First Responders Communities of Practice, Virtual Social Media Working Group - Community Engagement Guidance and Best Practices [Final]   [open pdf - 823KB]

"Social media and collaborative technologies have become critical components of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. From the international response efforts after major tsunamis to hurricane recovery in major U.S. cities, officials now turn to social media technologies to share information and connect with the community during all phases of a crisis. Implementing these new technologies, however, requires responding agencies to adopt new communication strategies and methods of engagement. Recognizing the need to address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) has established the virtual social media working group (VSMWG). The mission of the VSMWG is to provide recommendations to the emergency preparedness and response community on the safe and sustainable use of social media technologies before, during, and after emergencies. Drawn from a cross-section of subject matter experts from local tribal, state, territorial, and federal responders from across the United States, VSMWG members are establishing and collecting best practices and solutions that can be leveraged by responders of all disciplines throughout the nation's emergency response community. Below is a list of agencies to which the VSMWG members belong. [...] This document discusses best practices for the use of social media by public safety agencies of all disciplines and partner organizations for meaningful and successful engagement of community members and stakeholders."

Report Number:
DHS2012FO918; Department of Homeland Security2012FO918
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/
Media Type:
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