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The editors at Emergency Management Degrees decided to research the topic of:
Using Social Media as a Crisis Management Tool
- YouTube stats - 1 billion unique monthly users
- Facebook - 1.06 billion monthly active users, 680 million mobile users, over 50 million pages and 10 million apps
- Pinterest - 48.7 million users
- Tumblr - 170 million users, 100 million blogs
- Twitter - 500 million total users, more than 200 million active users
- Vimeo - 12.6 million users
- Word Press - 74 million blogs
- News cycle is instantaneous.
- After Hurricane Sandy, Justin Auciello created a Facebook page called Jersey Shore Hurricane News to report updates in real time with 191,000 "likes."
- Two-way communication between governmental agencies and the public.
- Social media management in a PR crisis helps 1) evaluate conversations about the brand to determine if they are positive or negative; 2) assess the level of threat and prioritize it; and 3) determine how to respond.
- Case study - Progressive Insurance. Progressive failed to respond timely which may have helped to control the situation and manage the brand: 51.33% of the social media comments were negative, 40.67% were neutral and only 8.00% were positive.
- Case study - American Red Cross. In 2011, a Red Cross employee accidentally tweeted something personal about drinking Dogfish Beer to its network of 260,000 followers. The Red Cross deleted the turned the incident into a fundraiser with Dogfish Beer asking fans to donate to Red Cross.
- Using Ushahidi, Japan earthquake in 2011, Ushahidi created the largest crisis map to date with more than 8,000 reports via social media identifying shelters, food, cell phone charging stations and road closures.
- 72% said the most common way they hear about news is from family in friends by talking in person or on the phone.
- 15% get news from family and friends through social media sites.
- 25% of 18-to-25-year-olds get their news from social media.
- Pros & Cons of Social Media News and Crisis Reporting
- Pros - Immediacy, anyone can report news, news is disseminated quickly, cell phones can reach virtually anywhere
- Cons - Limited space (Twitter, 140 characters), inaccurate information, potential lack of journalistic integrity, citizen journalists putting themselves in harm's way to get a story