What to Post: Social Media During a Crisis

No matter where you were last week you felt the effects of the tragedies in Boston and West. You didn’t have to have someone you knew running in marathon or living in Texas, once you heard the news life seemed to stop. But, fortunately, and unfortunately, the Internet and social media don’t stop.
There were some fantastic online and social media efforts on the part of the Boston Police Department (@Boston_Police) who kept the public up to date with correct information and by dispelling any rumors and hearsay about the investigation, and Google who announced their Person Finder to help those in distress find their loved ones. And, of course there were also those social faux pas, mostly caused by scheduled posts that weren’t turned off (like Kim Kardashian’s).
Kim Kardashian Tweet
So, what should you do and keep in mind while posting on social media during a crisis? We’ve compiled a few best practices:
  • Stay current and knowledgeable on all current events (which should not only be during a crisis, but at all times while working in social).
  • STOP all scheduled posts IMMEDIATELY. No one wants to hear your brand’s message at this time and online viewers will be ultra sensitive (rightly so) to any posts that are out of place or are even relatively “pitchy.”
  • Offer to help. But only if you actually have the ability to offer valuable assistance that could truly and positively affect someone. Heck, a simple Google Drive Doc gave hope to many people in Boston.
  • Offer condolences. But don’t feel the need to have to post. You want your voice to remain authentic and real, don’t just become one of the crowd due to obligation. Your readers should know your brand’s tone and know it came from the heart.
  • Go dark. There’s nothing wrong with saying nothing if you have nothing to say – sometimes tragedy is too much and there’s nothing you can do to address it.

Social Media Today Tweet


Everyone Makes Mistakes

What to do When You Mess Up

We’ve all heard it a million times and I’m still not sure that I believe it, but… everyone makes mistakes. And to continue the cliché, it’s how you deal with them that matters.

Personally, when I make a mistake, all of the sudden, I remember every mistake I ever made. I’m not talking about the many typos in the blog, I’m talking about the embarrassing things that I can’t let go of. I remember the time I spilled Apple Jacks in kindergarten, the time in college that I skipped a page of a midterm, the time I sent that email without the attachment at an internship, and that typo in the acknowledgement page of my thesis. Every time I make a mistake, these things come back with such clarity that all I can see are the fuck-ups. Obviously, I don’t deal well with making mistakes, even though I make plenty of them.

This topic arose because last week both Blake and I made mistakes that we really beat ourselves up over. I made a mistake on a conference submission and she made a few with clients at her new job.

So, in the wake of these personal disasters we did some self-reflection about how we deal with our mistakes and how we should deal with them.

Things we do to cope

  • Cry
  • Negative self-talk
  • Whine about it to each other
  • Turn to vices that make us feel good–wine, shopping and lots of fatty food

Things we should do to cope

  • Learn from the mistake, forgive ourselves and move on
  • Focus on things we actually have control over (as in the future, not the past)
  • Talk it out in an adult manner and determine how to triple check our efforts the next time
  • Turn to positive outlets like exercise

We want to know, how do you react to your mistakes? Have any good coping mechanisms?

I’m moving…to Texas

Some of you may already know, but I have decided to pursue a Ph.D. at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. They have a great mass communications program that I’m confident will prepare me for a career in academia. My ultimate goal is to teach and do research in public relations at a four-year university, and I think I’ve always known I’d be Dr. Lee someday.

I'll be a Red Raider for a few years, but you know I'm an Aztec for life :)

I’ll be a Red Raider for a few years, but you know I’m an Aztec for life 🙂

Choosing a doctoral program was the hardest decision I’ve ever made and my huge spreadsheet of pros and cons wasn’t much help. All of the programs I looked at are great and someone else with the same options I had may have chosen differently. I went with what was best for me in terms of faculty, resources, research and teaching opportunities. However, on top of the practical considerations, the people that I will spend the next three years with really sealed the deal.

Tech had me come visit a few weeks ago and every single person that I have interacted with, student, faculty or staff, was incredibly helpful and welcoming. Plus, their facilities are amazing. I probably won’t use the eye tracking machines or physiology lab, but the high-tech focus group room and office with a view got my attention. However, Blake and I have been joking around about the crazy research projects we can do in the labs when she visits. Any suggestions on that?

College of Media and Communication building

College of Media and Communication building

While the program is a great fit, Lubbock will be harder to get used to. There is more there than I realized and university towns tend to foster creativity and forward thinking, but it still isn’t San Diego. There’s no ocean or city-wide recycling program, the shopping isn’t great, and everyone drives big trucks while talking on cell phones. I’ll be leaving my family, Blake and Whitney, and other friends, but luckily, I have an amazing partner by my side to navigate this adventure with. My boyfriend, Paul, and I, and our cocker spaniel, Tiger, will be moving in August. Trust me, we’ll only be in Texas for three years.