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Why fire and rescue services must make better use of email now

In order to engage people (at scale) in public programmes and services, and in challenging and emergency circumstances, organisations must ensure they have a robust and effective public engagement strategy. Sounds obvious – and by the way, the intention here certainly is not to patronise anyone – we know you’re super smart and preparing for anything. But sometimes smart people overlook the obvious, the simple, and the easy, and we’ve spotted an oversight among some fire and rescue comms teams…

Email – a channel for engaging (almost) everyone

Social media might be the most appropriate comms channel in a crisis, but are you neglecting email for your campaigns? Queen of the marketing mix, email is the vehicle that can drive up public engagement in initiatives and deliver positive behavioural change in communities over time.

Email is still the most popular online activity, with 82% of us sending and receiving emails regularly – including elderly people. No one is taking an “email detox”, which says a lot about the dependable nature of this channel vs the unpredictability of social media.

Audience engagement rates with public sector email marketing are in fact on the rise, and on average fire and rescue services are achieving a healthy 60% overall engagement rate and 25% open rate – and that’s before they’ve reviewed our new email marketing best practice guide which will help bump up the quality and impact of public sector email marketing.

Email is an opportunity to take control of your message, grow an engaged audience, intervene early, empower people to look after themselves, drip feed important information, and move people from unawareness of public programmes and services, to engagement and understanding, and to participation and advocacy.

How Granicus can help your fire and rescue service deliver for the public

Worldwide more than 4,000 public sector organisations have chosen Granicus’ solutions and services to improve their online services, web presence, and communications strategies. We’re already working with many fire and rescue services in the UK and the US, helping them warn, inform and educate residents, staff and businesses on a range of matters.

Fire and rescue teams are using targeted email marketing and text messaging tactics to help meet the modern citizen’s expectations for on-demand services and deliver better value for money. For info, a small team of Granicus digital engagement specialists will be at the FirePRO communications event in November and we’d love to share some case study examples with you. We haven’t attended this event before so are very much looking forward to meeting you and learning more about what you’re facing.

Mini case study example – Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

When the local media paints a dramatic picture of the circumstances in which your teams are working, it can be difficult to take control of the message – and the facts!

We’re working with Hampshire Fire and Rescue to help deliver a communications plan that builds public trust, counters misinformation, and equips more people with the information they need to make safe decisions and take “the right action” at the right moment.

Example email bulletins to help keep people informed and safe:

Hampshire Fire and Rescue  Hampshire Fire and Rescue email bulletin

We recently caught up with James Morton, External Communications Manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue who explained the role of email in their public engagement strategy:

“Arguably, there is no more trusted brand around than the fire and rescue service (FRS). But that gives it much further to fall, so it is imperative public confidence and trust are maintained.

Transparency and openness are vital to retaining public trust. We need to ensure we can provide information to the public and our own staff, and facilitate two-way communication.

Tools such as govDelivery by Granicus not only provide a way to do this, but also allow us to evaluate the impact of our communications – crucial in being able to ensure our approaches are working.

Our proactive approach to community engagement and communication in the month following the Grenfell fire led to a 100% increase in the number of people subscribing to receive regular email bulletins. Our email reach continues to grow, giving us a dependable line of communication with our customers.”


Let’s get started together

Granicus offers secure digital engagement solutions and campaign management services exclusively for government and the public sector, which will help you to:

  • Reach and engage large audiences
  • Build trust and strengthen connections with the public
  • Drive digital transformation (and easier access to your services!)
  • Reduce demand
  • Save money
  • Change behaviour

Unlike other options, we offer an instant network of 11.5 million citizen subscribers in the UK, leading to massive audience growth and stronger audience engagement with your content and services.

Want to find out more? Please get in touch to arrange a time to have a chat with one of our team.