Why give frontline teams access to social media? Easy. Because they create the best content.
It’s long been a drum I’ve been banging and I find it odd that this hasn’t mushroomed faster.
What was the content?
Take Highgate Fire Station in the West Midlands, for example. They responded to an abandoned burning car on November 4 and posted a short video clip the next day. Just 21 seconds and features a firefighter in breathing aparatus extinguishing the blaze. They posted it to their station Twitter account. You can see the video here:
Earlier car fire in action. Remember that arson is a danger to us and members of the public! pic.twitter.com/pZPNOavpOs
— WMFS Highgate (@HighgateFire) November 5, 2016
In terms of resource, it took one firefighter less than five minutes to shoot, edit and post the content. It’s the kind of thing that back when I was a journalist the fire crew would barely mention. Why? Because they are routine to them. To the residents they serve they aren’t.
So who saw that video?
Tweetreach say that 39,000 accounts were reached by the tweet which was shared 13 times. Included in that number was the Birmingham Mail who ripped the video and created their own video which they posted on their own channels.
What equipment was needed?
A smartphone that can record video and some WiFi. That’s it.
What did it say?
On a basic level, it said that firefighters risk their lives to make the area they serve safer. It also works to promote the work of the fire service and better connect with residents.
So, why wouldn’t fire and rescue services want more of this? In fact, why wouldn’t the rest of the public sector want to tell people about the job they are doing? And yet, so many oprganisations are still reluctant to invest and trust their staff.