How to grow your Firewise Community with social media

Blog Post created by faithberry Employee on Mar 3, 2016

Social Media Picture

Social media can be a great way to communicate to a large audience, effectively marketing your message. There are platforms that you can easily use to market your message including Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Facebook and more.  Did you know that Firewise has its own Facebook page, Firebreak blog site, and Twitter feed?  Check them out, they can help you more easily be informed about the latest research and events pertaining to wildfire preparedness.   By participating in the Firewise social media platforms, you can emulate these methods of implementing your own social media outreach. 

According to Lauren Backstrom, Social Media Manager at the NFPA, “Since social media has proven to be a tremendous communications tool, it only makes sense that Firewise communities can see success using it as well. Facebook and Twitter can be used to send out announcements to neighbors about upcoming events, information on approaching wildfires and evacuation updates, as well as to share Firewise tips and ideas that community members can use at their own homes. Communities who may already be low on time or resources can use these free resources to amplify their reach to everyone they need to, with one single message, all in an instant.” 

I have been able to observe some incredible successes of many Firewise Communities. These communities have worked collaboratively with agency partners to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. They have not only embraced their success but many have also been willing to go “the extra mile”, to help neighboring communities also become recognized Firewise Communities.

The key to real success is the ability of the community to promote this success. By successfully promoting your success stories, you can create a “snowball effect”, gathering more support and proponents of Firewise principles. People want to be a part of a winning team and they will engage with communities that are. You need to share your success to additionally promote your activities for future grants, support, and endorsements.  It is also important to shine in order to share how other communities can emulate your success.

While putting together information shared by Firewise communities about successful Firewise Days, many communities shared their newsletters and websites.  These are some examples of communities who have successfully used both traditional and social media:

Diamond Peaks in Oregon, Story in Wyoming, and Ramsey Canyon in Arizona are all Firewise Communities that host their own Facebook pages.

Leon Valley in Texas was recognized for their efforts on a local newscast website.

Laurel Woods, in the State of Virginia, was also recognized on a newscast for their Firewise efforts in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Forestry.

The Sun City,Texas Firewise Subcommittee has their own website.

The Colfax County Coalition of Firewise Communities (CCCFC) received a grant from the New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC) to develop a 5 – 7 minute video of Firewise actions and identifying hazards in the Home Ignition Zone that they posted on Youtube.

Finally, Log Hill Firewise Community, in Ridgeway, Colorado also has a website with a front page that provides guidance to other neighboring communities that want to become Firewise.