Social Media Crisis Management

May 7, 2010  |  Social Media for Business

When it comes to a crisis, they don’t come much bigger than the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  But this one stands out from most of the rest.  Why? It’s among the first to embrace Social Media as a tool for managing the hundreds of issues that come along with a devastating environmental disaster.  Why is that such a major step forward for all of us here on planet Earth?  Pull up a chair, and I’ll tell you more… (More…)

According to Reuters News and The Globe and Mail, phone lines at the command centre in Louisiana where teams are directing clean-up efforts are often jammed.  But tech-savvy fishermen and residents are turning to Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.   In fact, BP’s Twitter site has more than 2,500 followers.  A Facebook page launched by the US Government and the BP Spill Response Team has more than 11,000 followers.  What do the people have access to? Photos, maps, videos and summaries of daily news briefings.

Consultant Lauren Hurvitz tells Reuters:  “In a crisis situation, social media is “the fastest and most effective way to reach consumers besides television.  It’s much more cost effective and direct.”  And a spinoff benefit for the company is that it can control the message that’s getting to the people without it being filtered by radio, TV and newspaper reporters.  In this case, the message isn’t a self-serving advertisement.  It’s potentially life-saving details of the clean-up efforts, updated at a moment’s notice.

Critics can say what they like about Social Media.  When it comes to crisis management, SM makes communication a simple, swift and sublime thing. ;-)

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