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While it always is important to answer a reporter’s specific questions about the fire, it’s also important and appropriate for you, as a community leader, to provide additional safety and prevention information during the interview.
No one knows more than you do how tragic a home fire can be. There may be times when you feel an on-the-scene interview isn’t the best time to talk about what could have been done to prevent a fire or the larger issues behind home fires. In these cases, follow-up or second-day stories may be more appropriate opportunities to provide safety and prevention messages.
Here are some ways you can communicate prevention information. Keep safety and prevention messages closely linked to the current fire story; the more tailored the message, the more likely it will capture the media’s attention.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a rookie at media relations, it’s always a good idea to keep these interview pointers in mind:
Providing safety information is one of the most important things you can do as a community leader. It may feel strange or even pushy the first few times you take the lead and add safety and prevention messages during an interview.With practice, it will become more natural, even second nature, to share life-saving safety and prevention tips during interviews.