What we can learn from the Haitian Earthquake

There are several things we can learn from the Haitian Earthquake that are socialmedia-related.

With the recent Haitian earthquake, texting donations has garnered new media focus. While popular in Europe for some time, texting donations has finally broken through as a promising fundraising tool here. The Red Cross has collected more than $22 million in donations via text messages in one week. Could this be a fundraising tool that you can promote for your own agency?

Charities are being scrutinized more than before. Wyclef Jean, a highly regarded musician, was brought to tears during a press interview defending his charity’s use of funds. Are the decisions you are making now up to ethical standards? Do they pass the sniff test? If something happened and next year someone questioned your decisions from today, would it make you look bad?

Wyclef Jean discussing Yele

Wyclef Jean discussing Yele

What type of emergency communications plan do you have in place? How do you get in contact with staff? Can you text them? Can you call a cell phone if phone lines are down? Can you contact staff and consumers all at once?

Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter have proven to be a way for people to communicate during a crisis. It is how some of the major charities providing relief and news outlets are broadcasting their stories and information.

Take a moment and think what you would be doing right now if your agency was in a situation like Haiti. How would you provide services? How would you communicate? What steps do you need to take to make sure your agency is prepared for a natural disaster like this.

Please feel free to share your feelings on this in our comments section.

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