The value of a communications tool is in its usefulness: Does it reach your community with your message when you need it to work?
During this past week, the value of social media tools to the military has been on round-the-clock display.
As the shocking, nearly unimaginable events played out at Ft. Hood, text messages and Twitter feeds were some of the earliest sources of information coming from the locked-down base. Soldiers and spouses sent vital messages, telling friends and family: “I’m safe.” Nearby hospitals broadcast calls for blood donations, and were nearly overwhelmed by the civilian population’s compassionate responses. Twitter feeds, web sites and blogs tracked blood, plasma and other needs.
The U.S. Army mobilized its social media channels to share updates with a grieving nation wanting to help. Public Affairs web sites became the face of the Ft. Hood community, releasing the names of the fallen as well as the determined resiliency of the survivors. Family, friends and compassionate strangers have been able to follow events as they unfold, because the Army is communicating where Americans are congregating: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, blog sites, web sites.
And it’s working.
Here are several social media resources for updates on Fort Hood and ways to connect with military families:
- Fort Hood Public Affairs Web Site
- Flickr Ft. Hood Photo Tribute
- U.S. Army Facebook
- Ft. Hood Facebook Tribute
- Twitter: @USArmy
- Twitter: @FortHood
- Twitter: @MilitaryTweets
- The U.S. Army blog
- Department of Defense’s Special Report: Fort Hood
- National Military Family Association
- Milblogging.com – a compendium of military blogs
The shootings at Ft. Hood have hit us where we live. MMI has served military family members and communities for more than 20 years. Personally, my husband served in the Navy, and I’ve worked closely with service members and their families for the past two years, implementing some of the social media tools that now carrying urgent and life-affirming messages. We’ve been on bases with active duty men and women, we’ve implemented tools to help service members connect, we’ve strategized ways to ensure our service members and their families get what they need when they need it.
We at MMI give our heart-felt support to the military community, acknowledge our shared grief, and reaffirm our desire to help. As we learn ways to provide meaningful assistance, we’ll pass that along to you.
To the community at Fort Hood, you remain in our thoughts and prayers. We admire you, we’re grateful for you, and we stand with you. You are our heroes.