Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Summarizing my thoughts on the integration of social media into EM and BCP.

I was recently invited to speak recently at the Emergency Management Council of the Conference Board of Canada. The meeting had a focus on the impact of SM on EM. It was revealing to me to see how different were the various levels of willingness to integrate SM into EM and BCP practices.

Some were clearly very uncomfortable with volunteers providing (either in person or virtually) services such as crisis mapping or social media monitoring for EOCs. We heard the traditional arguments: training standards, data validation and so on. 

The fact is people want to be informed quickly about incidents and they want to have their say and participate if they're willing to do so.

I do believe that most of the senior EM and BCP people at the meeting realize that we have to catch up with our audiences and use SM ... certainly as an emergency information tool. More and more, this  realization is expanding to include the contribution (crowdsourcing) of volunteers and citizens through social media during an emergency.

A key consensus emerged: every one recognizes the tremendous value of social media as a crisis communications tool. That's the building block for more integration of SM into EM.

Hope you agree with me. 

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