Posts Tagged ‘#SMEM

03
Feb
11

Citizen 2.0

FEMA - 40808 - PDA team in Arkansas

Image via Wikipedia

We put a lot of focus on the use of #SMEM in emergency management, specifically with emergency management’s use of social media technology.  We are developing training and policies for emergency managers so they know how to develop programs and utilize the technology.  We are presenting at conferences and seminars to help get more emergency managers on board.  We are even trying to develop ways to get emergency managers to use standard hashtags.  We have made a lot of headway and are getting a lot of eyes on social media during disasters.  But what about the citizens?  How are we ensuring they are posting reports and using the hashtags?

We need to tackle the discrepancy in the same manner that we tackled the lack of use by emergency managers.  We need to engage citizens and citizen volunteer groups and get them to start using the technology.  I was talking to @metalerik today on twitter.  He direct messaged me about how he was excited to follow me and the SMEM initiative.  I told him, “Great”, and that we would be more than happy to help him along.  Citizen involvement in the overall initiative and local efforts needs to involve citizens.  They are the ones who will either adopt and allow your program to be successful and receiving reports or they won’t be involved.  If they don’t know how or where to report what they see, then they won’t report or you won’t be able to find what they do report.  Your citizens are also who pay your bills so by engaging them and including them in the process you get to show them where their hard earned cash is going and you get to deliver your preparedness message and training right to the source.

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31
Jan
11

Oh definitely, maybe…

A graphic representation of the four phases in...

Image via Wikipedia

When does rhetoric become reality?  Even today after doing so much work to get emergency management and response agencies to pay attention, we are still so far behind in being able to monitor disasters using social media.  This wouldn’t be so frustrating if it was because the technology didn’t exist, was too expensive, was logistically impossible, or any legitimate reason.  It is extremely frustrating because it’s held up for no good reason.  Stop ignoring the writing on the wall (literally and figuratively) and develop a program now.

14
Jan
11

The two way street

One-way street in New York City.

Image via Wikipedia

An easy to understand metaphor for social media is the two way street. The two way street allows for traffic to flow in both directions fluidly. If you only have traffic flowing in one direction, there is opportunity to flow in the other direction as well. This however is not how many people are using social media. I recently consulted with a large restaurant chain on how they could implement social media into their public relations. I advised them that if they are going to use social media they must being willing to accept traffic both ways. Their concern is something many people have when dealing with communication that everyone will see. They were afraid people may say something bad about them or there would be posts that were offensive or they would get spammed. If you aren’t using social media as a two way conversation, than don’t bother. It’s a waste of your time and people will ignore the information you are issuing. Just build a website where you can control any information going out or into your company or agency and be done with it.

This attitude is very common amongst people who are stuck on the old approach of public relations; that you have to have absolute control over the information going in or out. You can’t have two way traffic on a one way street. You can’t have a conversation if one person isn’t allowed to talk. You can’t successfully implement social media if you aren’t willing to communicate both ways. If people are complaining about something then that means they are paying attention to the info you are putting out! Your getting instant feedback about an experience they are having. This is extremely valuable and ensures customer satisfaction and in emergency management you customers are tax paying citizens who you are assigned to protect! Swallow your pride and aknowledge that you will make mistakes and that people are simply going to spread their bad experience whether you are listening to them or not. If you get that information from them in a post or tweet than you have the opportunity to respond to it and provide your side of the situation and ultimately you have more control over the situation than you would in a one way system. It also looks great when you are responding to complaints because people see your concerned and willing to rectify the problem publicly. This is PR gold!




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