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MSF in social media during the Haiti emergency


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How MSF work with social media and the huge impact it had on our communication during the Haiti emergency.

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MSF in social media during the Haiti emergency

  1. 1. Social media – a possibility to do global communication on a small budget How Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) use social media to reach communication goals. Lina Eidmark / Web manager @ MSF Sweden Special thanks to Avril Benoit (MSF Canada), Nina Privatera (MSF international) and Artur Leczycki (Publik PR)
  2. 2. Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without borders is an international, medical humanitarian organization. We save lives where needs are the greatest.
  3. 3. <ul><li>The Haiti case </li></ul><ul><li>How social media </li></ul><ul><li>changed the human perception from up close and far away </li></ul><ul><li>played a significant role in news reporting </li></ul><ul><li>helped doing social good </li></ul>Social media & Haiti
  4. 4. January 12, 2010 4.53 p.m A catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake hits Haiti. The epicentre was approx. 25 km west of the capital Port-au-Prince. It was rapidly announced as one of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. The Haiti earthquake
  5. 5. <ul><li>In just three weeks… </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook fan base grew with 400 %  to almost 620 000 people today </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising appeals were shared hundred and thousands of times </li></ul><ul><li>Number of Twitter followers grew with 500 % and Twitter also became a channel for communicating with key actors/influencers to overcome obstacles. </li></ul><ul><li>Hundred and thousands of people read our fieldworkers’ blogs – some of them were also published in external media (BBC / CNN / /…) </li></ul><ul><li>Since phones were down in Haiti – social media also became a tool to keep in touch with people on the ground , both MSF staff and, to a less extent, people in need. </li></ul>Results
  6. 6. Reaching goals : Visibility
  7. 7. ” These 8 min gave a better understanding of the situation than 100 news reports. I am deeply touched. How can I best contribute to your work?” Reaching goals: Visibility
  8. 8. Reaching goals: Visibility
  9. 9. Reaching goals: Visibility
  10. 10. Reaching goals: Visibility
  11. 11. Reaching goals: Visibility
  12. 12. Reaching goals: Visibility
  13. 13. Reaching goals: Visibility
  14. 14. Reaching goals: Visibility
  15. 15. Reaching goals : Visibility
  16. 16. Reaching goals : Visibility
  17. 17. MSF & social media | May 2010 Reaching goals : Visibility
  18. 18. Reaching goals : Visibility
  19. 19. VRWCTexan @ MSF_canada RT @lightxxx - We have a lady dying of rabies we need Rabies antitoxin asap // at Petionville Golf Course Field Hospital VRWCTexan @ MSF_canada RT @lightxxx We have a lady dying of rabies we need Rabies antitoxin asap #Haiti rqskye @ msf_canada RT @lightxxx-We have a lady dying of rabies we need Rabies antitoxin asap rqskye @ msf_canada RT @ShaunKing-NYT: 10 kids have died waiting 2 B &quot;cleared&quot; 4 flights. Doctors now afraid of being arrested Reaching goals : Acceptance
  20. 20. Reaching goals : Acceptance
  21. 21. Reaching goals : Leverage
  22. 22. Reaching goals : Leverage
  23. 23. Reaching goals : Leverage
  24. 24. Reaching goals : Leverage
  25. 25. Reaching goals : Leverage
  26. 26. Reaching goals : Leverage
  27. 27. Reaching goals : Leverage
  28. 28. Reaching goals : Leverage
  29. 29. Reaching goals : Leverage
  30. 30. Goals : Leverage
  31. 31. Reaching goals : Visibility
  32. 32. Reaching goals : Visibility
  33. 33. <ul><li>How could we do all this? </li></ul><ul><li>Massive need for information – we were one of quite few actors on the ground when the earthquake struck </li></ul><ul><li>Overwhelming media coverage – cross fertilization </li></ul><ul><li>Having communications staff on the ground asap - eyewitnesses </li></ul><ul><li>Creating link love – sharing and retweeting – best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Reactive/proactive balance – update information rapidly – monitor and correct </li></ul><ul><li>But above all… we were prepared! </li></ul><ul><li>Most offices have well entertained social media channels </li></ul><ul><li>” Old” channels are more credible and better indexed by search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Existing strategies and guidelines, but with room for flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Trained staff in offices and conscious staff on the ground </li></ul>Tactics
  34. 34. <ul><li>Yet…we faced some real challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of control in messaging  snowball effect  not enough resources to monitor and manage the myths </li></ul><ul><li>Too much information circulating – need to verify sources  time demanding </li></ul><ul><li>Duplicating work load </li></ul><ul><li>Rebalancing HQ staff resources between web and social media </li></ul>Challenges
  35. 35. - How to respond to desperate calls for help? Challenges
  36. 36. One story in particular sparked a great many offers of specific help (flights, cars) that, frankly, overwhelmed us and proved to be a distraction. <ul><li>Reverse leverage  overwhelming response to some of our stories </li></ul>Challenges
  37. 37. Weddressproject Why is @ MSF_CANADA saying that the Ministry of Health is going to see #BABYLANDINA today, but we are still trying to get them to go there? about 19 hours ago from web Weddressproject @ MSF_CANADA You stated earlier that the Ministry of Health was going to see #BABYLANDINA. When is that goig to happen? about 20 hours ago from web MelyMello The life and/or death of a child should not be fodder for political postering. #SaveLandina @UN @MSF_US @MSF_canada 4:11 PM Feb 7th from web VRWCTexan @ MSF_canada RT @ShaunKing Need current contact inform & GPS coordinates for baby & docs MSF: we are ready to move 8:32 PM Feb 6th from web in reply to MSF_canada Challenges
  38. 38. <ul><li>Overwhelming interest – difficult to give priority to communications </li></ul>Challenges
  39. 39. Challenges
  40. 40. <ul><li>So how can we deal with that next time? </li></ul><ul><li>Need to plan for the unplannable! </li></ul><ul><li>Leave room for flexibility and spontaniety in communication crisis plan </li></ul><ul><li>A few staff can have tremendous impact – eyewitness </li></ul><ul><li>Clear guidelines and briefings for (field) staff </li></ul><ul><li>Keep social media channels active all the time – immediate response </li></ul><ul><li>International working group to elaborate strategy and guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis communication plan for web/social media: who does what? </li></ul><ul><li>Rebalance efforts between web and social media </li></ul>Strategy
  41. 41. <ul><li>Social media - checklist </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared – have your channels ready. </li></ul><ul><li>And set up clear guidelines, a useful strategy and determine goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you have support from managing teams. When the crisis hits – you will lose too much time asking for permission. </li></ul><ul><li>Accept that it is a learning by doing process that requires flexibility. </li></ul><ul><li>And when you start communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Be nice </li></ul><ul><li>Tell the truth </li></ul><ul><li>Talk, but listen just as much </li></ul><ul><li>Share and exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Answer all direct questions – just as you would answer the phone in your office. </li></ul>Checklist
  42. 42. <ul><li>Social media friendly communication - Some basics for producing good content </li></ul><ul><li>Varied  try to cover a broad base of content types </li></ul><ul><li>Human  informal tone and human edited </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic  blogs, video diaries, photo slideshows create proximity and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Credible  giving quick snapshots of the reality you work in and possiblities to interact with donors (customers) </li></ul><ul><li>Timely  publish issues of relevance when relevant. Follow ongoing debates. </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent  frequent updates are crucial to keep fans and followers interested and engaged. </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusive  don’t use social media only for self-promotion </li></ul>
  43. 43. Thank you! <ul><li>Information, ideas, comments… </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Find this presentation on slideshare </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>