The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has demonstrated its latest commitment to extending its role as a central information resource for all those involved in the fire industry with the announcement of the launch of an extensively revamped website.
The website www.fia.uk.com has been in existence since the FIA was formed in 2007 and it was felt by the FIA marketing team that an overhaul of the site was due to ensure that it continues to meet the changing needs of its 7,000+ monthly visitors.
Becky Reid, FIA Marketing Manager, was responsible for distilling the thoughts of the association and creating a brief for the site. Becky comments, We recognised that what is required from the website has changed over the last three years so it was time to look at the whole structure in light of how visitors are using it. There is a lot of information on the site, much of which is regularly updated, but navigation was sometimes difficult. One of the main focuses was therefore to make the information easier to find. We have addressed this with a homepage which now provides easy access to specific areas such as training, membership, event and technical information. We have also introduced a live news service, updated daily, which will encourage visitors to return regularly to keep abreast of all the latest developments.
The site is more information-orientated, recognising that many see the FIA as an invaluable first port of call in identifying potential solutions to specific fire safety problems. This is particularly true of those that perhaps do not have in-depth knowledge of fire safety but, as the Responsible Person under the Fire Safety Order, need to understand their responsibilities and how to go about meeting them. A dedicated section devoted to the Responsible Person has therefore been created which includes a brief explanation of the Fire Safety Order and what this entails as well as copies of all the RRO guides. The new featured downloads area includes the latest Fact Files, Guides, Codes and documents produced by the FIA, all of which are now available from the homepage.
Those wishing to sign up for the associations quarterly FIA Focus newsletter, or for other FIA news, can do so via a simple online registration form while the search facilities for members and/or training courses have been enhanced.
Becky continues, Those returning to the website will also see a different look, complementing the FIAs new branding, with a wider viewing screen and a variable text size facility. But it is not just a facelift. The attention paid to the structure and the content, including improving the speed and ease with which the FIA team can upload material, means that the website is both more useful and more current.
The website is part of an ongoing programme by the FIA to continue to embrace digital forms of communication. The association now has a presence on two social media sites: Twitter and LinkedIn. The Fire Industry Association can be followed on Twitter by visiting www.twitter.com and searching for @fireindustry. To join the Fire Industry Association Group on LinkedIn, which already has over 200 members, visit www.linkedin.com, sign up (if you dont already have a profile) and search for Fire Industry Association under Groups.
Becky concludes one of the main benefits we offer as a trade association is the imparting of information to our members and other interested parties. Modern associations need to be proactive rather than just waiting for queries to arise and then providing the answers. We therefore need to explore the various means of getting our communications out there and the social media sites are increasingly becoming the means to do that. We also need to listen to our customers so we can understand what they want and when, and social media is ideal for creating a two-way conversation.