Tweet Me Up: Social Media Tools and Crisis Management

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1 Tweet Me Up: Social Media Tools and Crisis Management Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference 2011 Annie Searle & Emily Oxenford Principal Research Associate Annie Searle & Associates LLC Risk Consultants

2 Annie s Background 10 years at Washington Mutual, including seven as chair of the company wide Crisis Management Team. Ongoing international work in coalitions around pandemic, supply chain, cyber, global threats. Co founder of Coalition for Organizational Resilience, which h launched din Q1 of this year. Relevant special interests: streamlined crisis management, virtualized environments, social media tools and cloud as a DR strategy. t ASA Institute for Risk & Innovation focuses on six critical infrastructure sectors: banking, energy, IT, communications, publichealthandemergency and emergency services.

3 Emily s Background Currently finishing graduate degree in Information Management at UW. Graduated dwith ihhigh h honors from American University, i with ih a concentration in Peace & Conflict Resolution. Author of eight ASA research notes, whose topics include social media and communicating crisis management value. Interested in solving local and global problems through improving i information. i Will walk us through several social media tools today.

4 This presentation Examines use of social media, trends & risks Looks at benefits and challenges for crisis management, especially in communications Provides information on what tools are available and how to set up Looks at leverage power of technology volunteers via organizations like Crisis Commons Recommends a path forward on use of tools

5 Disasters are newsworthy events Haiti earthquake Iceland s volcanic ash Impacts from an East Coast power grid failure Chilean mine explosion & rescue Times Square bomb BP Gulf oil spill Hurricane Katrina Yemen cargobombs Honshu earthquake, tsunami, and radiation leaks

6 Historic Model for Crisis Management Command center = central decision making on all aspects of crisis Priority is overall response and recovery Authorization of extraordinary resource & financial requests All formal communications via legal lens Generally, alldecisions moved to a command center with structure and protocols that both public and private sector entities use for briefings, updates.

7 The world has changed News is now 7x24, and aggregated from blogs and tweets as well as traditional news media. Photos and tweets tell the story from people of on the ground, without any corporate filter. Technology volunteers are mapping open issues from crisis, which could include data about your company. Command center is making decisions that could affect your company.

8 But most companies still run the same. 8% of companies have terminated employees on social media issues. Wrong tweet or Facebook status can get you fired. HR and Legal still run the show, especially where review of any corporate communications are high. h This slows things down. Cii Crisis management team is often unused to working over extended period of time, and gets flummoxed by Legal s why we can t approach.

9 When the stakes are high CEOs are used to being treated with respect, not tweeted about if they drop the ball (Tony Hayward). Traditional corporate communications and situation reports are not real time in a crisis. Brand is part of crisis management. Using social media tools on regular basis, not just in crisis, builds consistency. But tit requires internal collaboration! Rewards higher than risks if approached proactively.

10 The power of the tools Twitter = 140 million messages per day Facebook=500 million active users, 50% on each day From FEMA s Craig Fugate = tools allow a two way conversation in the impact zone, so that we can link people with information, resources and ideas Google s Person Finder application Ushahidi crowdsourcing website (Japan, Haiti, Chile) Crisis Commons wikis (Japan, Haiti in particular) with efficient reports on lessons learned.

11 Recent American Red Cross Survey 20% who could not reach would use SM tools 44% would ask others in social networks to contact authorities on their behalf 35% would post directly on FB page for EM 28% would send message to responders on Twitter 69% felt agencies should monitor social media as part of response plan; 74% expected emergency help to come in less than one hour after Twitter or Facebook posts

12 Use it or get run over by it Too many people now get their information here. Speed and accuracy on sites like Ushahidi is impossible by government agencies or first responders using current systems. Your employees may be already volunteering their expertise, but reluctant to let you know. How to streamline review & approval process for communications? How to take social media into account in the EOC?

13 Consider these tools By using them routinely to provide information, it becomes easier to use them in a crisis. Setting up accounts will require permission from Legal as well as a social media policy to guide your company and its employees Tools allow you to respond quickly to other types of reputational tti likth risk that t is already present whether hth you use the tools or not. Next, a smalldemo on deploying such tools Emily?

14 Wiki Sites Content Distribution, Collaboration and Organization What Kinds? MediaWiki (free, large, server based) Google sites (free, simple, cloud based)

15 Wiki Sites Do not have to have developer knowledge Can have very basic or very detailed MediaWiki Requirements Web Server PHP Database Server All are open source

16 Twitter Free and quick to create profile Search for relevant profiles to follow and gather information Can create public/private lists (following specific profiles) Can restrict who can following you (public/private) Already being used harness the potential

17 Facebook Pages can be created (useful as a public face for an organization or cause) and administered as public/private/restricted/open. Groups can be made (hidden from public view/restricted to specific people invited/open to the public). Events can be scheduled/organized. hdld/ d Important information can be shared (messages, posting on wall) and gathered.

18 Other Social Tools list servs can be generated and administered through GNU Mailman. Google Groups, Sites, and Documents (group collaboration). Blogs can be set up via Wordpress or Blogger. Skype or Google Talk services for conference calls. Doodle for scheduling/availability.

19 Take Away Items Figure out how your company fits in this new world. Work out acceptable social media protocols with with Legal & HR. Engage your digital natives! Position crisis communications as key stakeholder of the tool, especially in its alignment with brand responsiveness. Baby steps: participate in collaborative efforts that utilize social media tools an example would be the Coalition for Organizational Resilience via its wiki.

20 Useful references Crisis Commons idisaster 2.0 FEMA Mobile multipurpose p site p// / National Weather Servc.

21 Questions? is the best way to contact me Learn more about the ASA Institute for Risk and Innovation at Sign up for our monthly newsletter at

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