When it comes to department’s perception, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Effective personal PR holds the secret.
Research has proven that 67% of first impressions are accurate. Your image tells the world who you are and where you are going. Your business image says the same. Every email, conversation, and phone call you make creates first impressions that build our department impression.
In person, how you shake hands, make eye contact, conduct yourself in social situations and the clothes you choose to wear contribute to our department brand.
Welcome to the concept of Personnel PR.
Your image is like the weather. People notice when it is extremely good or extremely bad. People should not judge us by our outward appearances, but of course, you know they will.
Typically not tolerated by a Fire Department
• Employees that have a poor hygiene
• Use of Tobacco products on city vehicles, or public buildings
• Beards & Goatees
• Out of proper uniform in public
• Use of profane language in front of children
• Arguments in public or with the public
• Slandering the department or the members to the public
• Answering the telephone rudely
• Being late to scheduled appointment (Note: Emergencies are an exception)
• Lead by example
• Inform your shift of what expected and what is not tolerated.
• Run your shift with a zero tolerance
• Discipline if necessary
Why does public image matter? What difference does it make if the public image of Firefighters t is less than positive?
• Firefighter/ Officers represent the first line of communication about fire department to the general public. That is, you are responsible for conveying
information, often through the one on one conversation, about issues.
You can also help the public understand the importance of the Fire Department and appreciate its benefits. Image has a lot to do with how effective that communication is in capturing the attention of the public. The more appealing the image, the more likely that people will listen to what is being said.