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Social Media & Crisis Communications: the story of #memstorm


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Social Media & Crisis Communication:
The story of #memstorm

Presented at TechCamp Memphis (#tcmem)
5/12/2012 meteorologist Erik Proseus

Published in: Technology, Business
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Social Media & Crisis Communications: the story of #memstorm

  1. 1. Social Media &Crisis Communication: The story of #memstormErik Proseus - @memphisweather1
  2. 2. Brief History of MWN (MWN) brand started in April ’03 Blog and mobile site started ’08 Facebook and Twitter – early ’09 (automated weather alerts on Twitter in Jan ’10) iPhone/Android apps – spring ’11 April 24-May 7, 2011: website had 18K visits & 66K page views
  3. 3. MWN Social Media background Adopted in 2009 using @memphisweather1 handle Started slow as social media (esp. Twitter) was just starting to gain momentum Continued use and word-of-mouth… and the snowball picked up more snow (literally) Rapid growth in 2011 → now >10,000 followers
  4. 4. Why MWN uses Social Media Connect to the community – build relationships Information gathering on specific topics Gather feedback on products / services Brand lift / product promotion Public: trusted & reliable information source
  5. 5. How MWN uses Social Media Conversation: community-building, customer service Cross-posting of blog articles, YouTube videos, etc. Link back to resources on MWN Education (weather concepts, geography) RT/share non-weather info (#memtraffic)
  6. 6. MWN & SM during a crisis Nowcasting:  Ultra-short-term, hyper-local forecasting  Used with MWN (web) to provide rapid updates during severe weather events  “Wall-to-wall” coverage via internet  On-demand weather  Highest reach, most interactive, best feedback
  7. 7. What platforms MWN uses Facebook/Twitter – quick posts, weather updates/nowcasting, interesting links, cross-posts, self-promotion (web, apps) YouTube/Flickr – videos/photos Blog – forecast discussions, event recaps/ summaries, links to website & other SM
  8. 8. In a crisis, the public wants: Latest information Consistent message Trusted sources Call to action Ways to be involved / provide aidNot just weather crises!
  9. 9. Why social media for weather? Immediacy
  10. 10. Why social media for weather? Immediacy Aggregation Feedback Ground truth, instantly
  11. 11. Twitter hashtags (#) Keywords or search terms tagged with # Extremely important for effective sharing  Best way to share info in a crisis & create unity  Community journalism  Community building  “Virtual bulletin board”  FASTER than news reports!
  12. 12. Twitter hashtags (#)#GoGrizz#BelieveMemphis#GrizzNation#SeeYouSunday
  13. 13. Twitter hashtags (#)#wxreport – NWS-initiated for storm reporting#tnwx #mswx #arwx – State-specific#memstorm – Local severe weather#memflood – Historic spring 2011 flooding#memheat – Record breaking summer heat#memsnow – Not this year!
  14. 14. Birth of #memstorm Proposed by local social media experts to enable single source of info Has become synonymous with severe weather in Memphis after April ’11 storms Feb 24, 2011: ~700 tweets on it’s first night of use! April 27, 2011: >2000 tweets reached 200K Twitter accounts w/ 1.4M impressions!
  15. 15. #memstorm
  16. 16. Future of public info gathering? Courtesy @BrennanSomers
  17. 17. Then, #memflood Community-driven Immediately adopted in May 2011 for expected historic MS River flooding  Local & national media adoption  Used by gov’t & quasi-gov’t agencies Sample of 500 #memflood tweets on 5/2/11: 1.2M views w/ an audience of 154K
  18. 18. The power of social7,345+ views in 1 day!Originally posted on private Facebook account with 328 friends
  19. 19. #mSpotter – ground truth Twitter storm spotting for the metro Reports sent via Twitter, filtered by MWN, and forwarded to NWS in realtime Contribute to public safety and “protection of life & property” Uses geo-tagging and smartphone cameras to “self-verify”
  20. 20. How can you participate? Share personal observations
  21. 21. How can you participate? Share personal observations RT, share, and promote info from “trusted sources” Don’t RT old reports and purport them as current
  22. 22. How can you participate? Check your sources: Don’t proliferate mis-information! HAIL???
  23. 23. Where to find MWN… iTunes or App Store & Android Market