Service Design, Marketing and Leadership

Keeping "service" in the fire service is not just a marketing imperative. It's a leadership responsibility. And, if you are the leader, the essence of leadership is not just about empowering people to execute the organizational mission as a result of your presence, but making that impact last and grow in your absence.

When it comes to the marketing mission of the fire service, every department and firefighter represents the best of us - protecting life and property after we have done our best to prevent an emergency incident in the first place. We do not have the luxury of segmenting our markets. We are a "democratic service." Every citizen receives the same quality of service regardless of socioeconomic position.

Whether you are an organizational leader of the department, a leader of fire officers or a leader of firefighters, the ability to provide service to our citizens is dependent on a service design: a structure that delivers the highest quality to our citizens - not just at an emergency incident.

The question we should always be asking is: does our service design reflect our mission and the intent of our department's leadership relating to service delivery? Does it work? Is there a feedback loop to improve it?

In the end, the citizen will decide with their political or their financial support if we have delivered on our mission. Marketing gives us the platform to show our citizens the essence and quality of our service. Good marketing is the truth of that service well-told. Let's make sure the results of our service design reflect that truth.