National disaster or major significant event? Turn off your scheduled posts and tweets!

Quick social media note: During a national crisis/event, turn off your scheduled posts/tweets.

Last night, I watched as numerous agencies continue (or forget) to stop their auto scheduling programs last night. C’mon, I talk about that in class! If you don’t turn off your auto posts/tweets, your constituents and consumers will perceive you as being insensitive to the current events.

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After the horrific shooting at the Aurora, Colorado Theatres on 07-19-14, NRA social media team autoposted this tweet via HootSuite on 07-20-14. Tweet was viewed as inappropriate as shootings/gun violence/tragedy was the major discussion of the day. Tweet was perceived as inappropriate and insensitive.

After all, social media is about being social and talking about #trending topics right? (Think of it as a digital water cooler)

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After the Boston Bombing incident, many brands and organizations expressed thoughts and prayers for those involved in this egregious tragedy. Public perception? Simple and thoughtful.

Now I know what you are saying – “But national events don’t play any part in our daily operations.” WRONG!, your image is based on perception and being mindful or relevant to a national event will help your readers embrace your greater good.

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Now what is considered a national event? Well, that is for your organization to decide. My opinion? I would err on the side of conservative judgment.

@rusnivek

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14-008: No complaining – offer solutions
Agency: Long Beach Fire Topic(s):         Public Perception and Solutions
Date: Fall 2014 Platform:        Twitter

Complaining or venting on social media is fairly common. However, as an official agency, public displays of affliction does not portray the best image. Long Beach Fire expressed some displeasure on Twitter when discussing the their pilot program.

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After reading this tweet, the public’s perception is that if 9-1-1 is called, no ambulances will respond. This is irresponsible and wrong. (Almost all emergency services have mutual aid agreements or memorandum of understandings in place.)

 

Positioning your agency as a fear mongerer or the Harbinger of Evil will only further distance yourself from people who would be willing to help your cause. Inform them of dangers, but more importantly, engage them publically on social.

 

If there is internal displeasure with the new staffing models, be proactive and offer transparent solutions in the tweet. Cite websites that provide industry information. Publically share statistical data that supports changes with current programs. These online tactics will help direct and educate the general public on how to be better informed on other program and possible other options yet unexplored.

 

Additionally you can rally your constituents behind better initiatives by engaging with them publically via social media. It demonstrates that your department’s community involvement is a key part of a better solution.

As an official account, Twitter’s 140-character limit is really no place to moan/groan.

A more effective tweet could have read:

LBFD resources are maxed out. #Firefighters cannot provide adequate #Paramedic service to our communities. Help us find a solution <insert link here>

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You identify that resources are…well…maxed out.
  2. You use hashtags (#Firefighters and #Paramedic) that will help increase visibility in your tweets.
  3. You stress the importance of providing dedicated service to your community.
  4. You provide a traceable/measureable link that informs and helps bring visibility to this critical situation.

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

@rusnivek

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this file:

No complaining-offer solutions-Safety-PIO-SM-14-008