2 days ago
Discussion Board 6
PADM 710: Information Management in Public Sector Organizations
October 4, 2020
Social media can be used to benefit organizations and reach a wide spectrum of citizens. Not only can those within a municipality be reached, but anyone with an internet connection can view an organizations social media account and the information they post (Byrne, 2019). The Cranberry Township Fire Department is active on several social media accounts and uses them each in different ways. One of the main ways the department uses their Facebook account is to relay important information such as community advisories if there is an event or incident in the township. For incidents that may shut down roads or cause traffic hazards, the department will post that the area or roadway is closed and drivers should seek alternate routes. The department can also broadcast emergency information such as evacuations, storm shelters, power outages and so on. This is an excellent tool to reach the public and serve as an information gathering place for the public and department members (Klugman, 2018).
The department will post non-emergency events such as recruitment advertisements and other department news. The department is heavily involved with the community therefore photos and events are often posted. During the Covid outbreak, the department would post news and information such as testing sites or how the public should handle emergencies. A large part of the departments mission is educating the public on health and safety, therefore attempts to protect the public took priority (Byrne, 2019). Other local departments have taken fundraising to social media in various forms. This was due to in person events being cancelled due to the shutdown. Fire departments in the area are mostly volunteer and depend on fundraising to stay open. Some departments adapted and hosted fundraising opportunities such as raffles and small games of chance over Facebook. The results were very positive and popular with the community, causing these events to be successful and assist the departments with funding.
Several departments will be taking fire prevention week online, which is held every first week in October. Normally departments would visit local schools and other organizations to teach fire prevention lessons. However due to Covid this year, departments will be hosting them on live social media platforms. Many fire departments relied on social media to assist with carrying out their mission and vision when Covid caused nationwide shut downs (Byrne, 2019). Social media was able to fill a large gap that was created when in person meetings were not possible. Social media proved to be very successful and will have a large part in future events after Covid has passed.
Chief Scott Garing has admitted that the departments social media accounts are a very underused resource for the department. The department could use social media more often and to connect to residents more than they currently do. The departments website also has limited updated information for the public to see. Basic contact information is listed, however the department only posts news a few times a year as needed. The department could be involved with the community and more connected through social media, especially with the events of Covid-19 putting in person meetings.
1 Corinthians 15:33 states “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33).” In regards to social media, the use of social media by the organization as well as department members should be of professional use. Wrong minded posts can be used against the organization and person which can harm the image of the organization. Many cases exist where a member of an organization made off colored comments on social media and it came back against the organization (Weinblatt, 2020). Reports of public servants and officials have also been made that they have lost their job over inappropriate posts on social media. When using social media in any form, all must remember to be professional towards other people and know that their words can have repercussions.
2 John 1:12 states “Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete (2 John 1:12).” Even though social media is able to connect people from far distances and in quick time, nothing should ever replace face to face contact with people. The most memorable experiences can be when people are together in person. Interactions with the public can have life long memory and a stronger effect than a post on social media. Although social media has helped connect with the community, the department should still put emphasis on being in the community and making physical contact with citizens. Social media has taken away family time and personal interaction with each other. In some cases families will not even speak to each other due to being distracted by social media and smart devices. Social media has taken over and replaced physical discussion and contact with each other, which can be harmful for relationship development.
Byrne , D. (2019). Please Enable Cookies. StackPath. https://www.firehouse.com/prevention-investigation/community-risk-reduction/article/21090498/how-to-embrace-social-media-in-your-fire-department.
Klugman, L. (2018, September 14). Why governments need to respond to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/shift-happens-why-governments-need-to-respond-to-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/
Valacich, J. (2018). Information Systems Today: Managing in the Digital World. 8th ed. Pearson. 2018. ISBN: 9780134635200
Weinblatt, D. R. (2020, January 28). 5 ways to destroy your firefighting career on social media. https://www.firerescue1.com/social-media-for-firefighters/articles/5-ways-to-destroy-your-firefighting-career-on-social-media-fYO8DF1phkOIk3EJ/.
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