Access to a mobile command vehicle has become a must-have for public safety in the United States. In case of an emergency, every agency needs to be able to respond quickly and have the right tools for effective emergency response. Mobile command vehicles have been proven to be a powerful asset in any type of crisis situation.
A capital purchase such as a public safety mobile command vehicle typically gets a lot of attention during the investment approval and vehicle specification processes. How do you keep the community involved and engaged from the beginning?
1 // Educate Them Early
Questions! Questions! So many questions! Fords, Subarus, heck even an occasional Ferrari might be expected on Main Street, but a tactical command vehicle could cause more of a stir.
While you and your team, in partnership with (ahem) an experienced and thoughtful vehicle manufacturer, will have already worked through critical questions during the project’s spec phase, unless you keep them in the loop the rest of the community will be in the dark.
They will likely have many of the same questions you’ve already answered. Although their approval isn’t always necessary to make the purchase, keeping people informed early reduces the “shock factor” of only seeing the finished product. Introducing your project at community events and meetings can start the conversation. You can even leverage the media (which is always looking for a good story) to spread the word. A potential side benefit of involving the community early; You just might get feedback from an unexpected place that informs and improves the solution.
2 // The Big Reveal
It works on reality TV, you can make it work in your community. The arrival of a shiny new mobile command vehicle in your town is just as worthy of a “big reveal” as a reality tv home rehab project…We think more so! Plan to make a big splash and get that hot new vehicle out on the street.
Your rig shouldn’t only roll on emergency deployments. Organize an open house or “touch a truck” event with other nearby agencies and organizations who have interesting vehicles (kids love trucks, and parents love happy kids). Be prepared to enthusiastically educate your constituents about how their community is now safer, more technologically advanced, and more prepared.
Consider putting together flyers, videos, and other pieces that tell your project’s story. Explain why and how it came to be, and how it will benefit the community every day. Nailing the messaging is important. If you have the resources to work with a public relations professional, it would be a worthwhile investment. Once you have the messaging down, you can utilize your website, social media, direct mail, and (again) the media to share it consistently and often.
3 // I Love a Parade
Once your mobile ops project has debuted, and maybe even used in a few emergency situations, don’t just park it in the garage. Make it a fixture of your community in fun ways that will remind folks of its benefits, and keep them aware of how much of an asset it is to public safety.
Aim to get your vehicle out of the garage for community events, even if it isn’t “official” public safety business. Does your town have a 4th of July Parade? A homecoming parade? An annual 5k? Any community event is a great place to showcase your vehicle and share information on how it can help in an emergency. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a parade?
Nomad Can Help
We understand the importance of mobile operations solutions to communities like yours. Let’s talk about partnering not only to create a winning product, but also to gain vital public understanding and acceptance of it.