One of the risks that we do see with new emerging media is the risk of information overload.  With so much information presented to us through multiple formats coming in at us directly to our email, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, to keeping up with what is going on the news through various applications like Zite and Flipboad to name a few – it is quite difficult!

Social Media Response Decision Tree (courtesy of Social Media Influence)

The secret is to make sure that you explore who are the credible sources who are willing to share current, strategic, and thorough analysis and research with their followers.  There are certainly some that we have seen being discussed in social media including Brian Solis, Deirdre Breakenridge, Jay Baer, and Jason Falls to name a few.  But – what about crisis communications?  Who are the most follow professionals and researchers in the field on social media?  Well, here are a list of a few professionals that I think are leaders in the field of crisis communications, emergency management, and social media:

  • Kim Stephens: Kim’s iDisaster blog is a wonderful resource for researchers, practitioners, and students who are interested in reading about the most current trends and research happening in the field. Her posts are not only informative about current issues that are happening in the field of crisis and emergency management – but Kim provides a wealth of information to other resources that may be useful for her readers.  This is one blog I have shared with my students and other professionals as a must-read for crisis communications with new media.
  • Patrice Cloutier:  Patrice is a communicator who specializes in emergency management and crisis communications in Ontario, Canada.  Patrice’s blog is another wonderful resource to keep on the daily reading list for his insightful posts about key elements we have to take into consideration when communicating during a crisis situation.  He raises some great points about what crisis communicators in the 21st century have to consider and think about – particularly on the issue of credibility and trust.
  • Jim Garrow:  A disaster planner / crisis and risk communicator for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Jim discusses his insights both on Twitter and on his blog about new emerging trends in social media that could impact how crisis communicators operate during a crisis or disaster.  Like Kim and Patrice, Jim presents current cases and trends that are impacting the field, particularly in the arena of public health, and what are some of the key take away points to remember and discuss as a community.
  • Gerald Baron: Gerald’s CrisisBlogger blog is another wonderful resource showcasing his expertise and experience as an emergency manager and crisis communicator.  Gerald writes about various types of crises and message strategies implemented in each of these situations.  Another great blog and social media resource for crisis communicators and researchers to read.
  • Heather Blanchard:  Heather has worked with CrisisCommons, a global community that actively connects people with technology and resources during crisis and disaster situations.  She has been active on Twitter in the #SMEM conversations and sharing her perspective, thoughts, and insights about the increase use of technology as a tool in crisis and disaster situations.

In summary, to key to keeping up with the constant changes in the field of crisis communications is to not only be aware of who are the leaders in this area, but also take time to explore other resources and potential future leaders in the field as well.   Compile a list of resources just dedicated to crisis communications and spend a few minutes a day to review, read, and synthesize all of the information being presented.

In the crisis community, we are very fortunate to have these professionals share with us their insights and perspectives to help enhance the discussion and help evolve the field.  Thank you for being such a great resource of knowledge for the crisis community! 🙂

Hope you all are having a wonderful day.

Best Wishes,