How to Use Social Media for Crisis Communications and Emergency Management

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Quick Facts

Publishing Organisation:
Covers Thematic
  • Crisis communication Crisis communication is a strategic approach to corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event. When a crisis occurs, proactive, quick and detailed communication is critical.</br></br></br>Source:
  • Social Media Strategy A social media strategy is a document outlining your social media goals, the tactics you will use to achieve them and the metrics you will track to measure your progress</br></br>Source:
  • Social Media Team Social Media team building comprises the member's roles and competences, training requirements, as well as financial and organizational prerequisites
  • Target audience
  • Businesses companies, local business networks, solution providers, suppliers of goods and services
  • Policy Makers local, national, and European agencies and institutes, public authorities, standardization bodies
  • Practitioners Practitioners is a target group in LINKS which comprises local, national and European disaster management organizations, civil protection agencies, first responders, NGOs, security networks...
  • Audience experience level
  • Starter Those who are not currently using social media, or the current use is based on providing general information and advice to citizens</br></br>Source:
  • Disaster Management Phase
  • Before Comprises 'Preparedness Phase' and 'Prevention Phase'</br></br>Preparedness action is carried out within the context of disaster risk management and aims to build the capacities needed to efficiently manage all types of emergencies and achieve orderly transitions from response to sustained recovery.</br></br>Source:</br></br>Prevention (i.e., disaster prevention) expresses the concept and intention to completely avoid potential adverse impacts of hazardous events.</br></br>Source:
  • During Also referred to as "Response Phase"</br></br>Actions taken directly before, during or immediately after a disaster in order to save lives, reduce health impacts, ensure public safety and meet the basic subsistence needs of the people affected.</br></br>Annotation: Disaster response is predominantly focused on immediate and short-term needs and is sometimes called disaster relief. Effective, efficient and timely response relies on disaster risk-informed preparedness measures, including the development of the response capacities of individuals, communities, organizations, countries and the international community.</br></br>Source:
  • Synopsis

    The role of social media in crisis communications

    During a crisis, social media can help brands:

    • Communicate updates to your audience;
    • Support people who need help or information;
    • Listen and learn about current events and what people need from your brand.

    • Tips for communicating on social media during a crisis or emergency

    Make sure your social media policy includes the following:

    • An up-to-date emergency contact list. Not just your social media team but legal advisors and executive decision-makers, too.
    • Guidance on accessing social account credentials. Where is that information, and how can someone find it?
    • Guidelines for identifying the scope of the crisis (i.e., is it global or local, does it affect your operations, does it affect your customers, and to what extent?)
    • An internal communication plan for employees.
    • An approval process for your response strategy.

    Social media crisis communications plan template

    Get a social media crisis communications plan in place while everything is business-as-usual. That way, you’ll be able to jump into action ASAP when life goes sideways. get started with a crisis communication plan template for social media.

    • Assess potential crises
    • Potential questions and responses
    • Posting outlets and schedules
    • Key stakeholders
    • Guidelines for social media

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