If you want to use social media to help spread your agency’s message during an emergency, you need to get your platforms up and running now. Devon Coquillard of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), speaking at the Research Foundation’s symposium in Orlando, manages social media for FDEM. She says an increasing number of associations and agencies are jumping on the social media bandwagon – and says you can’t wait until a crisis occurs before you fire up your Twitter account.
The world has become a digital social society, with an estimated 20% of our computer time spent on social platforms. Ms. Coquillard says effective social media for crisis communication is about engagement -- both listening and messaging -- and taking advantage of having online “eyes and ears” throughout your community.
Establishing a solid purpose and goals, as well as “voice and tone” for your social crisis communications are important first steps, she says. She suggests tapping into existing partnerships to build online followers and using analytic tools to measure your progress.