The ground moved on Tuesday, here in D.C. and along the East Coast. I happened to be the only one in the small BurrellesLuce Washington, D.C office at that time. Needing to figure-out what was happening, I turned to Twitter. MyFoxBoston.com posted an interesting visual of how the over 40,000 tweets spread across the US.
I know all the Californians reading this, are still laughing about our reaction to a 5.9 earthquake, but this is a terrorism-scared town and coast (on the cusp of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11) and we don’t usually have earthquakes. There were a lot of funny and useless tweets, which had Howard Kurtz commenting on the media’s feeding frenzy of the event in “Washington’s Earthquake Farce” in The Daily Beast.
However, there were some organizations using new media to help communicate to the public. Concerned about my limited service, I tweeted Verizon Wireless, who answered my question quite quickly. Because many phone lines from various companies were jammed or down, people were encouraged to use social media or texting to communicate.
Several other organizations used social media to push-out the most current service information.
The earthquake caused several spires to fall from the National Cathedral, which is home to many national events and presidential funerals. The cathedral quickly created an impressive website page with a Twitter stream, information on the damage and a donation form for help paying for the repairs.
Round-up the Customers
Many stranded workers gave retailers an opportunity to offer earthquake specials or let customers know they were open via their Facebook pages and Twitter. I thought the $5.80 specials were a nice tie-in to the 5.8-magnitude earthquake.
What other creative social media marketing have you seen centered on a natural event? Are you prepared to communicate through social media in a crisis situation?
The East Coast is now waiting for Hurricane Irene to hit this weekend. I wonder what the Twitter-sphere will be saying about it and which bar will be the first to offer a special on hurricanes.