Hurricane Isaac – Company Displays Excellence in Social Media

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Often when I write an article on Social Media, I am discussing a faux pas on Facebook or a trip-up on Twitter.  This past week however, as all eyes were on Louisiana and Mississippi, Hurricane Isaac, and protecting people and property in harm’s way, I came across a company that “gets” it; not a slick marketing company, not a cool start-up, but a company that uses the phrase “Hard Stuff Done Right” on its products page.  And what they do is hard – they build ships.

Not boats, not yachts. Ships.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

I noticed Huntington Ingalls Industries while monitoring various news sources, Facebook, and Twitter crisis hashtags such as #SMEM (Social Media Emergency Management) as Hurricane Isaac approached the Southern Gulf.

What I saw was a company putting employee and community safety first, while keeping customers and others informed at every step. They consistently displayed exemplary messaging to their employees, customers, vendors, and community.

On Twitter, they continually messaged emergency numbers, schedules and information important to their sites.

Huntington Ingalls Industries

They kept their company page updated with messages:  “All Ingalls facilities will remain closed today, Thursday Aug. 30, and Friday, Aug. 31, to all employees except those notified by supervision. All facilities are expected to resume normal working conditions on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Please continue to monitor the Information Line at 1-877-871-2058 and local media outlets for updates.”

They thanked their local power company – Singing River Electric (no slouch in their own social media right) – for their hard work during the storm, shared messaging from the Department of Transportation, NOLAReady, MSEMA, FEMA and others.

On Facebook, I saw employees and families thanking HII for keeping them informed, and HII responding to individual posts.  All of this was in tandem to securing property, facilities and equipment; this extra communication may seem to be too much work during a crisis, but not for the Hard Stuff Done Right people.

Ingalls Shipbuilding on FacebookHII employs nearly 38,000 people, and with about 1/3 of those employees in the Gulf area, they HAVE to get it right.  Ingalls Shipbuilding is the largest manufacturing employer in both the states of Mississippi and Louisiana, and a major contributor to the economic growth of the state of Alabama as well.

As quoted in a variety of media, “We have measures in place for storm prep, and that’s what we’re doing right now.” Bill Glenn spokesperson for the company’s Ingalls division

This is a company with a critical mission and critical deadlines, and their resiliency is critical to the state economy. Again, they HAVE to get it right, to be exemplary.

They set a standard for preparedness and resiliency whether they want to or not.  Good thing they want to and do.

If you want to watch a company that speaks in a genuine voice while performing a critical function in a crisis or not, I think they’re a great example to follow.

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Firestorm knows the devastating impact natural disasters can have on communities.  We know that Every Crisis is a Human Crisis.  For help and resources, Download Disaster Ready People eBook.

Did you see examples of Crisis Communication excellence during the recent hurricane crisis?  Let us know in the comments.

Related: Twitter’s Response to #Isaac #SMEM


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