The Federal Emergency Management Agency has just launched their new blog (blog.fema.gov). What can you expect from the new FEMA blog? From their first post:
Plain and simple, this will be another tool we’ll use to communicate and let you know what we’re up to. This won’t be another way to put out our press releases – this is a way to communicate directly with you.
You’ll eventually hear from team members from across our agency, from our regional offices to our field offices, supporting local disaster recovery efforts. We will provide information before, during and after disaster strikes and we will highlight best practices, innovative ideas, and insights that are being used across emergency management and across the country.
This blog may surprise many to see such a large federal agency being so open. However, if you’ve followed FEMA in the past you know that they’ve embraced social media (they actually use their pages rather than just own them). You can link to their social media platforms here: FEMA Facebook, FEMA Twitter, and the FEMA Director Craig Fugate’s Twitter.
I sometimes hate just posting a link without adding value. However, I think Jon Stewart and Rhett Fleitz have captured the recent actions of the republican party surrounding the 9/11 health care bill quite well.
If you have any interest in firefighting, were an American during 9/11, or have any interest in basic humanity – visit FireCritic’s site and watch the Daily Show video.
Top Referrers QR Code
One of the projects that has kept me away from blogging recently has been volunteer firefighter recruitment. I’ve been working with several other people to put together some posters to increase our application rate for the upcoming recruit academy. Creating recruitment posters for a fire department were not very difficult. In fact, with the right people involved it was actually quite fun to see the end product. The hardest part of the process was moving our future applicant from interest to action.
It’s one thing to create a snazzy billboard or poster. It’s quite another though to get an audience to actually follow through with your intentions. Here’s our goal: create a snazzy poster that will hopefully catch a persons interest AND THEN get them to go to our website to fill out an application. The problem: lots of things happen between when a person sees the poster and they get to a computer. Can we really make a poster that is so powerful that the message stays with them til they get access to the internet?
The problem is that we can’t. Instead, we need to transfer that interest when they see the recruitment poster into action immediately! How do we do that: QR Codes. Several businesses have begun using these in their advertisements to direct consumers to more information about their product. All the consumer needs is a smartphone with a camera. Download a QR Code app, take a picture with your phone, and you’re immediately directed to whatever is hidden behind the QR Code image. Now, you’re potential applicant is transported directly to your online application page where they can fill out their basic demographic information.
If you’re interested, feel free to try it out yourself. The QR code image from above links back to one of the leading referrers of readership to our blog. Or if you’re up to it, spend 30 seconds over at the Kaywa QR Code Generator and make one yoursefl. Enjoy!
Christopher Brennan over at The Fire Service Warrior has published a list of books he believes would be good reading for anyone in the fire service. Being an avid reader, I’m always interested to see what others find as important and required reading.
Buzz over to Brennan’s blog and check out the list. Don’t forget to add your comments if you think he’s missed an important text. I think he’ll be adding this in his own book soon.