How can you leverage social media to champion the life-saving power of home fire sprinklers? The answer to this question was the focus of Changing the Conversation and Raising Awareness for Fire Sprinklers #fastestwater, a well-attended session at the NFPA conference and Expo yesterday in San Antonio, Texas.
Presenting was Vickie Pritchett, the Director of Outreach & Government Relations at the National Fire Sprinkler Association. She highlighted the power of social media, citing how it provides immediate access to information, fosters connectivity and the opportunity to influence and create a movement.
With all the positives of social media, not surprisingly it's not all good. As so many of us have witnessed, people can easily hide behind their anonymity and the platforms can be a place of "all talk and no action."
Despite these negatives, it's to our advantage to embrace social media to help raise awareness for home fire sprinklers. By doing so, "We are advancing the conversation and we are saving lives," said Vickie.
To ensure your social media efforts are primed to make a positive impact, Vickie offered the following advice:
- Know your stats. Make sure you're up to date on the latest research, use the hard numbers to clear up myths about home fire sprinklers.To make your content even more relevant, layer in local statistics when you can.
- Find voices to help tell the story. Partner with home fire survivors in your area; as Vickie said, “Those voices make a difference.”
- Leverage existing resources. You don't have to go it alone; join forces with your state's Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Draw information from NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative, Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), and National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), all of which have produced fact sheets, videos, and infographics that can be used in social media posts.
- Last but not least, share your successes - and get inspiration from others.
As you might have seen on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, sprinkler advocates across North America, including members of NFPA, NFSA, HFSC and AFSA recently took part in Home Fire Sprinkler Week. Social media proved to be an impactful way to get the word out and generate conversation about this life-saving technology. Did you participate and use social media in your own advocacy campaign? We invite you to share your social success story below.