While the residents of the cities hit by Hurricane Katrina are cleaning up, still trying to survive the flooding, and then begin the rebuilding process, information is not getting out to friends and family and loved ones. While that is how it always is with both natural and unnatural disasters, as more and more people blog, information is going to find the right audience, and people will be able to find out how their hometowns are doing, and if people are okay.Brian Oberkirch, the founder of Lightbox5 and Weblogswork, has set up such a blog. As a resident of Slidell, his hometown has been hit quite hard by Katrina.
With his blog, Slidell Huricane Damage, Oberkirch is becoming an aggregator of information about his hometown, so friends and family can find out true information, and sift through the gossip and rumors that are out there. He has his network of friends and neighbors calling in with information, so others that are not in Slidell right now can know how things are going.
What does this have to do with public relations? Easy – in any crisis situation, you want to be able to get information out quickly, in an organized way. With a blog or RSS feeds, as Oberkirch has shown, a corporation can disseminate information out quickly to employees or customers so that they have the correct information at hand, and do not rely on what’s being said through the grapevine.
In a crisis, time is of the essence, and by using RSS feeds and blog software, Oberkirch is a case study on how a corporation can aggregate data and talking points to get out to the right people.