Does your EMS Agency have a website? Most people will answer yes to the that question. However, I would be willing to bet that your agency website has become pretty static (non-changing). Once you list your department’s history, services, vehicles, and so on very little changes. The problem with static content is that no one wants to revisit the site to see the same content again. One of the easiest ways to regularly update your content and drive more traffic to your website is to add a blog section to the website.
Blogs are a great way to spread the word about your organization and let the world (wide web) know that you still have something to say!
A Web Blog, commonly referred to as simply a “Blog” is a type of website or part of a website that is supposed to be updated with new content on a regular basis. Blogs can contain entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.
Adding a blog to your Social Media program can give a big boost to your Department’s PIER (Public Information, Education and Relations) Program.
A blog specifically for your EMS agency can offer a many opportunities to communicate with the people you serve and protect. A blog can serve as a platform to:
- News & Information: You do not need to send a press release to your local newspaper to spread the word about what is happening in your organization. Your agency blog allows you to keep the public informed about things happening within your walls. You can also share how other local events are impacting your agency – budget talks occurring in town? Letting the public know how their taxes monies are used and help meet their emergency needs will encourage more support of your department.
- Emergency Preparedness: Every community has their own set of hazards to contend with and your agency should be part of the preparedness program! People are looking for relevant, local information about emergency preparedness in their hometown your blog can be a great source of information for those people.
- Public Education: Every month of the year (and just about every week now) will promote awareness or recognize some community health issue. An easy regular feature of your blog could be address those topics from the EMS point of view.
- Celebration Announcements: Did someone in your organization do something great? It does not have to be just about EMS performance. Your staff will enjoy seeing their name and accomplishments publicized.
The key thing to remember about adding a blog to your website or using a blog as your primary internet presence is to keep things fresh! People want to see regularly updated material. If you are not adding new content to your blog people will stop following you.
There are many sources to get the material to fill your blog – besides the ideas mentioned above just look around your station, you may be surprised by what can inspire a blog post. Also, consider tapping into your staff. You do not have to write every blog post yourself. Getting other team members is a great way to find more material and spread the influence of your blog.
Another important function of your blog is reader comments, a key to any social media program is to engage with your followers. Blogs allow readers to add comments to posts, these comments can become a great source of interaction with the public.
Don’t forget once you publish new content, use your other social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, etc) to promote your new post!