the role of social media in disasters BY PENNISI & TARANTINO

Report
#SMEM: SOCIAL MEDIA IN
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
ALLISON PENNISI & CHRISTOPHER TARANTINO
Allison Pennisi
• Senior Communications &
New Media Specialist – NYC
OEM
• Virtual Social Media Working
Group member – DHS
• NYC Social Media Advisory &
Research Taskforce
Christopher Tarantino, CMCP
• CEO – Epicenter Media &
Training
• Digital Communications
Specialist – FEMA
• Subject Matter Expert –
NDPTC
Social media has DRASTICALLY changed
the way we interact with one another
on a regular basis.
The impact on government entities is
NO EXCEPTION…
The Rules of Engagement
4 Things to remember:
1.
“Do” social media
BE SOCIAL, stay engaged
2.
Start with a PLAN
3.
Know your GOALS
4.
Understand how to measure
SUCCESS.
Social Media: Day-to-Day Operations
Although constituents turn to
emergency management/public
safety agencies’ digital outlets for
information when there’s an
emergency, it’s key to begin
educating the public ahead of
time.
• Foster a two-way dialogue
• Provide interactive content
• Sharing is caring
Have a Plan
Establish a protocol BEFORE an
emergency occurs.
Example:
• Designate one or two
individuals to serve as
messengers, and encourage
others to repost/share the
same content to their
respective audiences
• Advise users to follow specific
accounts and to check certain
websites for updates
• Consistency is key!
Use of Social Media During Emergencies
Public information is CRUCIAL.
• Coordinate to provide
accurate, timely and
consistent information.
• Because of the shift to
digital and the rapid-fire
way information is
disseminated, the use of
social media has become a
necessity.
Social Media Monitoring & Crowdsourcing
• Monitoring: passive search
based on varying degrees of
specificity depending on
mission and/or goals
• Crowdsourcing: leveraging the
crowd in various ways to
provide, find, and produce new
information
Rumor Control
The speed with which
misinformation and rumors
spread via social media,
especially in an emergency, is
staggeringly quick.
Do…
• Share information from
official sources
• Tap into your influencers
• Check your sources
• Ask questions
Don’t…
• Spread unconfirmed
information
Look at that shark!
When faced with
misinformation:
1. Be proactive
2. Monitor & watch for
trends
3. Broadcast official
information (cite
sources!)
4. Correct influencers
spreading
misinformation
5. Notify command/PIO
6. Continue following up
Use Case: Sandy and Social Media
• It was OEM’s job to make sure
the public was aware of the
severity of the storm, and how
to prepare for it.
•
Messaging quickly shifted from
reporting the weather forecast
to briefings from the Mayor, and
any other relevant information
regarding the storm and how it
would affect New York City and
its residents.
During Sandy, the City sent:
Coastal Storm Plan Timeline
Snapshot of the typical Coastal Storm Plan timeline,
courtesy of the NYC OEM.
• Over 2,000 tweets
• Reached a Facebook audience of
322,338 people
• Gained 176,010 new followers
on social media
The City’s social media reach during
Sandy was 2,785,806 people.
Consider Using a Social Media Management Tool
NYC OEM and other agencies rely on such tools as
HootSuite (below), Tweetdeck, and other dashboards
to help with message management and
dissemination across platforms.
Other Tools You May Need
In addition to the basic social media
management dashboard, you’ll also
want the following in place:
• URL tracking & shortening (Bit.ly or
Ow.ly)
• Social & website
analytics/measurement
• Passive monitoring
• Archiving/summarization
• Back-channel communications – for
conversation between EOC,
responders, volunteers, etc.
• Alerting platform (should integrate
with social media as well)
To Recap:
• “With great power comes great
responsibility”
• Educate the public about
emergency preparedness even
if an incident isn’t imminent or
occurring
• Consider developing a protocol
for social media messaging
when disaster strikes.
• Avoid spreading rumors, but
keep in mind who your
influencers might be
• Trust your instincts
Be social…
Q&A Session
Ask us anything!
Thank you!
Allison Pennisi
Christopher Tarantino
@AllisonPennisi
@Tarantino4me

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