Fire Prevention & Protection

MAXIMIZING MEDIA COVERAGE

Issue 5 and Volume 153.

It is widely accepted that public informa-tion and marketing go hand-in-hand in the fire and rescue service. Big fires and significant rescues are big news. Once you accept the news medium as an asset instead of a threat, you can work on how to make the most of each opportunity. How you handle the media has a lot to do with how effectively you get out your message. There is no substitute for early and aggressive handling of an incident by the fire department public information officer (PIO). Without knowing how to properly use the news media, the PIO might take the position of “let them come to me.” In most cases, this method will work, but it puts you on their schedule when the media find out about the incident on their own. Often, by letting the word of an incident spread by normal means, such as by scanner,…

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