April 26, 2017

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Vermont’s response to Irene; an impressive use of social

Vermont’s response to Irene; an impressive use of social

As many of you know, CustomScoop is nestled in the great state of New Hampshire. While parts of our state were hit hard by Irene, in watching our neighboring state to the west we realize things could have been even harder.

A *lot* harder.

Still, they are Vermonters, and are tackling the aftermath of the flooding with the same New England stoicism and determination I’ve loved ever since I moved to the Northeast. And the use of social media to coordinate cleanup efforts, target assistance for communities, and organize volunteers, has been impressive.

There are a number of Facebook pages that are serving as information clearinghouses. VisitVT’s Facebook page has been posting links to Crisislanding.appspot’s updated maps of road closures. The number of roads that were taken out by the flooding is startling, but having information this up-to-date will help keep many drivers off those roads, which will help speed repair work (and keep people safe). Meanwhile, VisitVT is also doing great work in letting people know what businesses *are* open–no small thing when the pictures on the news lead us to believe the whole state is only accessible by boat or helicopter. Not so–and they need the business.

Vermont Flooding 2011′s Facebook page is a wealth of information about volunteer efforts, repair statuses, and road conditions. Vermont Helping Hands is coordinating volunteers through their Facebook page. There’s a hashtag on Twitter #VTResponse and a corresponding WordPress blog. The local independent publication, Seven Days, has a resource page on their Blurt blog. I’m sure there are more that I’ve missed.

Overall, it’s an impressive use of social media, helping to get Vermont back up and running.

One final note, for anyone involved with these efforts–CustomScoop still has some free media monitoring accounts for disaster relief organizations. You can find out more about these free accounts here.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for just over 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR work, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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