Warning and Informing Scotland

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Quick Facts

Publishing Organisation:
Ready Scotland
Primary Target Country:
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: www.techtarget.com/searchdisasterrecovery/definition/crisis-communication
  • 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:https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan
  • 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: https://www.fp7-emergent.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/20170529_D7.3_Guidelines_to_increase_the_benefit_of_social_media_EmerGent.pdf
  • 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: https://www.undrr.org/terminology/preparedness</br></br>Prevention (i.e., disaster prevention) expresses the concept and intention to completely avoid potential adverse impacts of hazardous events.</br></br>Source: https://www.undrr.org/terminology/prevention
  • 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: https://www.undrr.org/terminology/response
  • 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: https://www.undrr.org/terminology/recovery
  • Synopsis

    Note: Synopsiss taken from a previous edition


    A social media presence will significantly enhance your communications strategy before, during and after an emergency. An effective social media strategy will incorporate the critical elements of:

    Listening – Talking – Engaging – Sustaining

    • Listening
      • What are people talking about?
      • What is being said about your organization/subject matter?
      • Who is your audience?
      • Where is your audience?
    • Talking
      • Promote and introduce your organization/subject matter
      • Provide information that will be helpful
      • Target influential individuals/audiences
    • Engaging
      • Develop and encourage two-way conversations
      • Talk with supporters and critics
      • Create a growing network using content that can be shared
    • Sustaining
      • Keep dialogue going to be well positioned in an emergency
      • Commit necessary resources to maintain momentum
      • Turn followers into advocates who speak for you


    Passive Engagement with the Public (Levels 1 & 2)

    • This is the early adoption phase of social media platforms. At level 1, organisations disseminate information to the public using the basic features of social media platforms. This phase involves significantly lower cost and expertise.

    Level 1 – Information Dissemination

    • Description
      • Using platforms only to disseminate information.
    • Advantages
      • Organisations can control dissemination of their content on the channel and decide what content should be shared and when.
      • Information with the public can be shared instantaneously, increasing your audience.
      • Potential to reach a wider audience than other broadcast channels.
    • Used for
      • Warning and informing the public Campaigning
      • Community Engagement
    • Potential risks
      • If organisations establish themselves as a trusted source, an organisation’s failure to maintain their channels may result in parts of the population being less informed.
    • Platforms
      • Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Flickr

    Level 2 – Passive Monitoring

    • Description
      • Passive monitoring of social media content.
    • Advantages
      • Allows you to understand audience perceptions and opinions.
      • Enables identification of key stakeholders/influencers in communities which can support message dissemination.
      • Builds understanding of demographics for social media platforms.
    • Used for
      • Static monitoring for specific events to gather information and increase situational awareness.
      • Evaluating impact of campaigns and messages.
      • Assessing how your organisation is viewed by the public.
    • Potential risks
      • The purpose of social media engagement needs to be made clear to users, otherwise there could be a mismatch between their expectations and the service provided.
        • This is a reputational risk.
    • Platforms
      • Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn

    Active Engagement with the Public (Levels 3 & 4)

    • This phase builds on the foundations of the passive phase. Organisations will know the audiences using social media platforms and have identified key stakeholders/influential individuals. They are aware of the demographics of social media audiences and are able to evaluate activities, such as campaigns and the impact of messages. Here social media is a two-way communications channel – dissemination and monitoring are no longer separate activities.
    • For these levels, social media is used daily and during standard operating procedures. Social media should be increasingly used collaboratively – there is more interaction with trusted sources at this level.

    Level 3 – Active Public Engagement

    • Description
      • Disseminating information and engaging in two-way communication with your audience (responding to questions, comments, etc).
    • Advantages
      • Makes an organisation more accessible and responsive to the public.
      • Allows you to inform and shape public perceptions.
      • Reducing the impact of misinformation through timely response to ill-informed comments.
    • Used for
      • Providing direct information/ advice for non-critical events.
      • Seeking information from the public, e.g. eye-witness reports.
      • Countering misinformation and rumours.
      • Providing community reassurance.
    • Potential risks
      • It is essential to have clear guidelines on rules of engagement.
      • Volume of information requests might be very high during certain situations so procedures need to be in place to deal with this.
    • Platforms
      • Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram

    Level 4 – Active Social Media Monitoring

    • Description
      • Gathering information from social media platforms which is analysed and used to support operations.
    • Advantages
      • Near real-time monitoring of events using publicly shared information.
      • Access to information from trusted sources which can increase situational awareness.
      • Allows you to understand plans, actions and movements of groups of people.
    • Used for
      • Gaining early awareness of events/issues, in some cases before they have been officially reported or taken place, e.g. illicit street parties or riot-inciting messages.
      • Information gathered can be used to reconstruct incidents and analyse accidents, such as fires, road traffic accidents, etc.
      • This can also be used for post-event investigation.
    • Potential risks
      • Verification of information
      • Potential misinformation
      • Volume of potential information
      • Dependence on information/technology to perform analysis Requires investment
    • Platforms

    Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yammer, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, social tagging/social bookmarking


    • Public Communications Groups (PCG)
      • Activation and composition
      • Engagement with a Resilience Partnership
      • Out of hours
      • National decision-making
      • The Scottish Government
    • Principles
      • Clear roles and responsibilities
      • Provision of communication advice at every level of decision making
      • Clear communication objectives
      • An audience-based approach
      • An understanding of channels, and adaption to new opportunities
      • Use of dedicated spokespeople
      • Phased communications
    • Planning
      • Preparing the public
      • Preparing the Public Communications Group
    • Response
      • Activation
      • First hour public communications
      • Beyond the first hour
    • Recovery

    Please note: Previous edition available on the project's servers

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