FEMA Embracing Social Media

A featured speaker at Wednesday’s Media Future Now event was John Shea, New Media Director of the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).   Shea has been with the agency for 10 years and successfully built its new media strategy.

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FEMA focused on creating a strong presence on existing platforms like Twitter and Facebook.   They acted early to secure their usernames on as many social media sites as they could, which has allowed them to successfully manage their brand.   They’ve also been careful not to seem too official and therefore inaccessible.

FEMA uses social media to listen to what communities are doing for emergency preparedness and then aggregate those ideas to identify trends and best practices.   They are also using Twitter to strengthen relationships before a disaster, so that trust and open communications are in place before disaster strikes.   Check out blogger Joah Spearman’s recent in-depth look at how FEMA is using Twitter.

As more and more government agencies are embracing social media, FEMA provides a successful model for them to consider.

Media Future Now meets monthly in various locations around Washington, DC.   Check the website to join us at future discussions on the transition to a new media world.

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