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Lessons and Reminders from Hurricane Sandy

We hope this post finds you well, but understand many are still struggling to put the pieces back together after Hurricane Sandy.  Along with everyone else, we watched the devastation wrought by Sandy with feelings of sadness, horror and appreciation.  Sadness and horror for our friends that were impacted by the storm and appreciation that TheCR team was not impacted. We emerge with a renewed respect for the power of mother nature, just one very important reminder from this storm. There are several other lessons about how to communicate well when a tragedy like this happens – whether you work for a company that is directly impacted, can play a role in responding or has little to do with the event explicitly.

One of the conversations happening was around “newsjacking” – a practice that is appealing for content creators and curators, but comes with big risks. But there were also many wonderful stories and great reminders and lessons to be shared.  Here are a few more lessons that we believe are particularly interesting to community management and social business professionals:

Meet FDNY’s one-woman Twitter response team guiding New Yorker’s through the storm
This is a great story about the person behind the FDNY’s tweets, the unique challenges faced by first responders in a storm of this magnitude and the way social media can help with timely communication, assist an overwhelmed team, and provide important reminders to constituents.

What Lessons From Hurricane Sandy?
This is a great reminder on what defines a community and what can be done in times of crisis to strengthen it and overcome obstacles more smoothly.

Hurricane Sandy and
This message was not only was posted in blog form, but was also sent to customers in an email.  It’s a great example of how to be transparent and communicate while also sounding very human and personal.  The comments on the blog post say it all.

Social-Media Users Flock to Facebook for Sandy updates
Clearly this “social media stuff” isn’t going away and, in fact, people are turning to it early and often in their personal lives when important events happen.  This is a good article to jump start a conversation about why social isn’t going away and how companies might be able to use it to inform, update and work collectively during major events (like Hurricane Sandy). Facebook played a critical role in communicating personal updates quickly and in a way that minimized the impact on other communications channels, so that they were available for emergencies.

If you’ve come across any good examples of lessons for community managers from this storm (or another), please share them in the comments section or cc @TheCR on Twitter and we’ll be sure to share them.


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