There is an abundance of outstanding things happening in the fire service today and inside departments all across the country, but very few people know about them. Fire departments should be strategic in their public relations and marketing tactics. Even though you may be the only game in town for fire and rescue services, your reputation can suffer, funding can be redirected to other departments, and requests for improved capital needs may fall short without employing specific strategies. Show your community the value of your organization and the benefits it provides!
In addition to being a valuable public relations tool, fire department websites can also be an important safety tool for the communities they serve. But what should your website’s content focus on? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Public Relations & Communication
How well does your department respond to the public? Create a positive public opinion and image by getting involved in the community with political and business leaders, building solid relationships with the media and employing strong customer service practices. As you connect, you’re marketing the vision and mission of the department and building respect. All of these events and programs that you run will work toward building your image and should be showcased on your platforms. Your websites should be regarded as a source of news for the community and a forum to show off the department, equipment, and staff, so include bios and training achievements of your members.
Let residents and business owners of your community hear department messages directly; don’t let them hear it from someone states away with no personal connection to the community. The public expects to receive information from you, so be sure to live up to that.
Social links should be on the website, building awareness and promoting events the department is involved in. The website can also be used to spread community news in the case of an emergency. Some people who search for your department online will have a rather urgent need to find or contact you so it’s important that information is accurate and updated.
2. Fire Prevention Tips & Tools
Your website is a great place to include fire prevention tips and advice. You could even include printable guides and lists that members of your community can download, print, and share with others. Also, consider offering resources that can be posted around schools and public buildings. However, keep in mind that before adding external links, it is extremely important that your website is fully protected from cyber threats.
3. Donation & Support Invitations
At many fire stations, fundraisers and community events are regular occurrences. You can use your website to raise money directly or to promote upcoming events. You could even post online calendars and invite visitors to register directly through your pages. Note that adding different components and programs increases the need for security.
Most people love their local firefighters and the fact that they have individuals who are willing to help out in a dangerous situation. Increase your goodwill in the community by posting a few behind-the-scenes photos of your team.
If you do plan on adding a website to your department’s outreach efforts, it is crucial that your website be well-designed and safe from threats. Protect your website and its visitors with a Cyber Liability program, and enjoy your new site!
About Provident FirePlus
At Provident FirePlus, we offer custom tailored packages to best protect firefighters and volunteer firefighters. We understand the risks that emergency response teams are subjected to on a daily basis, and have worked to serve these dedicated professionals for over 87 years. For more information about our products and policies, we invite you to contact our experts today at (855) 201-8880.