Posted by: kenwbudd | March 5, 2011

Social Media and Crisis Response

There has been a significant increase in the number of companies requesting specialised social media components in their Crisis Response training.

With the growing use and influence of social media and sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube changing the speed at which breaking news can travel around the world, the use of social media can play a significant role in the evolution of a crisis. Forward thinking companies are increasingly aware of this and requesting training in the management and potential use of social media in their crisis response.

A comprehensive communications and media response element needs to be a part of your crisis response exercises. Companies are requesting specialised social media components in the crisis communications traininge.

Many have seen how discussion on Twitter and other social networks has been filtering into national and international news coverage, and are seeking the best training to be able to not only handle the latest forms of global communication, but to use it to their advantage.

The US Airways flight 1549, which landed in the Hudson River in early 2009 is an excellent example of the critical role social media can play in a crisis. Eyewitnesses were taking pictures with their phones and uploading them to Twitter, meaning the images and news of the event were being watched and discussed in the public domain before the companies involved even knew about the outcome of the landing.

It took just under four minutes for the events to start unfolding on Twitter, whilst CNN took over 15 minutes to break the story. That demonstrates how swiftly reaction and commentary can begin following an incident, and why organisations are ensuring that sound, strategic and practical social media crisis communications are included in our crisis response training.

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