Here’s the first of my new year’s resolution: I won’t talk much about social media in this blog in 2013.
That may seem ridiculous given the incredible level of attention social media is getting these days. Sandy and the Connecticut tragedy are just the latest examples of how each major new crisis or emergency event highlights the ever-increasing role of social media. So why not talk about it?
- I’m a contrarian. My friends and family like to remind that it seems I go out of my way to be contrary. And since everyone else is talking about it, someone has to decide to talk about other things.
- Everyone else is talking about it. There are so many great voices out there encouraging the emergency management community to get involved with this topic: Patrice Cloutier, Kim Stephens, Cheryl Bledsoe, Jim Garrow, Bill Boyd and on and on. I consider them the real experts and find myself just repeating what they are teaching me or referring to their utterances (Jim Garrow’s lessons learned from 2012 are a great case in point).
- Momentum is solid. While I’m continually surprised at the continuing resistance than many in emergency management exhibit (particularly police) they are assuredly being sidelined. Some by retirement, some by the inexorable realities being pushed upon them. It will continue to take a lot of pushing by those who “get it” but there are plenty who will continue to offer guidance to those who need it.
- There’s much more to crisis and emergency communications than social media. Perhaps this is the real shocker. It is certainly the primary reason for my resolution. I’m sensing that some pretty basic elements are being forgotten in this romance with the wild new possibilities of social media. What are those? How to write. How to identify and build the right relationships. How advise leaders on right actions (see Instagram’s big mistake as an example). Media relations basics. How to run a press conference. How to build trust. The role of character in reputation. The transition to visual (OK—this has some significant social media ramifications). You get the picture, there is plenty to address that is being missed.
- I don’t keep my resolutions. This is my way out in case I do write more than I plan on social media. For those who want to remind me of this resolution, don’t bother. I didn’t keep any of them before. I’m still several pounds overweight and still very much enjoying my cigars. So there.
Here’s wishing all of you a very blessed Christmas and holiday season.