Charlotte and Mesa departments tweet events, safety information—as well as emergency information
As the saying goes, a single spark can start a prairie fire. In other words, mix together a few people, some time, and a little spark of information and you’ve got a Twitter fire—or at least a burgeoning social media presence.
Two fire departments, one in Charlotte, N.C., and another in Mesa, Ariz., haven’t fought a lot of prairie fires, but the public information officers know the saying well. They’ve both built promising Twitter followings in a few months and a presence on a host of other sites using only what they had: a few public information officers, some videos and photos, and safety events and fires to discuss.
“People were already on all the different outlets, so why aren’t we out there with them trying to communicate instead of trying to force them into what we were using?” says Marrisa Ramirez-Ramos, public information officer and fire and life safety education specialist. “We were using the City of Mesa Web site, but they weren’t users of that already, so let’s get on Twitter and take advantage of people already out there.”