Guidelines for the use of new media in crisis situations

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Primary Target Country
Publishing Organisation Project COSMIC
Language English
Year Published 2015
Target Audience Civil Society, Policy Makers, Practitioners
Status Published
Disaster Management Phase After, Before, During
Covers Thematic Content creation, Social Media Strategy
Audience Experience Level Intermediate, Starter
Source Website https://crisislab.nl/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Final-Guidelines -Crisislab-website-1.pdf
Abstract The document provides the final guidelines for the Contribution of Social Media in Crisis Management (COSMIC) project.

The guidelines aim to enhance the safety and security of citizens by supporting both citizens, and public authorities, in their use of social media to complement their crisis management efforts.


TIPS AND TRICKS FOR PUBLIC AUTHORITIES

PRE-CRISIS PHASE

  • Develop a social media strategy for all members of your organization
  • Ensure privacy & data protection
  • Prepare for increased communication and information flows during a crisis and take preparations to monitor these information flows
  • Facilitate information sharing by first responders
  • Establish collaboration and communication channels with relevant organizations like (other) public authorities before a crisis
  • Practice the relation between internal and external communication processes regularly
  • Be careful with using participatory actions to increase follower engagement
  • Encourage citizens to support disaster management capacities by using social media when crises occur and provide them with guidance to help fulfil your needs
  • Create awareness for responsible and effective use of social media during crises by citizens and employees
  • Stimulate recognizability of information and ensure continuity
  • Use social media accounts to prepare citizens for high probability hazards and to inform them of the hazards they face


CRISIS PHASE

  • Communicate regularly, quickly and with honesty, candor and openness
  • Ensure information reaches your target audience & differentiate in communication channels
  • Ensure clear, effective, to the point communication and continuity
  • Work with others to gain information, encourage the sharing of information and the building of situational awareness
  • Encourage citizens to inform and help others
  • Stimulate the flow of information & add value
  • Be transparent in how you use data and address copyright and privacy issues
  • Ensure information is correct: Verify, Validate and correct (mis)information!
  • Facilitate the (enhanced) communication needs


Private companies:

  • Monitor and cooperate with the (conventional) channels of crisis communication by public authorities to ensure that communication and advice directed at citizens will be recognized
  • Cooperate with and adapt to emergent group initiatives on social media during crises and encourage citizens to do so, too


POST-CRISIS PHASE

  • Direct people to after care initiatives & encourage them to care for each other
  • Elicit resources for the recovery
  • Seek feedback from those you communicated with during a crisis situation


TIPS AND TRICKS FOR CITIZENS

  • WHEN PREPARING

Prepare yourself for crises

  • WHEN SEEKING AID

Ask for help and disclose your location

  • WHEN SEEKING INFORMATION

Ensure your information is trustworthy

  • WHEN PROVIDING AID

Participate in the flow of information Volunteer to support emergency services

  • WHEN MOBILIZING

Create and stimulate networks Stimulate the networks action potential Mobilize to address crises of societal values Ensure your and others safety

  • WHEN REPORTING INFORMATION

Ensure a broad scope & consider your communication venue Ensure your information is correct and can be validated or verified Engage ethically in citizen media practices



Please note: Access to the following links is currently only available for project partners

Key words for Citizens: https://safetyinnovationcenter.sharepoint.com/:b:/r/sites/LINKS_shared/Freigegebene%20Dokumente/WP4/Guidelines/Guideline%20Documents/Working%20documents/Action%20cards/G06_Tips%20for%20citizens_extract_level2.pdf

Comprehensive Advice for Citizens: https://safetyinnovationcenter.sharepoint.com/:b:/r/sites/LINKS_shared/Freigegebene%20Dokumente/WP4/Guidelines/Guideline%20Documents/Working%20documents/Action%20cards/G06_Tips%20for%20citizens_extract_level1.pdf

Key words for authorities: https://safetyinnovationcenter.sharepoint.com/:b:/r/sites/LINKS_shared/Freigegebene%20Dokumente/WP4/Guidelines/Guideline%20Documents/Working%20documents/Action%20cards/G06_Tips%20for%20authorities_extract_level2.pdf

Comprehensive advice for authorities: https://safetyinnovationcenter.sharepoint.com/:b:/r/sites/LINKS_shared/Freigegebene%20Dokumente/WP4/Guidelines/Guideline%20Documents/Working%20documents/Action%20cards/G06_Tips%20for%20authorities_extract_level1.pdf

Is Archived No
Covers platforms Facebook, Twitter

Recommended Reading:

The guideline offers a holistic overview of the use of social media before, during and after a crisis or disaster and offers useful examples both from the point of view of Emergency Services as well as from the point of view of citizens. The focus of this guide includes the active structuring of information flows and trust building.