Social Media in Crisis Communication: The IAEA's Experience During the Fukushima Accident


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How the IAEA used social media channels to augment its outreach and crisis communications efforts during the initial weeks of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

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Social Media in Crisis Communication: The IAEA's Experience During the Fukushima Accident

  1. 1. Social Media in Crisis Communications <ul><li>The IAEA ’ s Experience in Using Social Media During the Fukushima Nuclear Accident </li></ul>Rodolfo Quevenco, Public Information Officer [email_address]
  2. 2. About the IAEA
  3. 5. One the IAEA ’ s primary responsibilities during a nuclear emergency is to inform States Parties, Members States, and other States of a nuclear or radiological emergency.
  4. 6. Our Social Media Profile
  5. 7. Before 03/11 <ul><li>YouTube since 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr since 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Press and Info Blogs since 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook since mid- 2009 (5000 fans) </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter since early 2009 (4,800 followers) </li></ul><ul><li>Slideshare since 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Scribd since late 2010 </li></ul>
  6. 8. Earthquake & Tsunami Devastate Japan, March 11, 2011
  7. 9. Web Site Visits
  8. 10. Web traffic volume comparable to a DOS (Denial of Service) attack
  9. 11. E-mail Traffic <ul><li>1,000+ emails/week </li></ul><ul><li>requests for information or help; offers of technical advise </li></ul><ul><li>emotional, angry, anxious </li></ul><ul><li>staff, consultants, interns on 24/7 email management shift </li></ul>
  10. 12. Simplified Overview National Authority Member States Info Division Other Official Sources Partners New media Traditional Web Press/Public IAEA Incident Emergency Center
  11. 13. Immediate Effect: Web site and email overload severely affected our ability to reach and inform the public.
  12. 14. Change of Strategy: Use social media to support outreach, mimimise load on the web site.
  13. 15. <ul><li>Facebook for Status/Daily Updates </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter to announce breaking, short updates </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube to host video files </li></ul><ul><li>Slideshare to host technical presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Scribd to upload and share reports </li></ul>
  14. 16. Facebook
  15. 17. Facebook
  16. 18. Facebook
  17. 19. Twitter
  18. 20. Twitter
  19. 21. Slideshare IAEA presentations on Slideshare had 490,598 total Views, 1,036 Email Shares and 17,990 Downloads.
  20. 23. Scribd
  21. 24. Total photo views on IAEA ’ s photostream increased from an average of 5158 images per week from 07-13 March 2011 to an average of 17,895 views per week during the crisis period.
  22. 25. Rules of Engagement <ul><li>open communication </li></ul><ul><li>emphasis on factual announcements; less pr messaging/sound bites </li></ul><ul><li>quick interaction </li></ul><ul><li>tolerance (within limits) </li></ul>
  23. 26. Our efforts get noticed <ul><li>Los Angeles Times youtube-facebook-nuclear-updates.html </li></ul><ul><li>USA Today http:// </li></ul>
  24. 30. Strategic Importance
  25. 31. The Pluses (+) <ul><li>Reach a massive audience instantly </li></ul><ul><li>Provides continuous, immediate feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Empowers staff to react and adjust approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Enhances Agency ’ s image, re transparency, accessibility </li></ul>
  26. 32. The Minuses (-) <ul><li>Staff resources stretched to the maximum </li></ul><ul><li>“ Trouble-makers ” can hijack the conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Instant answers vs official data: difficulty to merge public expectation with institutional realities </li></ul>
  27. 33. Operational Insights
  28. 34. <ul><li>Critical comments outnumbered positive comments by 3:1 </li></ul><ul><li>Rational, factual, non-argumentative replies worked best </li></ul><ul><li>Strong tendency for users to self-correct each other </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous monitoring of discussions absolutely essential </li></ul>
  29. 35. Summary
  30. 36. <ul><li>All Social Media Channels registered significant/sustained increase in usage </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook and Twitter were top channels referring to IAEA ’ s web site </li></ul><ul><li>IAEA Facebook account hosted 40x more views than web site </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-posting/retweets by sister UN organizations key factors </li></ul>
  31. 37. IAEA Social media fans have stayed loyal.
  32. 38. For crisis communication, the promise* of Social Media has proven true. *Reaching as wide an audience at the shortest possible time with instantaneous feedback.
  33. 39. It helped (a lot). It worked. It can work for you, too.
  34. 40. Thank You [email_address]
  35. 41. IAEA Social Media Channels w / iaeavide o iaea_imagebank www.slides www.scribd.c om /iaea