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

Monday, April 22, 2013

Discussing Social Media Use in a Disaster at NAGC

I had the honor of presenting a session at last week’s 2013 NAGC Communications School, held April 17-19 in Arlington, VA. My topic was: How to Use Social Media in a Disaster.

An organization of government Public Information Officers and Communications professionals, the NAGC (National Association of Government Communicators) Communications School provided three days of practical educational sessions to help government communicators increase their skills.

The standing-room only session I led included a great group of government communicators from a wonderful mix of organizations, across civilian, Defense, and state and local organizations. The focus of the session was on how to effectively use social media in a disaster, and we discussed real-world scenarios where social media played a crucial role, including the Boston Marathon bombings.

The session was interactive and dynamic, and I learned just as much from my participants as I hope they learned from me. We discussed specific outreach methods used by various agencies, and covered the pros and cons of each. We talked about the challenges of effective communication outreach in today’s 24/7 world, and the importance of still ‘getting it right,’ while ensuring continuous updates and information were getting out in a responsible manner to our constituents.

With the rapid pace of technology innovations, it’s essential that we balance the importance of traditional methods of communication with the value of being open to learning and trying new approaches and tools. The driver must always be our mission, our message, and our audience – what will help us communicate better with our constituents – during a disaster, and every day. If you’d be interested in my providing this presentation, or this service, to your organization, please contact me at