Social Media andCrisis Communication     Erik Proseus   @memphisweather1
History of MemphisWeather.net   It all started with a forecast… (1995-ish)   MemphisWeather.net (MWN) brand started in  ...
MWN Social Media background Adopted in 2009 using  @memphisweather1 handle Started slow as social media (esp. Twitter)  ...
Why MWN uses Social Media Connect to the community – build  relationships Information gathering on specific topics Gath...
How MWN uses Social Media Cross-posting of blog posts, YouTube  videos, Facebook notes, etc. Link back to resources on M...
How MWN uses Social Media   Nowcasting:     Ultra-short-term, hyper-local forecasting     Used in conjunction with MWN ...
What platforms MWN uses Facebook/Twitter – quick posts, weather  updates/nowcasting, interesting links,  cross-posts, sel...
Why social media for weather?   Immediacy
Why social media for weather?   Immediacy   Aggregation – sense of community   Feedback   Ground truth, instantly
Twitter hashtags (#) Keywords or search terms tagged with # Extremely important for effective sharing     Best way to s...
Twitter hashtags (#) #wxreport – NWS-initiated for storm  reporting #tnwx #mswx #arwx – State-specific #memstorm – Loca...
#memstorm   Proposed by local social media experts to    enable single source of info   Has become synonymous with sever...
#memstorm
#memstormCourtesy @BrennanSomers
#memflood Community-driven Immediately adopted in May 2011 for  expected historic MS River flooding     Local & nationa...
#memflood7,345 views in 1 day!Originally posted on private Facebook account with 328 friends
#mSpotter Twitter storm spotting for the metro Reports sent via Twitter, filtered by MWN,  and forwarded to NWS in realt...
Other local media on Twitter Employees at all TV stations/some news-  radio stations tweet Many “company” accounts WMC:...
How can you participate?   Share personal observations
How can you participate?   Share personal observations RT, share, and promote info from “trusted  sources” Don’t RT old...
How can you participate?   Check your sources: “Don’t know? Don’t    share.”                           HAIL???
Where to find MWN…   http://www.memphisweather.net   http://m.memphisweather.net   http://blog.memphisweather.net   ht...
Social Media and Crisis Communication: the story of #memstorm
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Social Media and Crisis Communication: the story of #memstorm

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Social Media & Crisis Communication:
The story of #memstorm

Presented to the Memphis Social Media Club
4/25/2012

MemphisWeather.net meteorologist Erik Proseus describes how and why he uses social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, during severe weather in the Memphis area.

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • Introduction – Thanks to JGrammer for invitation to speak
  • Where MWN has come from – college prof requiring website, started forecasting as intern with NWS and used Erik’s Memphis Weather Page for friends/family’s use “ Public” site started in 2003 with the brand that continues today Social media aspects begun 3 years ago, peaking with biggest 2 week period in MWN history in spring 2011
  • Period of fastest growth after initial launch was winter weather in 2010, May 1 2010, winter weather 2011, spring storms (Feb-Apr) 2011
  • Severe weather coverage by social media
  • Platforms employed by MWN in the SM world Notice no Google+ (lack of integration into 3 rd party tools, lack of “different” followers than what we have on Twitter/Facebook)
  • SM mainly thought of as “for personal use,” so how does weather factor in? SM works GREAT for distributing weather information - August 2011 east coast earthquake centered in Arlington, VA Severe weather episode in early March
  • Aggregation: Multiple contributors to the “story” Feedback: people telling us what’s happening in their location, ask questions about the events or your products
  • Community journalism – allows multiple sources to contribute Community building – “unofficial sources” can contribute to a real-time story
  • Hashtags in use (mainly in the Memphis area) for weather events
  • Adoption of a tag for Memphis area storm events #memstorm suggested by Rachel Smith & Aaron Prather (Ignite Memphis 2 at EmergeMemphis) Over the past year, it’s usefulness has become watered down in a sense – overuse
  • Sample #memstorm tweets show the varied info sent via this tag
  • The future of severe weather coverage?
  • #memstorm came from a PR/SM pro. The idea quickly caught on with the public. #memflood was suggested by an avid social media user (@CanesDrew) and was very quickly adopted by a massive audience
  • The power of “social”
  • New program headed up by MWN in collaboration with NWS-Memphis Modeled after similar program with excellent early results in Nashville (#tSpotter) Problem with storm reports (esp. from untrained) is subjectivity - #mSpotter seeks to greatly reduce that
  • How other media outlets are using SM
  • Conventional, mobile web, mobile apps, social media
  • Social Media and Crisis Communication: the story of #memstorm

    1. 1. Social Media andCrisis Communication Erik Proseus @memphisweather1
    2. 2. History of MemphisWeather.net It all started with a forecast… (1995-ish) MemphisWeather.net (MWN) brand started in April ’03; last revamp of website in ’10 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 SM intern – fall 2011
    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 Cross-posting of blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook notes, etc. Link back to resources on MWN Community-building through conversation Customer service through conversation Education (weather concepts, geography) RT/share non-weather info (#memtraffic)
    6. 6. How MWN uses Social Media Nowcasting:  Ultra-short-term, hyper-local forecasting  Used in conjunction with MWN (web) to provide rapid updates during severe weather events  “Wall-to-wall” coverage – without interrupting local programming  On-demand weather coverage  Very popular with great 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. Why social media for weather? Immediacy
    9. 9. Why social media for weather? Immediacy Aggregation – sense of community Feedback Ground truth, instantly
    10. 10. 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!
    11. 11. 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!
    12. 12. #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!
    13. 13. #memstorm
    14. 14. #memstormCourtesy @BrennanSomers
    15. 15. #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
    16. 16. #memflood7,345 views in 1 day!Originally posted on private Facebook account with 328 friends
    17. 17. #mSpotter 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”
    18. 18. Other local media on Twitter Employees at all TV stations/some news- radio stations tweet Many “company” accounts WMC: has used 3 mets during severe weather events (2 on-camera, 1 on Twitter) FOX 13 & others also making excellent use of the medium
    19. 19. How can you participate? Share personal observations
    20. 20. 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
    21. 21. How can you participate? Check your sources: “Don’t know? Don’t share.” HAIL???
    22. 22. Where to find MWN… http://www.memphisweather.net http://m.memphisweather.net http://blog.memphisweather.net http://www.facebook.com/memphisweather1 http://twitter.com/memphisweather1 iTunes or App Store & Android Market

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