're gonNA share it with the friends are gonNA share it on their post their pages and whatnot and they're gonNA re tweet it and what that does is now. You've diverted traffic digitally right. It's not gonNA stop all traffic from coming but it's going to let people know one bit of advice. I do have on that though when you do post those things you're going to get comments on it. You're going to get people asking. Was anyone hurt. Who Was it this and that my best advice to you is just let the people comment. Don't respond to them okay. Don't reply back. Just let it go. Let it happen. Organically people are gonNA find out. Non Firefighters in town are GonNA find out. They're gonNa let them let them push that information out. Don't put that on the fire department. Okay you can come up with official press releases after But I don't recommend doing any of that on her road closure posts or anything like that. You can also do live videos on facebook. I don't know. Can you do it on twitter? I'm not sure see. I don't do much with twitter but I do know obviously on facebook you can do live videos those those that have the ability to save so if people did not see it When it was live they can see it later. It'll be in their news. Feed but live videos are great when it comes to promoting a fire prevention event or a fundraising event or even doing a press. Release if you did want to if you did have a long-term incident and you wanted your chief for your public information officer to get on there and give a briefing. That's a great opportunity to do live video. I don't recommend live feeding incidents for fires car accidents all that. Don't recommend that one. It's not good for It's not it doesn't make you look good because it makes you look like you're here instead of fighting the fire your videoing it right live. That's that doesn't never goes over well and also we want to be careful about putting out on the internet under your official fight apartments facebook or twitter Someone's house burning and somebody's worst day. Your community you know someone in your community is having the worst day of their life you don't want to portray that up on your social media especially live right but if you did want to do it as a news type of thing where you need to inform the public about something do it a little bit off site where you're not seeing anything tragic happening in the background and it's strictly informative and you know professional so just keep that in mind and that goes to when you're doing your blog posts when you're posting a story on facebook posting something about a call that you guys went to try to limit the loss of property in photos maybe take photos of of a piece of apparatus doing something or maybe the the members cleaning up or something like that but especially don't post photos inside houses you know people's property that's just bad taste and it does not make here guys your department look good to the public. You know us as firefighters. Yeah we enjoy seeing that. It's a great way to train and learn and this and that but you have to remember your official fire department. Social media accounts are There for the public that should be the priority. Because that's how they see it right. We're not a fire buff website. We're not a fire. Buff page We're we're actually. The firefighters dare to do the work. So keep that in mind right also on facebook and twitter you could be recognizing your members right so recognition of members of your member. Does something really great? They do. Rescue or They've completed a training course or anything like that. It's a perfect opportunity to showcase those members. Okay so do that do that on your facebook. Do that on your twitter because again that stuff gets shared all right and it's GonNa make you members feel good. It's going to make them feel like they wanna come back and it's going to give them some sort of pride as well also recognition of donations. Especially right now with this whole covert nineteen thing. Going on a lot of us are getting donated food right. We're getting donated food. Were getting hand sanitizer. We're getting all sorts of stuff coming in and this is the opportunity for us to give. Thanks back through the Internet through facebook through twitter showcase those those Businesses that are that are helping you out give them a little bit of Plug Okay and not just during this covert nineteen but anytime if you have a resident that comes in with a big check or someone comes in and around. Christmas time with their kids with plate of cookies. It's a great time to take a picture those cookies. Thank that family think. Those kids will go a long ways right. So that's facebook and twitter. Next bullet point is instagram so I separated this out from facebook and twitter because I feel that. Instagram is a little bit different right now. It's a little bit different than the other two. This is where you can showcase your fire department as a whole okay we know. Instagram is mostly about photos. Right you can go live on instagram. And it's another great platform to do your live videos and whatnot like I spoke about the facebook. But you can showcase your department take really cool pictures. Artsy pictures make you department really really good and positive guy not a great place to post incidents brushfires. Fine I did that today. 'cause it's brushfire. There was no loss of property the loss of life no injuries. However we don't really WANNA be showcasing like bad car wrecks bad structure fires and whatnot again. We're not a fire buff agency where a firefighting agency so. Let's post positive images on instagram but definitely create an instagram account. Because you're going to get a far reach their. You're going to get people wanting to see what you guys are doing. And how your department operates a good way to showcase your members there as well so yeah use instagram photos and video okay. Next on the bullet points is youtube. Okay Youtube is a great thing to have. Your department should have a youtube channel. You can show videos of your organization and the members doing things you have a training night have have someone on your department has really good with video and I would suggest recruiting somebody and maybe even advertising that out there that you want a video argh refer for your Fire Department. You may get someone you may get some bites years ago For our one hundredth anniversary about a year and a half before that we put an advertisement out that we would like someone to come and video us and follow us around so we can create a one hundredth anniversary history DVD and we had a couple bites and we ended up having this one kid come in. He was A video student and he offered his time and he legit followed US around with camera. Just getting raw footage okay. You may have eat. Join the fight apartment. He he did his thing and he didn't charge us and he was happy to help. You may find someone that wants to join your fire department for that sole purpose and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with that at all because that's a very good resource to have when it comes to any sort of fundraising event or anything on social media so create a youtube channel right. You can promote warrant articles and upcoming budget requests on there. If you want a new truck you need to have your community vote. Yes on on getting