Get Information out Quick with Twitter
Building and Safety, fire prevention and emergency management departments have looked for creative ways to provide quick tips to our communities. This may be the news, when to shelter in place, tid-bits on big events, or when the next open house is. Web 2.0 is moving quickly and traditional static web-pages are becoming a thing of the past. The social media of Twitter, Facebook, or Linked in can help you get your message out.
I have been on twitter for a little while, trying to figure out, but it is really simple. I have found over 20 fire departments, the American Red Cross, USFA, and even the NFPA all on twitter (I am still looking for a couple building departments). In fact many news organizations are blasting out updates on twitter because it is faster then an email.
Twitter is a free micro blog that lets you share information with the near 2 million users. The reason its called a micro-blog is that it is that each line can only use up to 140 characters. So, you have to think in brevity when posting on twitter.
How Can it Be Used
In the code enforcement arena, we strive to educate the public on fire prevention, building safety, or why you need a permit. Part of the problem, is that people only come to our static web-pages when they need something.
With social media we can provide quick snippets that are injected into thousands of lives and can bring them to our sites. For instance, we have a public safety message on why permits are needed for decks. We fax it out to our local news media and they run a small article. We can take it one step further, create a twitter account and look to add followers over time. If we had 100 followers, we can send out a quick blip and send them back to our web-page.
This access is only available if we have a means to communicate with the general public and continue to build on it. There are many fire departments who use twitter for PIO’s or even to broadcast details on incidents and even evacuation notices.
In fact the PIO’s for LAFD have been utilizing twitter and other social media concepts since early 2007. This trend of government utilizing social media was highlighted in PC Magazine. LAFD has nearly 2500 followers and broadcasts multiple messages in a day.
There are many options with Twitter on how to view the “tweets” or catagorize the people you follow. In fact there are hundreads of resources for twitter, just google it.
Some people may even elect to have twitter text message them when they recieve certian tweets. Think of the possibilities if you wanted to get a message out to the masses on evacuations! Don’t let social media break you down, its hear to stay and we need to make our departments version 2.0.
- Give it a try and follow us on twitter
- Are you feeling a little more professional, join our group on Linkedin
If you are on twitter and would like others to find you, send us a comment with your twitter ID