How Social Media Responds to a Crisis
Approximately 500 churches will take advantage of the power of the Internet to bring their Christmas sermon to people worldwide. According to the Social Media Church, the interest in live streaming sermons has increased dramatically during the last six years. Kenny Jahng is the innovation and media pastor for the Liquid Church in New Jersey, and it is his belief that the church needs to embrace today’s digital culture. Due to this, Jahng’s church has hosted a wide variety of different online events, including last year’s virtual choir.
There are some churchgoers who do not believe that people should be able to participate in church events virtually. However, taking this approach is likely to continuously reduce the number of members that each church has, and this could have a very negative impact on donations. In other words, meeting tech lovers halfway by allowing them to watch sermons online is a good way to keep people involved.
How Social Media Responds to a Crisis
In the past, it could take several days for people around the world to find out about a catastrophe such as the typhoon that recently struck the Philippines. However, social media has completely changed the way that people learn and interact with news stories. In fact, anyone who logs into their Facebook or Twitter account at least once a day is likely to be up-to-date on the most important news stories. Additionally, every social media user has the opportunity to spread awareness of disasters and the need for donations and volunteers.
How Social Media Connects Volunteers to Relief Organizations
It is natural that more people feel the desire to help now that it is possible to see horrific photos and videos from a natural disaster shortly after it occurs. Due to this, many people actively seek out volunteering opportunities when a catastrophe happens, and social media makes it much easier for them to connect with the proper organizations. After all, almost every group that accepts volunteers has embraced the importance of having a website and social media presence, and this enables them to make timely posts when they are actively seeking volunteers.
Even individuals who are unable to donate their time can share this information with their entire social media network, and this is likely to encourage someone else to volunteer. Additionally, there are websites devoted solely to helping organizations look for people who want to volunteer their time.
The Impact of Imagery
Social media is filled with photographs and videos, and charitable organizations that need volunteers can use this to their advantage. For example, they can post photographs that show how damaged an area is after a natural disaster, and they can also upload videos that show their current volunteers making a difference. This visual representation of the need for help is much more likely to have an impact on a tech savvy individual than simply reading a plea for help. Therefore, every organization that needs volunteers should utilize social media and volunteer websites to help increase their odds of meeting all of their volunteering needs.
Offering to volunteer after a natural disaster is one of the best ways that you can give back. Keep in mind that every person who bands together during a difficult time has the ability to make a major difference in people’s lives. Due to this, everyone should consider volunteering. However, if you are unable to donate your time, you can still spread the word via your social media profiles. One service of Points of Light is All for Good, a meeting place for volunteer and community service organizations.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwein_01/3962134615
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