My small, woman-owned public relations/marketing firm, Advice Unlimited, has been serving the Federal government marketplace for nearly 30 years to help companies with innovative technology get their solutions to the government. Every month, I’ll offer unlimited advice on how to work with this unique market. Please email me with questions or comments.

Advice Unlimited

Advice Unlimited

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How to Use Social Media in a Disaster: GovSec 2012

Knowing how to use social media in a disaster is an essential part of every professional’s training. I’ll be speaking on this topic at GovSec 2012, which will be held April 2-4 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

My session, April 4, 2012 from 10:30 am - 11:30 am, will provide hands-on guidance on how to integrate social media into your disaster recovery communications plan. We are going to review real-world scenarios, from the October 2011 Connecticut snowstorm to the 2011-2012 LA arson fires, where social media played a crucial role. We’ll discuss how we, as government public servants, can use social media to help us meet our mission: educating the public, disseminating critical information in a rapid, readable and easily understood format that our audiences embrace, calming fears and dispelling rumors. Several popular social media sites will be reviewed for their strengths and weaknesses, along with new, less known sites that we feel might be of value for disaster recovery and emergency response efforts.

My goal is for attendees to leave with a clear understanding of the value of integrating social media into their disaster recovery and emergency response communications plans. We will be focused on:

  • How to evaluate different social media sites for broadness of reach, targeting of specific audiences, and message delivery speed.

  • How to shape the message to best fit the social media site being used and the audience targeted.

  • How to prioritize and integrate social media goals and specific sites being used, to ensure the overall communications plan gets implemented in a timely and effective manner, with energies focused for maximum results, especially in the crucial first few days immediately following a disaster or emergency.

If you have any comments or suggestions for my speaking topic, I’d love to hear from you! Please let me know at

This is a must-attend event for those who want to learn best practices in using social media in a disaster, and figure out how to integrate these practices into your organization as appropriate. To learn more about the conference and register, please visit -- if you have five or more attendees from the same organization, you’re eligible for the group rate! I look forward to seeing you there!

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