This outstanding graphic illustration highlights two extremely important points for emergency communications today.
First, social media in emergency management is not something that is coming, it is not about tomorrow, it is not something we should prepare for. It is as here as you are.
Second, communication today is mostly about visuals. Think a moment about the gulf spill. What comes to mind? Chances are the live video of the ugly stuff spewing from the bottom of the ocean. If you are not thinking about how to tell the story of your crisis or emergency in pictures, there's a pretty good chance nobody is going to pay much attention.
But for those of you who (like me) still like words. Here are a few relevant tidbits to read about the social media graphic:
- 49% said they probably or absolutely would use social media channels in an emergency to let family and friends know they were safe. Only 16% said definitely not.
- primary benefits of using social media in emergencies:
- viral messages are repeated over and over
- opportunity for multiple "credible" spokespeople
- ability to measure sentiment
- intel gathering
- ongoing contact--improving preparedness prior to a crisis
69% believe that emergency response agencies should regularly monitor websites and social media sites so they can respond promptly
Would people request help using social media in an emergency? How?
- 52% send a text message to response agency
- 44% ask others to help you reach a response agency through social network
- 35% post request for help on Facebook
- 28% send a direct tweet to a response agency
OK, I'm tired of typing. Look at the graphic.