Social media have undergone tremendous development and growth. It is in today’s world influencing every country and consumer segment, both regionally and globally. For instance, Twitter and Facebook are the dominant social-networking sites, and significant growth in Facebook users each year meant it reached more than one billion users worldwide in 2013. Apart from playing video games and downloading music, users engage actively in social networking activities such as reading and writing blogs, wall posting, status updates, and reading other people’s posts; these activities account for nearly 90% of the activities of social networking sites. It is apparent that people of all ages have been engaging continuously in ‘forwarding culture’, spreading ideas through social media.
The essence of social media is about content, sharing, conversation, openness, and interaction. Through social media, users produce, design, publish and edit content. These features of social media appeal to human nature since individuals want to feel a part of something bigger and to feel important.
Crises develop over time. A crisis can be categorized as confusion, uncertainty, and intense media interest. Information is usually incomplete and the facts scattered. It is important to recognize that information from the public, the media, other organizations, and from within your organization may not be accurate. Situational awareness is at a premium. In the state of serious crises, every federal government helps to provide up-to-date situational awareness for local, state, and federal public health officials.
What one needs to understand in times of crisis is to collect original information about what happened. Interpret and separate the factual information from rumors. Determine the communication response. Coordinate with other response groups and agencies. Know the authenticity of the magnitude of the event as quickly as possible.
Social media platforms acting as one of the strongest media of communication rather helps a lot to communicate objectives all over the world. Following points should be communicated well in time of any crises like COVID-19:
- Acknowledge the event with empathy.
- Clarify the public in simple and clear terms about their risk.
- Establish organization and spokesperson credibility.
- One must mention emergency courses of action, including how and where to get more information.
- Coordinate messages with other organizations and agencies.
- Compel the participants and the public to continue communication and remain accessible.
The below-given images follow the suit to help the world know the precautionary measures in the happening crises of COVID-19: