Social Media & Emergency Management

I came across a blog article related to trying to get local government emergency management types to integrate Social Media into their public interaction strategies.

This article, along with others on the same subject, started me thinking about how one would present the pro-Social Media argument to local agencies and groups.

I’m one of those people who mentally pictures completed concepts, and then has to go back and try to figure out which steps to take to make it happen.  It’s great fun…not.

The one thing that keeps coming up in my mind, over and over, is the need to pick your props carefully!

If you ask 10 people what Twitter is all about, you’re likely to get 15 different descriptions. Facebook? The same.  FourSquare? Well, “that’s only for the egotistical who want people to know what they are doing every single minute of the day”, etc.

There are so many Social Media platforms available anymore, that it’s scary for a techno-neophyte to even contemplate sticking their big toe into the data stream.

You can counter this fear with some well prepared props, to use in your discussions with them.  Screen captures of Twitter posts that directly relate to what you want to accomplish, are a good start.  Learn how to create lists based on Hash Tags, so that you can show only the tweets that you want.  Nobody is going to buy into Social Media when all they see is a random timeline of “I LUV #JustinBieber” tweets, and similar.

Also, do some research on other agencies who utilize Social Media. For every agency who is not on Social Media, there are 3 more, in the same line of work, who are…and doing it well.

So, read up, bone up, prepare well and then head off to that meeting with the local Emergency Manager, Police Chief, Fire Chief, etc.  The worst that can happen is they “take it under advisement.”  ”No, thank you,” isn’t really an option anymore, in this day and age.


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