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Integrating Social Media Into Crisis Planning


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Companies and organizations are faced with an unprecedented expectation to provide instant communication during a crisis. Already short news cycles are further impacted by the rise of online social networks where eyewitnesses and those affected communicate their perceptions in real time. Companies that can co-opt some of these same tools and techniques during a crisis will be positioned to be in the forefront of information about their company and brand.

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Integrating Social Media Into Crisis Planning

  1. 1. Social Media and Crisis Planning February 13, 2008
  2. 2. Case Studies <ul><li>Virginia Tech </li></ul><ul><li>Red Cross </li></ul><ul><li>FEMA Press Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons from Hurricane Katrina </li></ul>
  3. 3. During a crisis there is an expectation that an organization will efficiently communicate with customers, employees, communities and media. However, the added ability to manage inbound feedback and messages makes the overall crisis response more effective.
  4. 4. Strategies for Implementation <ul><li>Participate in Social Media </li></ul><ul><li>Build a credible voice </li></ul><ul><li>“ Dark” portal or channel </li></ul><ul><li>Design a system that simplifies </li></ul>
  5. 5. Meeting Needs of Stakeholders <ul><li>Internal vs. Eternal </li></ul><ul><li>Is the technology pervasive? </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple channels of communication </li></ul><ul><li>Push or pull? An opt-in system </li></ul><ul><li>One- or two-way communication </li></ul>
  6. 6. Meeting Needs of Communicators <ul><li>Pulling the trigger on messaging, who decides? </li></ul><ul><li>Comfort with the tools </li></ul><ul><li>Where social media fits in the overall strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Business continuity and crisis communication </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Communicators Toolkit <ul><li>When to consider a proprietary platform </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When your corporate reputation is dependent on communicating well in a crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When there is a need to securely communicate with far-flung employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When it is likely that the core areas of the organization will be exposed to a crisis or natural disaster over the next five years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When there is no budget </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs and other publishing platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The power of RSS and syndication: tools (conversion of info to different formats) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter/SMS tools </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Features to Consider <ul><li>Content-management module </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple channels of communication – push, pull and two-way </li></ul><ul><li>Secure site to ensure employee privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic external News Room </li></ul><ul><li>External hosting to support continuity </li></ul><ul><li>Robust data security and transfer procedures </li></ul>
  9. 9. Off-the-Shelf Solutions
  10. 10. Matrix of Social Media Tools + Second year $12,000 ($3/employee); ++ Can be added with customization and additional cost; * Fee for WordPress is one-time design fee Employee Site E-mail Push News Press Site Manage Content RSS SMS Phone Annual Cost Employee Outpost ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ++ $17,000 + MessageOne ● ● ● ● ● ● ● $36,000 WordPress * ++ ● ● ● ● $5,000 * Amerilert ● ● ● ● ● ++ $4,400 PIER ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● $10,000
  11. 11. Contact Information Kami Watson Huyse, APR My PR Pro [email_address] Blog: Communication Overtones Ike Pigott American Red Cross [email_address] Blog: Occam’s Razr