Social Media for Emergency and Disaster Management: A Crash Course

New social media is bringing people and communities together faster than any communication medium in history. Although, many citizens are tied into social media, those who serve and protect our communities (police departments, fire and rescue, etc..) have been reluctant to implement the technology. Whether it is due a lack of knowledge on the subject, a negative perception of social media as a whole, or just because they don’t know where to get started, social media has progressed slowly in the emergency services industry. We hope to change this!

DailySplice will be sponsoring an upcoming webinar to educate first responder agencies on new social media. It will detail the aspects of new social media and the value and benefits associated with integrating it into an effective communications strategy.

Social Media for Emergency and Disaster Management: A Crash Course
Wednesday August 19, 2009
1:00 - 1:30 PM Pacific Time (4:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern Time)
Presenter:
Chris Burge – President, of BWest Interactive

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/210207298

This webinar is a part of our overall initiative to educate and inform public safety authorities on new social media.  As we continue our campaign we will regularly update our blog to keep followers up to date. This an exciting project for us, and we hope we can make a difference!

If you know anyone else who would be interested in this topic, kindly forward the registration link to them.

Crash Course in Social Media Assists Fire and Police Address Privacy Concerns

Crash Course in Social Media Assists Fire and Police Address Privacy Concerns

Short Summary: Online Webinar Series assists First Responders learn about which social media tools to use for public information hubs and emergency communications. A professional development series outlines privacy concerns and gives examples of appropriate use.

Victoria, BC, (July 29, 2009) – DailySplice, developer of the Podcast Station multimedia manager for streaming video and audio web content, has launched an online educational initiative for Police and Fire departments. The professional development series is for police and fire departments to learn and apply social media tools.

“Social media is a hot button. First Responders need reliable information about what tools make sense for them with budget and privacy constraints,” says DailySplice CEO, Rian Bowden.

The first in a series of webinars was delivered by Social Media Guru and Web Strategist, Chris Burdge of bwest.ca who discussed the application of new media in the First Responder industry. Burdge detailed real world applications of social media and examples of where technology such as podcasting has been used effectively.

The session was facilitated Bev McPhee, Professor of Communications at Royal Roads University, who said “Our goal with this series is to inform and educate. Social media is improving communications everywhere in today’s community, and extending the role of public relations into emergency services is a natural progression though there are privacy pitfalls that first responders should be aware of.” McPhee also emphasized the importance of using social media to disseminate public safety information to increase emergency preparedness and engage stakeholders.

Bowden concluded by saying that Saanich Police and the View Royal Fire Department both use the Podcast Station as a key component in their social media strategy. Dailysplice and e continue our strategy to educate and enlighten those in the emergency services industry.”

To register for free webinars, contact Mike Waraich, Marketing Coordinator, DailySplice Technologies at +1 (866) 334-3958

About DailySplice Technologies Inc

DailySplice is a leading developer of online multimedia management tools to make streaming audio and video content easy and quick for the non-developer. Users create an aggregated playlist of various podcasts either supplied by third parties or can broadcast their own content on custom branded Podcast Station™ based on the preferences of their target audience. The Podcast Station allows audio updates by cellphone and creates detailed analytics report so users can continuously monitor and assess the needs of their market. DailySplice augments its client offering with a free podcast directory with over 100,000 well-organized audio and video clips.

Contact:

Email to Register for Emergency Services Social Media Webinars

Mike Waraich, Marketing Coordinator

DailySplice Technologies Inc.

mikeatdailysplicedotcom

+1 (866) 334-3958

The Five Most Popular Social Media Tools for Fire Departments

Social Media has exploded on the internet yet emergency responders have been slow to adopt this new media. What are the tools that Fire departments can use to get the message out during an emergency event? Each social media tool has a purpose and role – and may or may not be appropriate in all situations. But – let’s be clear, “new” and social media tools are here to stay – so learning about them is and taking your place in the conversation is a must for fire departments. Traditional tools like e-mail and the press conference still have a role but what are the most popular “new” media options for public information officers?

1.CounterAct Rumors with Micro-blogging

Micro blogging is a micro blast or sound bit of information. It is used when a short message is all that is needed and no interpretation or details needed.

Main Street closed at Smith until 16:00 on June 7 due to traffic accident. Take alternate route.

95 characters with spaces

It can also be used to convey real information from the official source so the public doesn’t rely on rumors. Though – it is important to have a single person who understands the media as the “instant” nature can be a negative if your message is not sufficiently clear in the 140 characters available to you.

2.Send URGENT Messages with Broadcast Text Messaging

Broadcast text messaging is typically reserved for the emergency events that require responders to get an URGENT message to the population. An example would be a Tsunami warning. The warning goes to everyone in an affected area via a text message to their cell phone.

The Cry Wolf Factor: It is important to note if you broadcast text media for NON URGENT events like traffic re-routing or day to day information about the fires in the city – your audience will tune out. The ability to reach the public by their cell phone is a powerful tool - Use it wisely.

3.Blog to Create a Following

Just like publishing articles or having a by-line in the local paper – without the editor between you and the public. Blogging is an easy way to get the fire departments message out. However, blogging is best reserved to tell a story and create a community with careful thought to content. Blogging during an event is a powerful tool as long as your blogs are carefully crafted and supportive of the overall story your followers have come to expect.

4.Create a Public Information Podcast Hub

Fire departments are increasingly turning to multimedia to get their message out? Why? Because audio and video content is more interesting for their public and interesting content means website visitors will stay longer and be exposed to your messaging longer.

A Podcast series is like having your own on-line radio station as a public information hub. Multimedia or audio or video content also known as podcasts are a tool of choice to augment text based tools. According to a study in Public Relations Review (Eyrich et al, 2008)[i], 35% of public relations practitioners use podcasts. Podcasts are effective media during a crisis when writing time is limited and the spoken word or video can be used to communicate more effectively than text.

5.Use Podcasting During Emergency Events

How else can you use podcasts? Fire Department multimedia podcasting during emergency events is used by the View Royal Fire Department in Canada to get the word out during an emergency event to the media and stakeholders including city officials, so the Fire Chief can deal with the emergency.

Podcasting no longer requires special streaming to preserve bandwidth or technical skills. Tools like DailySplice’s Podcast Station™ host the content on their own servers making the tool available to most sites and do not carry ads like YouTube video content.

Using new and social media is not free – fire departments need to commit time to create an effective communications strategy. As always – start with a plan and ask “what are we trying to accomplish?”, “who will maintain the information”, and “how will we measure success?” Then choose an easy to use tool that matches your goals.

References

New Media Tools for Emergency Services Communicators

Nina Eyrich, Monica L. Padman, Kaye D. Sweetser, PR practitioners’ use of social media tools and communication technology, 2008, Grady College, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, United States

——————————————————————————--