KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent survey of Tennessee professional communicators, 77 percent say it is "very true" that social media is an integral part of crisis communications planning, but those same professionals say a large gap exists between social media's importance and how well their organizations are using it for crisis communications.
Interactive Springboard – a joint venture between Tennessee-based Mary Beth West Consulting, LLC, and Blue Media Boutique, LLC, – conducted the study of social media attitudes and utilization by Tennessee members of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) with research provided by Bryant Research.
The survey reflected wide gaps between the important role professional communicators think social media plays in a variety of ways and how well organizations are actually using social media.
Social media in crisis communications showed the largest gap. Crisis communications plans are critical for companies and organizations to have in place to manage any type of emergency.
"Tennessee communicators know social media in crisis planning is very important, but they may not have all the experience, tools or resources at hand to apply it effectively," said Mary Beth West, a public relations agency consultant.
Interactive Springboard recommends three steps organizations should take to apply social media in their crisis planning: research, integrate and update.
The research step involves assessing of all the ways social media can provide faster, more effective lines of communication in a crisis scenario – from alerting team members internally about steps needed to contain a crisis to broadcasting updates to outside audiences like media or community members.
The next step – integration – involves applying social media tools throughout every logical piece of the crisis response plan and making sure the full potential of social media is used to contain the crisis and to keep all impacted audiences informed.
The third step – update – is an essential, ongoing process of making sure that the organization keeps the most up-to-date communications technology involved as part of its crisis plan, particularly as social media tools and applications continue to evolve so quickly.
"Organizations should revisit their crisis plan every six months," said Tori Rose of interactive firm Blue Media Boutique, LLC.
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SOURCE Interactive Springboard