a new piece of fire apparatus or a new fire station or anything like that. That's a great opportunity for you to create a video. That's promoting that and pump it up to youtube okay. Recruitment videos is a lot of those out there. If you need members a lot of us do need members to join you can create a really really good youtube video for recruiting right another thing. I see people doing and I've heard about this a couple times and I think we should start doing it. Here too is showcasing members. And this is when you would take a member you put them in your fire station Sam in front of a truck and videotape them. Ask them about themselves and let them kind of go on about why they joined and this and that with a little bit of video editing you can have maybe two minute clip showcasing your member put that out on a youtube now. What you're doing with all these videos is. You can repurpose them. What do I mean by that? Is you re purposes videos by not only putting them on youtube but you're also putting them on facebook and on twitter. So what happens when you do that? Okay that that gets shared all that stuff gets shared and then once it gets shared people are seeing. Oh Wow also. Prescribe to the youtube account as well. So now you're getting subscribers. Now listen I am not a professional at this. I'm not a professional at What is best for social media? But what I do know is what I've learned from my own experience and from my wife's experienced my wife does network marketing. She's learning a lot when it comes to that and networking whatnot. So last week's episode was about networking right. So I'm learning these things myself and I'm bringing these to you In hopes it'll help. Your Department gained some traction when it comes to having a good public image okay so that was U2 next is. Don't laugh Tick Tock K. Right fine laugh but let me tell you what. There's a lot of firefighters on talk a lot of content on tick tock there's a lot of people scrolling through tech talk every single day maybe even more so now because they're sitting at home board right. This is a way to repurpose your youtube videos. Okay you have that video file you just bump it up to talk K. You can do quick fire safety clips right very easy to do if you go beyond the girls dancing and the comedy and whatnot. You'll actually see that. There are like real estate agents out there or there are mortgage loan lynn loan agents and there are lawyers and there are all sorts of different professions on. Tick Tock that are actually giving quick tips on how to do things in their world right where we could be doing the same thing. Quick fire safety tips okay. Quick Department profile clips. Right the sky's the limit. Tick Tock because you have maybe sixty seconds to just do something real quick a good training tip. Okay maybe you want to target some other firefighters. Good training good training tip. Okay good way to see that too as you go down to fight fire. D- D F F guys. They have a talk account and they're they're doing some really good content on there so the same idea right but we should be taking advantage of these platforms where there's a lot of underpriced attention right. So what does that lead me to? That leads me to saying that. This stuff is very very cost effective. Yes you do have to pay for a website. You do have to pay for hosting and for domain. But it's very very inexpensive right. There's very little money that goes into that. If you were to hire a Web Design Company yes you're going to be paying a lot of money but if you can get creative enough you could even put a message out there in your recruitment saying looking for web designer to join our organization right make them under. Get them to understand that you know this is. We're all here doing this for free. We're not getting paid you if you are. It's not a lot of money okay. But they're going to be part of something bigger than them they're going to be part of an organization that's that's tight and has a big bond and it's exciting and you may have yourself a fulltime web designer and a fulltime social media manager. You never know. Okay so be creative with the stuff. Social Media is free. You don't have to pay for. It is absolutely free. And it's all underpriced attention in. Its where we should be posting everything we do and everything that we're about and everything that we need to share with our community so community knows what we need when it comes time to buying equipment when it comes time to recruiting and if you're a full-time department and I'm not shying away from full-time departments because this is a benefit to you all is well. This is our time to be putting out the need. For more manpower. More hires right and anything in between social media and have a website make professional all right. There's also outside of social media because that's what I'm mostly hitting on right now. Internet tools type of stuff. But there's also systems out there that you can subscribe to that which is going to cost money but it's like a reverse phone call type of deal reverse nine one Code Red is one of them. Look it up We used it a little bit in my old job as a dispatcher. And we have an account here in our town and basically the idea. There is You in the short term. You're you're calling people's phones to let them know that something's going on so if a road is closed for any amount of time if there's a power outage if there's some sort of has matt incident or anything like that where people need to evacuate you can do that through this code red or whatever other Systems there are out there because as a few companies do this. And it's just another way to communicate. I'm not a professional at any of that stuff but I would recommend looking that up too so if you want to communicate with your your citizens your community. That's that's another really good way to do it. That will cost a little bit of money but the other topics that I talked about the other points that I hit on. Don't cost any money whatsoever. In fact it could be a way to increase your revenue for your organization. So that's all I have for you guys today and I really appreciate US hanging around and listening and I hope I was able to provide you with some sort of value in this episode. And if I didn't. I'm sorry maybe I'll do better next time. Who knows so? Time is valuable. Everybody and you're taking your time to listen to this show. That means a whole lot. And it really motivates me and the other two team members to keep moving along with this and keep making it better and better like I said the last episode we are doing our social distancing and it's been tough to get everyone together right so there'd be some more solo episode which is perfectly fine. Probably doing some more phone calls shows which I hope soon. I gotTa do some tweaking mixer. I screwed something up. I still haven't fixed it yet. But that's okay thank you everybody. Please be safe. Wash your hands. Stay away from people who are sick if you can. If you can't which I understand because the line of work we do. Please be cautious. Please use a heads and be safe. All right thanks guys for listening friends. Please join the movement by sharing this podcast and sharing our social media accounts and visiting US AT BROTHERHOOD ACADEMY RADIO DOT COM Brotherhood Academy radio. Podcast is brought to you by salty hook media.