Social media for emergency management - a good practice guide

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Quick Facts

Publishing Organisation:
Wellington Region Emergency Management Office
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:
  • Legal/Standards Legal Requirement means any federal, state, local, municipal, foreign or other law, statute, constitute, principle of common law, resolution, ordinance, code, edict, decree, rule, regulation, ruling or requirement issued, enacted, adopted, promulgated, implemented or otherwise put into effect by or under the authority of any Governmental Body. </br></br>Source:</br></br>Standards are voluntary documents that set out specifications, procedures and guidelines that aim to ensure products, services, and systems are safe, consistent, and reliable. They cover a variety of subjects, including consumer products and services, the environment, construction, energy and water utilities, and more.</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:
  • Target audience
  • 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:
  • After Also referred to as 'Recovery Phase'</br></br>The restoring or improving of livelihoods and health, as well as economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets, systems and activities, of a disaster-affected community or society, aligning with the principles of sustainable development and “build back better”, to avoid or reduce future disaster risk.</br></br>Source:
  • Synopsis

    The original document is not available on the web anymore

    Key message

    • develop relevant strategy and policy
    • plan for staffing requirements whether for business-as-usual use or during the response
    • source and train appropriate staff
    • build your online presence and audience
    • Build trust between your community and your organisation, so that people come to you seeking advice when an emergency arises

    Before an emergency

    Creating a strategy

    • How are you going to use social media?
      • You may have different levels of engagement on different social media platforms.
        • Observer
        • Broadcaster
        • Dabbler
        • Fully immersed
      • What types of social media are you going to engage with?
        • Social networking sites
        • Media-sharing networks
        • Community discussion forums
        • Blogs
        • Wikis
        • Social news sites
        • Mashup or mapping software
    • Which social media platforms are you going to use?


    • Code of Conduct
    • Communications & branding
    • Access to social media platforms
    • Posting access
    • Sign-off
    • Legal considerations
      • Copyright
      • Privacy
      • Record retention
    • Removal of unacceptable content, blocking people


    • Choice of platform
    • Who posts
    • Resourcing
    • Content
    • Voice & building trust
    • Training
    • Access
    • How often to post
    • Responding
    • What if we get something wrong?
    • Maximising reach – use statistics to your advantage

    Preparation for response

    • Trained staff
    • Equipment and access
    • Templates
    • Exercising

    During an emergency

    • Managing resources available to you
    • Working effectively with other agencies
    • Building trust during the response
    • Managing community expectations
    • Streamlining the release of information
    • What to post
    • Correcting misinformation
    • Sourcing information
      • Managing the flow of incoming information
      • Verifying, and integrating information from social media

    After an emergency

    • After action report
    • Before the next emergency
    • Building on your audience
    • Capitalise on the event

    Please note: Original document stored on project's server

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