Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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March 14, 2011

Importance of Social Media Monitoring & Engagement for Crisis Events: Japan Tsunami & Earthquake Disaster (2011)

One of the growing areas of interest for not only public relations professionals to be aware of in social media, but other business professionals as well, is to determine how to monitor and evaluate all of the conversations, sharing of information, and measuring of all of the data out there online related to a brand or campaign.  The data can become overwhelming at times since it is all during real-time and crossing traditional barriers to take into account (time, location, and language).  Social media has many benefits to offer for businesses, but before implementing a strategic public relations campaign, one has to decide how to measure their findings and determine the metrics that will be used in evaluating whether or not a campaign was successful or not.


Interactive Infographic of Tweets about Japan Earthquake (courtesy of Mashable)

Several services are available for public relations professionals to take advantage of and monitor not only the conversations emerging on these various platforms, but also look at potentially unexpected or emerging issues that could possibly be detected online to initiate proactive public relations and crisis communication efforts.  Several of these services include ChartBeat, SocialFlow, Radian6, PeopleBrowsr, Sysomos, and Social Radar just to name a few.  Being aware of what people are saying about your brand on social media and comparing it from positive and negative posts are key points to consider in monitoring the dialogue and perceptions in the online community.

One particular case where monitoring the discussion and information that is absolutely key is the current disaster situation with the recent earthquake and tsunami events in JapanMonitoring the discussion, sharing of links, donation efforts, hashtags, and links for resources and information about people impacted during the natural disaster is key, especially for families and those impacted by the terrible events, as well as emergency responders and organizations in charge of relief efforts.  Many corporations such as Apple and Google are setting up crisis pages and integrated sites dedicated to this particular natural disaster event where people can get the information that they need as well as monitor real-time status updates, links, and information in one specific location. Not only that – they have embeded videos and QR Codes with information relevant to information regarding US Embassies and Resources as well.

Quantitative metrics are not the only thing to keep in mind when it comes to social media monitoring – qualitative metrics are also important to present the meaning and perception from an individual’s point of view.  Facebook Stories is one site to monitor this specifically for the Japan Tsunami and Earthquake – people are signing in and sharing their stories, thoughts, and prayers to those impacted by the horrific events. I would like to take this moment to send out my prayers and thoughts to everyone in Japan impacted by the terrible natural disaster events over the pass couple of days.


In summary, monitoring social media is becoming more integrated and part of what public relations professionals need to be aware of and have the expertise in addressing these emerging trends and issues.  Qualitative and Quantitative metrics are both important to get the complete picture of what is happening online through the conversations taking place in the specific geosocial communities.

Hope you all are having a great day.

Best Wishes,



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