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The big tree just missed our house in Westchester County, NY

 

We all know that social media ranks high as a key marketing support tool, but the crisis of #Hurricane Sandy reveals how much Social Media can help our communities emotionally. Do you agree?

On the night of the storm,  the news media, the government, politicians, neighbors and friends used Facebook and Twitter and mobile alerts to send helpful hints on how to deal with the crisis.  False information and photos did run a bit rampant (the New York Stock Exchange flooding) but it was quashed quickly on social media, illustrating a broader point about the merits of digital journalism. Meanwhile, the ability to watch the media coverage in real-time on our computer, gave us comfort as we worried about friends, family and our home on the East Coast.

While many of our forty something pals feel Facebook just sucks up time, during #Hurricane Sandy it has proved to be an easy and efficient way for many to let family and friends know they are okay.  Since much of NY and NJ remain out of power, sneaking in a quick Facebook post as the cell phone charges in the car has become a great communication tool.  We have seen helpful posts about the status of phone service to tweets by neighbors letting each other know that school is closed. The morning after the storm, one friend even tweeted about where to find hot coffee and wifi.

@Coreybooker, Mayor of Newark, and @RobAstorino, Westchester County Executive, have been effectively using twitter to help address neighbor’s concerns and to update the community on FEMA disaster declarations.  Big bloggers like @YokoOno, @AnitaBondi & @DabneyPorte tweeted where to make donations to the Red Cross to help those in need (TEXT the word Red Cross to 90999 for a $10 donation or go to iTunes). So not only has social media provided a great service for those affected by the storm, it has enabled others to help.

Most of all, the goodness of the Human Spirit never ceases to amaze us. Facebook is full of friends sending announcements opening up their homes to those without power, hosting family play dates and offering to help a neighbor cut down a tree. These postings fill our hearts with hope for recovery from one the worst storms the NYC tri-state area has ever suffered. In the meantime, we wish we could do more to help.  Keep tweeting and updating to let us know how you are!

Related articles:

Adweek on Social Media during the Hurricane: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/digital-publishing-demonstrates-its-worth-during-hurricane-sandy-144891

PR Daily on Hurricane Sandy:http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/13046.aspx