“Communication is a core component of disaster planning, response, and recovery“.

DSC07188-B3Social media and disasters: a functional
framework for social media use in
disaster planning, response, and
It may not be that the world is becoming a scarier place, we may just be in a time where our global awareness is bringing current events to our immediate attention.  We know that social media plays a large part in this communication and that the power of social media has become a topic of larger conversations in the last few years. It is now seen as a social responsibility to share and spread information as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency. Most recently – with the disastrous earthquake in Nepal, we have seen social media used as a platform to help collect donations and to spread stories provoking sympathy and support.
It is equally important, as a business utilizing social media in your marketing program, to have a plan of action in the event of a global or local emergency. Much of social media marketing is done in a predesigned, prescheduled fashion. Should you allow your company to continue posting discounts or unrelated information? Probably not. Without the proper response, your followers could see you as a company that is disconnect, or even worse – apathetic.

Here are some tips to creating a marketing response plan:

1. Do your research: plenty of organizations step up to collect donation and volunteers during times of crisis – but not all of these organizations are equally effective. Do research in your local area to find a company that you feel will be utilizing the time and resources of the community in the best way. In the Portland, Oregon area we recommend contacting the – – – -.
2. “Do, More than give”: Author, Leslie R. Crutchfield discusses this method for providing support as a business, through times of great need.
“Businesses that want to make the bigger difference in times of need should do more than give. They should determine their core competencies, and then find ways to deploy them to catalyze real change”.
If your company can focus in on a specialty or a product that could be of use to whomever is suffering – consider donating that time or resource rather than monetary contributions.
3. Fact Check: Be careful reposting or quoting from unreliable sources. While Social Media is a great tool for keeping up to date on breaking news, it is also a breeding ground of self-proclaimed experts. Remember that what you reference might as well be coming directly from the mouth of your CEO. Consider preparing a go-to response that can be utilized in a time of great distress. For instance, “Bridgetown Marketing is greatly saddened to hear of the recent tragedy in Nepal. Our thoughts are with the families effected by this tragedy and we hope for a swift and supported recovery”