Whether we like it or not there are times when, as a member of the fire service, we are forced to deal with the media.  It may be at an emergency scene, a fundraiser or municipal meeting. Being prepared to interact with the press will help convey a positive image to the public.

In order to help you prepare for such an event the Montgomery County Fire Academy will present PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR THE FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES, a 16 hour class designed to better prepare both line and executive officers for any contact with the media and the public.

The class starts with DEFINING & PLANNING PUBLIC RELATIONS, a module which has been presented at F.D.I.C., will help define the need to have an ongoing public relations program and the steps needed to implement the program. BUILDING BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS will discuss working with local businesses. GETTING OUT YOUR MESSAGE touches on writing Press Releases and has been updated to include websites and other forms of social media.

In PLANNING AN AUDIO-VISUAL PRESENTION students are encouraged to show any project they have worked on while helping their fellow students realize the importance of a professional looking presentation.

The class wraps up with MEDIA RELATIONS 101, which was presented at the 2017 PA State Association of Township Supervisors Conference in April. Learn how to talk to the media or better yet, how not to while building a two way relationship your local media.  The class will then participate in live interviews on the academy fire grounds to simulate and live fire environment.  This year the interviews will be conducted by William Seiders, Photojournalist for WHP 21, the CBS affiliate in Harrisburg PA.

The final exam for the class is very different from most classes at the academy as it’s an inter-active video test.

The class will be held on May 16, 18 and 21 at the academy, 1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken.  Registration information can be found at the academy’s website, http://montcopa.org/136/Fire-Academy or by calling 610-278-3500,

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