Monday, May 18, 2015

Your Social Media Strategy


The Why.

Six years ago I started this blog for the purpose of being a voice and resource for the fire protection and life safety professional. While there are many blogs and writers for the firefighter that deal with fire service leadership, strategy and tactics, and emergency medical service, there still remains very few blogs geared directly toward fire prevention, fire protection, and life safety.


Blogging and maintaining  a social media presence can be accomplished in less than 4 hours a week, and requires no financial commitment. The return that you get can be worth many hours of hard work and thousands of dollars.  Blogging and having a platform opens the door to many other opportunities, it positions you as an expert in your field, and it connects you with like minded individuals all around the globe.

A social media "expert" I am not, however, I have picked up a few successful practices along the way. Though it may seem that this post is off topic for TheCodeCoach.com, it is my hope that the social media process, tools, and guidance provided here will motivate you to start a platform to spread your own message.

source: www.gotcredit.com

Start with this FREE checklist --> Blog Start-Up Checklist

The Process.


  • Write the blog post. Time required: 70 minutes.  I usually do this on Saturday mornings. The post writing should include:
    • write the content
    • come up with an appealing title
    • add a photo to the post: utilize free images from, flickr.com/creativecommons/
    • schedule the post: posts can be scheduled in advance, mine are scheduled for Monday at 0530.
  • Feed your social media platforms. Time required: 60 minutes. It is important to regularly share information, updates, and valuable information with your audience and readers.  Here are the tools I use to accomplish this:
    • Paper.li - this automatically pulls related article from around the web and compiles it into a daily 'paper' that is automatically posted to your Twitter and other platforms.
    • HootSuite - this lets your schedule posts in advance, and see all of your social media feeds at one time..  I schedule all my social media posts for the week using this application. I usually schedule 5 posts per day, Monday - Friday.  Here is what I share on my social media networks:
      • Google Alerts - current and relevant events
      • My top viewed posts
      • Other blogs I follow
      • My current blog post
  • Utilize LinkedIn. Time required: 30 minutes. Personally, I have found LinkedIn to be the best social media platform for my blog and audience.  Here is how I utilize LinkedIn to add value to the industry:
    • join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your topic
    • share a link to your blog post within each of these groups. I do this usually on Monday or Tuesday evening.
  • Send a newsletter to your readers. Time required: 30 minutes. As your audience grows you will want to collect e-mail addresses so you can send your information to those who are interested.  I use MailChimp for this. My weekly newsletter includes:
    • my newest blog post
    • top visited posts of the past week

The Tools.

Here are the tools that I use on a regular basis.  These automate the social media process and make your platform possible.


Don't forget to download my FREE Blog Start-Up Checklist!



Monday, May 4, 2015

3 Steps to Compliance



With all the responsibilities that occur when taking on a new client, moving to a new company, or working with different facilities,  it is easy to become overwhelmed.  When we work from an overwhelmed state it is easy for critical compliance issues to “slip through the cracks” and be missed.  This could leave your facility (and community) vulnerable to hazards, fire loss, and heavy fines.


Risk by Ben Stephenson

This simple 3-step system for compliance provides clear direction for assessing your facilities, determining areas of vulnerability, and creating a plan for compliance.


  1. Determine current status.


What processes or systems are currently in place? What deficiencies or issues have been noted on previous inspection/audit reports? What is the current condition of the facility?


  1. Conduct a hazard assessment or risk analysis.


Utilizing a checklist or worksheet, conduct a thorough assessment of the fire protection and life safety features currently in place.  Review the operational procedures that take place at the facility.  Identify specific hazards or hazardous areas.  View employee training records and emergency action plans/responsibilities.


  1. Develop a plan of action.


Based on the current condition of the facility, past inspection reports, and your risk assessment conducted, areas of vulnerability or needed improvements will be revealed. A plan can be created to ensure compliance.

Utilizing this 3-step system will help you structure your tasks (and not feel overwhelmed), provide guidance and direction, and ensure that your fire protection and life safety features are code compliant.