The National Academies

ACRP 04-23 [Active]

Social Media Guidebook for Emergency Management

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Staff Responsibility: Marci A. Greenberger
Research Agency: Barich, Inc
Principal Investigator: Frank Barich
Effective Date: 3/12/2018
Completion Date: 3/11/2019

Social media (SM) is an important tool for organizations, communities, and airports for promotion and dissemination of information. To be effective, users must be able to rely on the SM account as a trusted source, and may even expect two-way communication.
Using SM as part of managing an emergency response event can be an effective way of exchanging critical and accurate information with the affected community and other interested parties. Historically, emergency management has been focused on responding to their immediate tasks at hand, and less concerned with utilizing SM. Concurrently, depending on the event, it’s also important that sensitive information is not inadvertently shared. Collaboration between emergency responders and airport communication staff is crucial, and coordination should occur prior to any emergency event.
Airport users, while they may be SM users too, are likely to be transient, and therefore may not be following the airport’s specific SM platforms. Some platforms are apt to be used by specific demographics and may require the airport to use different platforms to reach their users. 
Airport staff may not know about the different types of SM tools (such as the different platforms, monitoring, etc.), general analytical data and how it can be used to inform their SM communications plan, or how to develop a SM program for emergency management and crisis communications.  
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook that will help airports develop a social media (SM) program for emergency management and crisis communication.
The guidebook should include the following:
·       An executive summary highlighting the value and benefits of integrating SM into emergency management for airport leadership, including quantitative and qualitative data;
·       Ways SM can be monitored and then utilized in emergency management;
·       The types, features, functions, and capabilities of available tools and the pros and cons of each;
·       Determining which platform would best work for which type of incidents, events, and audiences;
·       Coordinating with external organizations for implementation of SM strategies in emergency management in advance;
·       Identification of roles and responsibilities for integrating SM into airport emergency management;
·       How to train, practice, and exercise SM integration into emergency management;
·       Best practices for SM during emergencies;
·       Demonstration of how metrics can be used to enhance and improve future emergency management;
·       Legal issues; and
·       Be scalable for all size and types of airports.
STATUS:  The research process is underway.

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