Friday, October 11, 2013

Guest speaker: Patrice Cloutier on social media and emergency management

On Wednesday, October 16, Patrice Cloutier will join us to share his insights on social media in emergency management situations.

Mr. Cloutier is a crisis communications specialist with extensive experience in strategic planning and crisis management. He is known for his work and is a frequent speaker on the topics.

Take a look at Mr. Cloutier's Prezi presentation on social convergence.
  • Connect to Mr. Cloutier on LinkedIn
  • Stay up to date with updates from Mr. Cloutier's blog here.
  • Follow Mr. Cloutier on Twitter
  • Follow hashtag #SMEM on Twitter to connect with the worldwide community of emergency management specialists using social media.

Please leave your questions in the comments to this blog update and prepare the readings on emergency management and social media available on Blackboard for our conversation with Mr. Cloutier.


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  3. During emergency situations, when rumors begin to spread (intentionally or unintentionally) through social media, what responsibility does the government have in correcting that misinformation? Specifically, I am interested in whether there is a critical point at which there is only a small likelihood that the information will be corrected by other social media users, as has been seen in previous cases, warranting intervention.

  4. You mention in your blog the place of the crowd in allowing emergency information to get out over social media. How might a government go about crafting a policy that takes the crowd into account in a crisis situation? Is it simply a discretion based policy? It seems important to incorporate social media into emergency drills, so how then can a government agency hope to prepare for a large influx of potential information from the crowd?

  5. how do you co-ordinate during the calamity with other agency? Are they respond you in real time? is there any rules or regulation in practice for that?

  6. can you please elaborate what kind of organizational changes and human resource changes you implemented to disseminate the real time information from the scene?

  7. what kind of social media strategy and tactics do you follow at present?
    what kind of training you provide to your personnel? how did you implemented the change in the organization?

  8. Mr. Cloutier,
    Thanks in advance for sharing your time and expertise. Here are my questions: How many staff members do you have dedicated to social media on a regular basis? And how does your staffing plan differ in emergency situations? What factors do you consider when making determinations about staffing?

  9. what kind of responses did you received from the traditional media? if you provide the real time information from the scene, does it hinders the relief and rescue processes? what has been your experiences?

    welcome!!!!!!!!!! eager to learn from your experiences............ thanks

  10. Respected sir,
    I would be grateful to you, if you can throw light on following issues
    1-in the time of natural calamities, the role of social media is very crucial it has proved many times. The issue is who decides the priority and who takes responsibilities of coordination in such situations?
    2-suppose the team working for social media in the company[or in any public sector organization], can not reach to work in such calamity, how the issue can be addressed?
    3The role of social media in natural disaster, falls under disaster management strategy or under performance crisis strategy?
    4- Across the world, how the use of social media is being looked at during natural calamities?[can you pl give examples of other then USA?]
    from India

  11. sir,
    at the world level the disaster management experts are there-how do they expect social media to play it's role in the natural crisis?
    2what is the status of experience sharing process in this area?

  12. During an emergency, how do you handle the spike in number of visitors to the website?

  13. During emergency situations such as tornadoes, floods, earthquake, riots etc., when basic infrastructure such as electricity, internet connection etc.become scarce resources, how urgent, important and justified is it to spend these scarce resources on social media?

  14. Hi, Mr .Cloutier, Here are my questions:
    1)In emergency management process most responders fear that opening up social media as a crisis communication channel with the public will result in an unmanageable flood of requests. What do you think about that issue?

    2)What strategies and tactics are you developing to power effective early warning for rapid response to complex humanitarian emergencies?

  15. Hello Mr. Cloutier,
    Thank you for your time and I look forward to our discussion later.
    I am curious as to how organizations should go about weeding out the rumors and false alarms from the public -- it seems that it would require a lot of human capital and time to sort through the mass amounts of public participation. In other words, how does the monitoring process work for #4 of your social listening rationale: "detecting and countering rumours: a critical function of any social listening operation ... in fact, probably the most important aspect at the onset of any crisis" I would be interested to hear about this in more detail.

    Thank you,
    Emily Essi

  16. Mr. Cloutier, social media is no doubt extremely useful in disaster situations. But I have two questions for you, one pertaining to software (strategy) and the other to hardware.

    1. In emergency response situations, rumors and false information are quite a challenge to deal with. Social media has its own self-correcting mechanism. But what strategy should be used for this purpose?

    2. In worst emergency situations, it is expected that electricity supplies would be disrupted and communication network would collapse. Providing internet connectivity would itself be a challenge. That is why disaster management agencies use satellite communication even in their mock drills of response efforts. I have somehow not been able to understand how would social media be still available for communication in such scenario?

    1. sir,
      they have information and we Indians have real experience!

  17. In your experience working with emergency management, what have you found to be the best mediums for quick and effective communication? How are government agencies working with social media platforms to prevent rumors from spreading misinformation and causing unnecessary stress and harm?

    Thank you,
    Elizabeth Burman

  18. Mr. Cloutier,
    Given that emergency management involves a number of organizations and authorities, how to establish efficient communication channels with affected populations in order to prevent the provision of wrong or mixed signals?
    Thank you.

    Rodrigo Villarán.