Public Safety agencies use social media for many objectives, but one of the most pressing is the quick release of emergency information. Whether posting a tornado warning, evacuation orders, or a crime in progress, always ask your followers to share the post.
The goal is to get the important information to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time, so your followers will want to help.
Agencies should also consider sharing content created by sister agencies. Especially in a large scale incident, re-posting information from other agencies can help spread the word faster and show the public that agencies can work together for their safety. Sharing content from other agencies should never drown out your own message or priorities, but if done right, your agency will gain the trust of your followers and the public safety community in your area.
Last but not least, share content that is beneficial to your followers. You are not a business, so you are not marketing a product or even a service. You should focus your content on your agencies purpose and scope. If you are a Fire Department, sharing critical information such as fire safety tips and severe weather awareness tips would be great, but don’t get into the promotion game and post ads for fire alarm monitoring systems or weather radios, this could hurt your credibility very fast.
Sharing information is the point of social media, for public safety, it should be an extension of our primary goals of saving lives and protecting the property of the people that we serve, not something that doesn’t resemble your primary mission.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog and any opinions, observations, or ideas are mine and not associated in any way with my employer, The Reedy Creek Improvement District.