Facebook has announced that on March 30, 2012 all Facebook Pages will be switched over to the new Facebook Timeline design. Right now Facebook is giving you an opportunity to preview how your page will look with the new design prior to the conversion date.
Here’s a video from Facebook regarding these changes:
Here’s a few of the things I see as a benefit to the new Timeline design for agencies
What do you think of the new Facebook Timeline design? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…
Pitch your local media to feature your agency as the Facebook News Story of the Day. This video combines Facebook reader comments, news reporting, and interviews with paramedics.
The United Kingdom’s Northwest Ambulance Service is providing citizens with a ride-a-long experience with paramedics via their Twitter account this week. During this week long endeavor the service’s Twitter feed will focus on a different ambulance crew each day to cover the five counties the agency covers.
Our patient is in labour – could this a be our first ‘tweet’ baby? #nwamb999
— NWAS NHS Trust (@NWAmbulance) January 30, 2012
While citizens are often made aware of the motor vehicle collision or murder victims through traditional media, this provides a way for the service to communicate ALL the different types of calls it handles. By communicating the variety of calls and patients the agency services increases their perceived value in the eyes of the public.
Huge kudos to Northwest Ambulance Service for taking this initiative. What is stopping you from taking this type of campaign directly to your communities?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, November 9 2011 at 2:00pm (Eastern). The test may last up to three and a half minutes and will be broadcast simultaneously across all broadcast systems.
The public will hear a message indicating that “This is a test.” The audio message will be the same for both radio and television. It is imperative that we alert our communities that this is a test, and only a test, to avoid an unnecessary flood of calls into our 911 call centers and panic amongst the public. In order to help agencies get the message out FEMA published a National EAS Test Toolkit.
Here are a few things to do using content from the toolkit to help prepare your communities:
This is a great opportunity for your agency to connect with the community as a trusted and valued source of information. Don’t let it slip by!
Have you heard what Washington DC Fire EMS (DCFEMS) have been up to? Their leadership suspended the departments Twitter account (@DCFireEMS) for 22 days.
The account reportedly stopped activity August 30 when the employee responsible for its content went on vacation. The accounts break was extended as the department investigated some of the content that supposedly placed Federal Agencies in “danger”. No specifics on the offending content were offered but Communication Director Lon Walls’ feelings about Twitter were made clear when he said, “Social media is for parties. We ain’t givin’ parties.”
Walls and the department came under intense scrutiny by both new and old media, specifically citing the lack of transparency that Mayor Vince Gray had promised would improve. The account returned to activity September 22, only a day after the suspension had been widely reported across multiple media platforms. However, the account will now be “filtered” with content requiring the approval of Lon Walls.
This situation has a number of issues that can easily be avoided if an agency takes the time to properly plan and implement a social media presence in a responsible manner. Here are a few things to help avoid making those mistakes:
Don’t let yourself or your agency become a casualty like DC FEMS where your transparency and trustworthiness are called into question by the public.
All responses to disasters and incidents become great responses in large part due to the planning and training before the event that takes place. Tuesday’s earthquake revealed some important lessons in Social Media preparedness that agencies should take for when such an event occurs.
Planning is an important part of preparation for disasters and events. Social Media needs to be included in that planning for it to truly be an effective resource for both your agency and most importantly your community.
Last week Amazon’s popular cloud-based EC2 (elastic computing) web hosting service experienced the type of outage that cloud-based computing is supposed to prevent. The outage affected more than 20 web based application services and content providers including heavy hitters such as Foursquare, Hootsuite, CoTweet, and AboutMe.com. While service outages are not necessarily uncommon for applications, this event provides us with a few things that we should keep in mind when using cloud based services to connect with our communities via Social Media as well as maintaining operational integrity of our organizations.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has unveiled the new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) that replaces the old color coded Homeland Security Advisory System. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano noted that the color coded system provided “little practical information” when she announced earlier this year that it would be replaced.
NTAS Alerts are being piped out through a number of different channels, including Social Media conduits Twitter and Facebook. The alerts will warn of either an Elevated Threat or an Imminent Threat. Each alert will provide information about the threat including a potential the geographic region, mode of transportation, or critical infrastructure possibly affected by the threat. Additional information where available will include protective actions being taken by authorities and action items that individuals and communities can take to protect themselves and their families in an attempt to help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat. A long form sample alert can be found here.
Imminent Threats warn of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.
What do you think of the new National Terrorism Advisory System and its ability to provide information through Social Media channels?
The recent settlement of the NLRB lawsuit against American Medical Response over comments made by an employee on Facebook has many people scratching their heads. The company insisted that the Facebook comments were not the sole reason for the employee’s termination but they quickly became the focus of the case. Because there was a settlement, there is no definitive legal ruling. However the terms of the settlement indicate how the NLRB might rule should the matter appear before them again.
So what does this mean for your current Social Media Policy? It means that it is time for a policy review. Specifically you want to reconsider having broad prohibitive stipulations regarding:
It’s important to understand that this settlement does not give responders free reign to post whatever they like in Social Media. Information about patients, situations, and scenes are still considered confidential information that should not be shared, and that should be specified in your policy. Additionally the usage of the internet and Social Media creation devices during working hours and assignments can still be governed by the agency and should also be outlined in your policy.
What changes are the legality of the vast draconian blanket policies that are often the knee jerk reaction of agencies when they don’t understand something entirely and therefore deem it automatically as bad or a liability. As this settlement shows, it is a greater liability not to take the time to understand something and create a responsible and reasonable policy than to just issue a prohibitive draconian blanket policy.
JEMS.com has an article about the San Ramon Valley Fire District App that alerts app users of CPR nearby and the location of the nearest AED. David and I appreciate being asked for our thoughts on how social media is being used to increase the likelihood of bystander CPR.
Read the full article at JEMS.com
Read David’s post about the app.