Social Media Roundup/Social Media in Crisis Communications

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This week's Social Media Roundup examines how to use social media in crisis communications. In life, everything doesnt always go according to plan. Crises happen, and when they happen to an Army organization, its big news. An organization needs to be prepared to post pertinent information on social media sites during a crisis. Organizations should also listen to the conversation online during a crisis, respond to rumors and provide updates when they become available.

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  • 1.Social Media RoundupSocial Media inCrisis CommunicationsUsing social media to inform the public and correct misinformation during times of crisis

2. Social Media RoundupAgendaThis weeks Social Media Roundup will examine how toappropriately use social media resources in crisis communications. Introduction Why communicate during crises? Informing the media Keeping Army communities informed Building trust Creating a plan Listen and respond Social media tips for crisis communication Summary 3. Social Media RoundupWhen disaster strikes In life, everything doesnt always go according to plan. Crises happen, and when they happen to an Army organization, its big news. From installation shootings to natural disasters, the Army has encountered multiple crises over the years. When a crisis occurs, there is often little time to wait to respond. Crisis response must be swift. Effective communication with the media, Soldiers and the public is crucial. 4. Social Media RoundupWhen disaster strikes In todays society, social media moves information faster than ever. This includes both correct and incorrect information. To effectively communicate during and after a crisis, its important that a crisis communication plan includes the use of social media resources. If Soldiers and the public are getting their information from a Twitter feed or their Facebook wall, then Army organizations need to be prepared to send the most updated and accurate information to those locations. 5. Social Media RoundupWhy communicate during a crisis?The importance of information distribution during unplanned events 6. Social Media RoundupWhy communicate during a crisis?The 2009 crisis at Fort Hood illustrated how important social media is in crisis communications.Before the shootings, conversation on social media platforms about Fort Hood was negligible, but on the day of the shootings, mentions of Fort Hood skyrocketed on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.Any garrison might face a similar situation at any moment. More and more garrison commanders are understanding the need for a dynamic social media program to complement their crisis communication plan. 7. Social Media RoundupWhy communicate during a crisis? When a crisis strikes, those first fewhours are the most critical. Not only is it vitally important to controlthe situation on site, but its important toinform the public and disseminate themost up-to-date information. Organizations must get in front of thestory. Give the basic facts early andprovide more information as it comesavailable. Media members do not haveopen access to installations, so provideinformation in a timely manner. Once accurate stories are published bythe media, it helps to link to the coverageon Facebook. This helps distributeinformation to a broader audience. 8. Social Media Roundup Informing the mediaGetting in front of the story and feeding the media information 9. Social Media RoundupInforming the media Its the job of the media to reportthe news. They will report on anevent whether or not you reachout to them. To make sure the correctinformation gets out to the public,organizations need tocommunicate with the mediaduring crises. Social media is an excellent wayto put out information to a broadmedia audience. Rather thanwaiting to put out a press release,or reaching out to each individualreporter, social media tools helpspread information quickly andeffectively. 10. Social Media RoundupKeeping Army communities informedUsing social media to get information to Soldiers and Families 11. Social Media RoundupKeeping Soldiers informed During times of crisis, itsimportant to communicate notonly with the media, but with Armycommunities close to the incidentas well. Many garrisons are now usingsocial media assets tocommunicate with Soldiers on aninstallation. Social media resources can beused to tell Soldiers where to go,who to call, locations to avoid andbasic information that will helpkeep the Soldier safe during acrisis or unplanned event. 12. Social Media Roundup Building trustEstablishing credibility with the public 13. Social Media RoundupBuilding trust Building a solid social media following priorto a crisis is key. Become the go-to resource for timely andaccurate information. Distribute communitynews like school closures, road closuresand event information. When a crisis occurs, organizations shouldexpect the public to look for information onsocial media platforms, so establishcredibility on these sites beforehand. To build trust and credibility on a socialmedia platform, its important to post often,but there are a few other measures anorganization can take to make sure socialmedia platforms are accessed in a time ofcrisis. 