Communicating through crisis: The role of social media

by Lee Hopkins on March 17, 2011 · 1 comment

in public speaking,tools

Tsunami in Japan - what rôle social media is playing in the crisisDespite only being into the third month of 2011, the world has already seen a trio of devastating natural disasters this year. Tragic events that have been made all the more real for the rest of the world through sites like Twitter, YouTube and Mixi.

It’s fair to say that the communications landscape has changed thanks to social media, especially during times of crisis. Where once you may have been prepared to give a response by the end of the day, today you may not have more than five minutes to formulate your initial message.

The prevalence of social media should prompt communicators to rethink and revamp their organisation’s approach, reviewing lessons learned from other companies and staying diligent in crisis preparation efforts.

Sona Hathi at Melcrum has written a fabulous article about the role social media and communication have played in the Japanese earthquake and its aftermath.

Here’s some snippets:

Five million people logged on to YouTube on the day after the tsunami

Include social media in your crisis plan
With all this proof that social media is invaluable in times of crisis, it would be foolish to devise a crisis communication plan without factoring it in. But it’s important to remember that while social media can have a positive impact during natural disasters, it can have a less favorable effect during business crises, in which case, corporate communication teams need to understand how they can use social media to their advantage.

Twitter guide
Reacting to the disaster quickly, Twitter has published a guide on how impacted citizens can use the network to communicate and receive vital information. It listed key hashtags (terms that are included in each that message, or tweet, in order to group messages around a specific topic) for people to use

Go read the full article; it’s solid advice.

  • Stark

    On what’s happening right now, I’ve been thinking of the movie 2012 if this is really the end of the world. No, I don’t want to happen because I am still dreaming to have a family of my own in the future.

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