By Gerard Braud —
The future of crisis and emergency communications in hurricanes, natural disasters and other weather related events, is in creating CNN iReports. It is a brilliant way to add to your crisis communications and media relations strategy. This strategy is perfect for public information officers (PIOs), emergency managers, and any corporate communications experts. Best of all, what you do for your iReport can be re-purposed and posted to YouTube, shared with The Weather Channel, and in many cases, uploaded through links with your local media outlets.
I started pioneering these reports as an experiment during Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 and then took it up a notch during Hurricane Isaac in 2012. You can do what I have done, provided you are willing to train and practice before the event is upon you. Since many of you will never have the chance to attend one of the live training sessions I teach at emergency management and public relations conferences, I thought you might benefit from this online tutorial.
I’ve created 23 online videos with associated articles on how and why you should be a CNN iReporter. When your organization faces a major crisis or news event that gets significant attention from your local news media, and has the ability be get national news attention, these will be useful.
I have extensive experience as an iReporter. In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 reporters, for my in-depth coverage of Hurricane Isaac near New Orleans on August 28, 2012.
Most iReports are eyewitness accounts of events. They are filed by the average person on the street who sends photos, video and narration directly to CNN, in the very same way that they can send videos to YouTube. What you will learn in these 23 lessons also applies to placing videos on YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter and your official website.
Who would you rather have posting photos, videos and narration? Should it be someone speculating about what they see? Would it be better if it came from an official source, with real knowledge of the event? Shouldn’t the media have official information from someone like you?
A CNN iReport is a direct path to one of the world’s premier news networks.
This link will take you to my tutorials on the CNN iReporter website. I hope you take the time to view, study, and share all 23 videos and articles.
This link will take you to the index for all of the articles and videos.
If you, like many others, think this information would be valuable as a workshop at a conference or corporate meeting, please call me at 985-624-9976. You can also download a PDF with a description of the program: Social Media iReports.pdf, so you can share it with your meeting planner or training manager.