1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Rockford, IL

    Default Public Relations

    Brothers and Sisters,

    We here in Iowa City, Local 610 are exploring the idea of creating a public relations committee. This committee would help to promote our local and inform the community of our staffing (or lack there of). We thought about sending out flyers telling the citizens that we need more firefighters and another station to keep our response times down. Plus we would like to just make our presence know to the public by volunteering for local events.

    We would like to have a push from the community to make our city council give us another station and keep (or add to) our current staffing.

    Does anyone out there do anything like this? We would like to have some input from other locals that may deal with public relations.

    Thanks for your help,

    Erik "Digger" Meyer
    Iowa City Fire
    A-shift, Station 1

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    dragonfyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Birdsboro, PA


    Flyers are a good idea but think about where the ones you get end up. Usually in the trash can either unread or read but who cares.

    Go out into the community. Speak at Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis or whatever service organizations you have. If you can get them to believe in you it will help to spread the news. Once you start networking it's amazing how fast word gets around.

    Once you make contacts spend time visiting the businesses in your response area. But before you tell them how they can help you, ask questions, find out about their business. Then tell them how you can help them and how, if they help you, you can do an even better job of protecting their investment.

    Be careful who you choose to make the speeches and contacts. Sending the wrong person(s) can backfire and do more harm than good.

    It also doesn't hurt to find out who your friends are on city council. Without getting too political you can make points with them and then try to get their backing for your proposal.

    Good luck.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Rural Iowa


    What is the intent of project? Improve the lot of the citizens in the peoples republic of Iowa City or just advance a union?

    If the former, make the case of how additional expenditure of taxpayer funds is to the financial benefit of the taxpayer. Even the socialists in IA city can relate to saving money when it is their money. Research ISO and develop a plan that will improve ISO rating (and typically will translate into improved efficency/effectiveness). Improved ISO rating will translate into savings on insurance $ for taxpayers total the estimated annual savings vs. additional annual cost and you'll probably have a good case for a postitive payback that you can sell to the media and they will do your PR work for you. Given the pitiful ISO performance ratings in Iowa certainly room for improvement. I think IA City is ISO 4?

  4. #4
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    Diane E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Maryland (but always a Long Islander first)


    I have to agree -- be careful how you word things like lack of staffing. God forbid someone dies in a fire for whatever reason, if they have that (lack of staffing) to go on, you're done.

    You may want to look into the high school as well -- some are requiring community service. Do you have a Junior Fire Program? Start them young!

    Suffolk County (Long Island, NY) started a campaign a few years ago. It's on posters in public places like hospitals, it's on billboards, and it's on public buses. I was also in CT this past weekend and saw the Trumbull Fire Dept. at a shopping mall with a table set up and all of their gear. I didn't check it out, but I'm guessing they were doing fire prevention and perhaps even recruiting.

    The Suffolk County link is:

    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  5. #5
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Default Improved Public Relations

    I am the PIO for Daytona Beach Fire Department and we are currently working on a public relations campaign that is a partnership with our IAFF Local 1162 Daytona Beach Fire/Rescue.

    We too plan on doing a lot of public speaking to promote our department. Before I re-invent the wheel, if anyone has a PowerPoint presentation that they use to promote the great things their department does, I would appreciate them sharing it with us. please contact me through the union web site http://www.dbfr.org

  6. #6
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    AFD368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Albion NY



    Be prepared and have the information on the financial status of the city.
    Many cities are in financial crisis and are searching where to CUT their budgets.
    The city of Buffalo NY has cut fire stations and is laying off firefighters because of their
    budget crunch. The Buffalo Firefighters held a public rally last week to show the public how these cute will compromise response times and public safety. The bottom line is still money.
    Public relations is the best way to go, but have facts.

    As dragonfyer said; “Go out into the community”.
    "The uniform is supposed to say something about you. You get it for nothing, but it comes with a history, so do the right thing when you're in it."
    Battalion Chief Ed Schoales
    from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
    I.A.C.O.J. Member

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