14. Social Media Roundup Building trust Make sure you designate thesocial media site as official.Some users are stillapprehensive about social mediaso a paragraph indicating thesite is official puts many at ease. Post links to social media siteson official websites. This allowsusers to confirm the legitimacy ofa social media presence. Promote social media sites onpress releases and duringinterviews. Get the word outabout social media sites. Thiswill help drive people to socialmedia presences for informationduring crises. 15. Social Media Roundup Creating a planPreparing for the worst before it happens 16. Social Media RoundupCreating a planMuch of the stress associatedChecklist with a crisis can be mitigated Before crisis with a strong crisis communication plan.Coordinate with Public Affairs OfficeEach organization should haveDesignate who has posting authority a crisis communication plan in Designate who has release authority place, but its important to Keep list of logins and passwords on hand 24/7 include social media in this plan. During and after crisisAn organization needs to beMonitor conversations and comments on social mediaplatforms prepared to post pertinentIdentify what information to distribute on each social information on social mediamedia platform sites. They should also listen toDraft posts and submit for approval the conversation online, respond to rumors and provideRespond to questions, provide links and correctmisinformation updates when they become available. 17. Social Media RoundupListen and respondKeeping track of the conversation and correcting misinformation 18. Social Media Roundup Listen and respond One of the most important aspects of asocial media crisis communication plan ismonitoring the conversations occurringacross social media platforms.Organizations need to be prepared tocorrect misinformation and rumors. Social media, by design, is conversational.People use social media to discuss eventsand interact with each other. Watch the conversations that occur afterinformation about a crisis or unplannedevent is posted. Be sure to correctmisinformation and respond to rumors. By watching the conversation, organizationscan also determine what information thepublic is looking for. 19. Social Media RoundupSocial media tips for crisis communications 20. Social Media RoundupSocial media tips for crisis communication Trust doesnt happen overnight: It is important to have a regularly updatedchannel of communication open between the organization and the key audiencesbefore a crisis hits. Use social media platforms to communicate regularly. Post information as it comes in: Theres no need to wait for a formal pressrelease. When you have verified information that an audience wants to know, post it. Answer questions: Answer questions as often as possible. Avoid just postinginformation on a social media presence. Be prepared to receive questions. Respondas quickly as possible through the most appropriate means of communication. Share information: Share critical information with a network of trusted social mediasites, such as other Army command sites and official non-governmental sites. Createa hashtag that all organizations can use when updating on Twitter. Encourage people on the scene to send in information: Have individuals on thescene provide updates on their personal accounts or feed you information to post onthe official command social sites. This is where a designated hashtag is very useful. Analyze results: Evaluate metrics and track user feedback. Its important toevaluate how a social media presence performs during a crisis so adjustments canbe made for the future. 21. Social Media Roundup Summary When a crisis occurs, there is often little time to develop a plan or wait to respond.Crisis response must be swift. Effective communication with the media, Soldiers andthe public is crucial. If Soldiers and the public are getting their information from their Twitter feed or theirFacebook wall, then Army organizations need to be prepared to send the mostupdated and accurate information to those locations to make sure the public doesntrely on incorrect information. Social media resources can inform Soldiers about where they need to go, who tocall, locations to avoid and basic information that will help keep the Soldier safeduring a crisis or unplanned event. An organization needs to be prepared to post pertinent information on social mediasites. They should also listen to the conversation online, respond to rumors andprovide updates when they become available. 22. Social Media Roundup Contact informationHave questions? Please feel free toreach out to us at the Online andSocial Media DivisionEmail:Ocpa.osmd@us.army.milTo review and download past editions of theSocial Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare siteat: http://www.slideshare.net/usarmysocialmedia.All Social Media Roundups are authorized to bedistributed to a broader audience.1/26/2010OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRSPENTAGON22