Social Media Checklist For Emergencies and Disasters Response
During an Emergency and Disaster, the first 24 hours are critical in order to establish the fundamental action steps in the social media sphere. The purpose of this Checklist is helping Emergency and Disaster Agencies/Nonprofits to effectively manage social media communications through clearly defined action steps in order to generate a fast Social Media Response during the first 24/48 hours when a disaster occurs.
This is just a small part of the Social Media Plan for Emergency and Disaster intended to:
• Prepare the Organization staff to effectively and quickly manage social media communications in the first 24 hours of the disaster/emergency;
• Help staff, units, board members and social media teams respond in a unified, professional manner that reinforces sector leadership and creates loyalty;
• Strategically enhance the organization's brand/role, and the public understanding of the value provided by the nonprofit community;
• Manage the distribution of critical, often sensitive, information to the media, members, and public;
• Coordinate efforts that help shape a consistent sector-wide response in the social media sphere.
Checklist. Before a Disaster Strikes:
1. Create Social Media Emergency & Disaster Contributor Team. The first effective way to use Social Media is by providing the media, bloggers, and general public with factual information and messages most beneficial to communicate the situation and responses strategies. Before a disaster occurs, make sure to contact local bloggers, influencers, employees, general public and organize them into teams. The idea is to enable them, in case of emergency, with all the information required to help your organization to spread the word, retweet messages, and follow the social media publishing strategy that you created. Do not wait until the last minute to rapidly recognize those bloggers and individual media that could integrate your Social Media Teams.
2. For best results a Social Media for Emergency and Disaster Training should occur before a disaster strikes. Also part of this information should be explained and included during staff orientation and periodically reviewed by The Emergency and Disaster Department and/or Marketing and Communications. In fact, this is a great opportunity to recruit volunteers for your ED Social Media Contributor teams.
3. Create educational information about Prevention, Safety and what to do in case of emergency and share them periodically with your audience.
Checklist. During The Disaster
4. There should be one designated Social Media Community Manager lead person, directing and coordinating all aspects of the organization's response including managing the messages and the communities. For a better result, there also should be one designated Social Media Monitoring Person who actually interacts with Fans and Followers, respond comments, Twitter mentions and other inquirers.
5. If it's possible, designate a person in the affected area to do a professional photography coverage in the next 24-48 hours after the disaster. You could also hire a professional photographer to ensure the quality of the images and storytelling abilities.
6. Emergency and Disaster Communications Team - Key staff and, if needed, the chairs of the Board and the Marketing and Communications Department, should convene to strategically review the situation and manage the communications surrounding the issue. Daily meeting with the Social Media Community Managers are necessary; so you can coordinate the SM efforts.
7. Develop, Distribute and Schedule factual, detailed messages that reflect the status of the emergency, the Nonprofit's response, and, if possible, proactive steps to resolve the situation. But it's very important that you Designate a time and frequency of Distribution to general media, general public, and ED Social Media Contribution Team.
8. Create a Media Center in your website, containing embedded banners, blog posts, press releases, photography and video ready to be shared by the media or bloggers. Remember to include a Call of Action button or to links to your Donation Landing Page.
9. Draft Tweets, Facebook Statues and Blog Post. Create daily list of Facebook Status and Twitter Templates. Social Media Contributor Teams need to understand, with examples, that Messages should be responsive and solution/action oriented, reinforcing the Organization's position of knowledge and leadership in 140 characters.
10. Determine the group of hashtags to be used; communicate them to the rest of the units. Before you do this, follow the trend and select the one that is been used for the disaster, additionally include your organization hashtag or your campaign relief effort's name. They can be used alternately within every message.
11. Create a Twitter List containing the Twitter accounts of those units, partners and key groups to reach if you are in the affected area. Share the link of this Twitter list in every Social Media Outlet.
12. Finally, avoid any Jeopardizing Social Media Effort. Based on the disaster's location designate the Twitter account Leaders; the rest of the units should Retweet, share content and follow the Social Media Action Plan. This is the best way to avoid duplicate efforts. Remember community is participatory otherwise is just working in silos.
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