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12 Tips for Using Social Media in Emergency Management

  1. Accessibility: Use social media to make emergency management messages accessible to a diverse, mobile and interconnected audience quickly.
  2. Tone: Use active voice and stick to facts to communicate authority, accuracy, and applicability.
  3. Reliability: Do not rely on social media to transmit urgent warnings or as the sole means of disseminating important messages.
  4. Redundancy: Use social media to reinforce messages transmitted using other media and channels.
  5. Repetition: Avoid repeating the same message too often, albeit in modified form, as a means of reinforcing key ideas.
  6. Relevance: Make sure messages are pertinent and coherent, avoid excessive use of links to external sites, and keep content fresh and crisp.
  7. Receiving: Recognize that social media is a form of two-way communication, not just another outbound channel.
  8. Reciprocity: Share timely and relevant information from trusted sources by reposting or retransmitting it.
  9. Frequency: Respect followers and friends by posting regularly but not too often; at least twice but no more than six times a day except in emergencies.
  10. Timeliness: Get messages out as soon as practical, but do not let social media interfere with essential functions.
  11. Sensitivity: Exercise reasonable care and discretion when disseminating information that could affect personal or proprietary interests.
  12. Security: Always select and use a secure password and restrict account access to authorized agency representatives.
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