Alerts and Warnings in Social Media
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Alerts and Warnings in Social Media. Denis Gusty Alerts and Warnings Program Manager First Responder Group Science and Technology Directorate U.S. Department of Homeland Security January 12, 2011. Current State: Trends and Data Background and Outcomes Methodology: Research Approach

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Denis gusty alerts and warnings program manager first responder group

Alerts and Warnings in Social Media

Denis Gusty

Alerts and Warnings Program Manager

First Responder Group

Science and Technology Directorate

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

January 12, 2011


Denis gusty alerts and warnings program manager first responder group

Current State: Trends and Data

Background and Outcomes

Methodology: Research Approach

Preliminary Findings

Audience Feedback

Breakout Groups

Agenda


Denis gusty alerts and warnings program manager first responder group

Current State: Steep Growth Curve

CNR Annual Program Status Review 8 February 2005

SOURCE: “Internet Trends” presentation from June, 2010 by Mary Meeker, Scott Devitt, and Liang Wu. http://www.morganstanley.com/institutional/techresearch/pdfs/MS_Internet_Trends_060710.pdf


Current state red cross survey

Current State: Red Cross Survey


Denis gusty alerts and warnings program manager first responder group

DHS S&T provides research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) services to DHS operational components and the state and local homeland security community.

S&T is developing emergency responder-focused projects on behalf of local, state, tribal, federal, and international stakeholder organizations.

This program was developed in conjunction with S&T’s First Responder Working Group, which represents the range of first responder issues in homeland security.

In response to stakeholder input, this specific program explores how the emergency response community uses social media to alert and warn the public and how they can use these tools better and more effectively moving forward.

Background


Denis gusty alerts and warnings program manager first responder group

Creating a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) converter prototype

Developing a best practices guide for alerting and warning the public through social media

Creating white papers on aggregation and analysis

Creating a series of behavioral experiments on college campuses to measure behavioral responses to alerts via social media

Hosting a Privacy and Security Workshop

Outcomes


Denis gusty alerts and warnings program manager first responder group

The primary research approach is to conduct formal interviews with >50 members of the emergency management community

Interviewees include police, fire, EMS, public information officers, and other emergency management practitioners

Interviewees represent geographic diversity (all regions of the U.S.), as well as diversity of size (spanning from small, rural counties to large, heavily populated cities), and diversity of experience with social media

As of January 1, 2011, over 20 interviews were complete

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RI: 1

MA: 1

NJ: 1

DC: 2

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Geographic Distribution of Interviewees

Methodology


Denis gusty alerts and warnings program manager first responder group

Web-based guide for the emergency response community to enable the better use of social media for alerts and warnings

Collection of case studies, best practices, and analyses on:

Origination of alerts and warnings through social media

Dissemination of alerts and warnings through social media

1. Origination content to include:

Audience analysis

Messages that lead to the desired outcome

Citizen engagement strategies

2. Dissemination content to include:

The appropriate medium to choose

Interoperable technologies

Content & Analysis


Denis gusty alerts and warnings program manager first responder group

Preliminary Findings

  • A best practice is engaging your citizenry with preparedness and other general information to build up a following to your social media site so that citizens are used to coming to your site for information. Therefore citizens will be more likely to come to your site in the event of an emergency. (West Coast Emergency Manager)

  • A best practice in starting social media efforts at your agency is to beta test in private prior to launching to the public. This way you can practice and get your process solidified before going “live”. (Southwestern PIO)

  • Social media should not replace conventional channels for alerting and warning the public but should be integrated to more effectively relay your message. (California EM)


Denis gusty alerts and warnings program manager first responder group

Case Study TwitPic From Discovery Building

  • The news of a gunman at Discovery Communications headquarters in September 2010, was first broken by citizens inside the building who sent Twitpic pictures of the gunman and posted tweets to their Twitter feeds about the unfolding situation.

  • The public often alerts other citizens and first responders to disasters as they are unfolding. Citizen responders are increasingly becoming the first to report disasters and alert others.

SOURCE: “Twitter breaks story on Discovery Channel gunman” from September, 2010 by Paul Farhi.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/01/AR2010090105987.html?hpid=topnews


Questions for the audience

Questions for the Audience

1. How does your agency currently use social media to alert and warn the public?

How do you create messages that get citizens to take the intended action?

How do you choose the most appropriate medium for different types of messages?

2. What obstacles have you faced when trying to implement social media programs at your agency?

3. How does your agency want to use social media in the future?

If there were no obstacles, what would you do with social media?

4. What would be the most helpful information for you in this guidance?

5. With a current focus on origination and dissemination of alerts, what else deserves focus in future iterations of the guidance?


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