In the public eye: Ways for first responders to maintain strong public relations
How responders present themselves can directly impact their own careers and departments
By Allison G. S. Knox, American Military University
Often times, first responders don’t contemplate the importance of good public relations. For some individuals, public relations have connotations that are anything but appealing. However, it is critically important for first responders to be keenly aware of how they present themselves because this can directly impact their own careers and departments.
Be Aware of Your Written Correspondence
Many first responders do not think about the importance of well-written letters or emails. Perhaps the writing standards of society in general have slipped in recent years, however, poor grammar, spelling errors and/or typos can leave the recipient with a negative impression of one’s professionalism. First responders need to be keenly aware of what they write and how they write it. Careless errors may demonstrate that an individual is not detail oriented, that they are not well educated, or simply that they do not care to take the time to write properly.
Present Yourself in a Professional Manner
Good public relations extends beyond emails and written correspondence though. For first responders it means demonstrating proper etiquette and good manners. The public generally wants an upstanding citizen to enter their home when they have called 9-1-1 requesting assistance. Beyond the tasks that first responders must perform in their respective duties, they must also apply concepts of good etiquette.