The power of the "champion", especially one that is in a position of authority cannot be overstated. That's why FEMA's family of websites, social media platforms and Craig Fugate's own personal Twitter account, sit at number 6 on my list of the top 25 social media in emergency management destinations.
What differentiates Administrator Fugate from other top leaders, is his willingness to listen, learn and engage, particularly through his Twitter account. I've witnessed his desire to talk and dialogue with the SMEM community at the NEMA mid-year conference in Washington DC earlier this year. He sat in the audience, talked to folks but mostly listened ... while his deputy gave a speech ... smart ...
His leadership in pushing for the use of social media in emergency management is made evident by all the work done by FEMA along these lines. Yes, money matters and FEMA has lots of it, but without someone to steer the ship in the right direction ... the results might not be as impressive.
Just look at the combination of the Ready.gov website, its informative blog, the FEMA twitter account, its Facebook page and a very complete Youtube channel and you get a fully integrated example of social media as preparedness tools.
What distinguishes Craig Fugate from many other senior executives is his belief that while social networks provide organizations with reliable and effective crisis communications and emergency information tools, they can also play a key operational role by helping enhance an agency's response:
So, the top emergency management official in the US put his organization's online outreach efforts at number 6 on my list. Not bad for a government agency!
The list so far:
#6: Craig Fugate and FEMA
#7: the SocialMedia Examiner website
#8: Emergency Management Magazine
#9: Chief Bill Boyd's blog: It's not my emergency!
#10: SM4EM. org and Cheryl Bledsoe
#11: Jeff Phillips, Los Ranchos EM
#12: Sgt Tim Burrows, Constable Scott Mills and the Toronto Police Service
#13: the weekly #smemchat
#14: 999 Social Media
#15: Brian Humphrey ... a true pionneer
#16: ushahidi ... witnessing change and progress in SMEM