Social media’s importance in providing effective public service messaging

Blog Post created by faithberry Employee on Jul 1, 2016

I just returned from a social media gathering in Anaheim, California known as VidCon.  According to their Vid Con Entrance.jpgwebsite, “VidCon is the world’s largest conference for and about online video. VidCon assembles fans, veteran and amateur creators, working professionals, and industry thought-leaders for three days of celebration, introspection, and discussion.”  In 2015 there were 25,000 in attendance and this year’s convention saw at least that 2 (002).JPG


This was a great opportunity to learn about the social media platforms being used, including Snap Chat, Instagram, and others. The sessions gave attendees insight about steps that can be taken to create blogs, videos, and tweets that can lead to successful messaging.  One session Brain Scoop shared how they became one of the most successful museum communication outlets in the world with millions of viewers!  Some inside tips shared at the conference included:


  • Having a message that resonates with your audience.  Be honest and genuine.
  • When new content is released on your website like a video, let everyone know within 24 hours on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram.
  • Pick some great music or creative artwork that captures your audience’s attention.
  • Some said to keep it short while others stressed streaming videos for hours at a time.
  • Brand your presentations with your own personality.
  • Build your audience by continually generating interesting content.
  • Provide opportunities for your audience to engage with you.
  • Appeal to a feel-good spot, such as a heartwarming human interest story.
  • Try using social sharing platforms that you have not used before.  Be adventurous!


So why learn about social media and social media trends? Perhaps because in the future fire service may be more reliant on various social media platforms both to send and receive information.  The use of social media by fire service may become more important to share information about fire prevention, and even evacuation information among others. Incoming social media could provide emergency responders with pictures and other information that could help them make decisions about how to deploy resources available during an emergency response. What do you think?  Has your department used social media during response operations?


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Pictures taken by Faith Berry