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Social Media In The Newsroom: In Case Of Emergency, Break Glass

'In case of emergency break glass' sticker on glass

noaz. / Flickr

My latest post on Lost Remote is a conversation with Teresa Gorman, the social media production assistant for PBS Newshour, the website for which was compromised on Monday in an attack by malicious hackers.

Newshour utilized social media in a way that I blogged about more than two years ago: as a “Plan B” for their actual website. Thanks to simply being there on Tumblr and having an audience built in, they were able to easily push traffic to that site and not have to worry about cobbling together some half-ass looking skeleton page on the fly. Even though they didn’t have a specific plan in place for when this attack randomly happened, they were ready because of the infrastructure they had cultivated.

For the truly old-school newsrooms whose bosses are staunchly against social media — and they are out there — this is a decent pitch for why an established presence can be so valuable. If your website is down and no one knows you have a Facebook page, they’re probably just going to flip over to the competition.

Even if you use your social accounts in the most conservative ways (a few posts per day, a handful of minutes spent replying to fans) you’ll be ahead of the game when things fall apart. And let’s face it: Odds are, things will fall apart at some point.

P.S.- Poynter has a pretty good post up on how to build an emergency web publishing plan.

P.P.S.- My emergency Publishing plan? Tumblr. Twitter. Whatever.

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