From the moment the Harrisburg, Ill., tornado hit on Feb. 29, the Daily Register staff was using Facebook to update their community on the urgent things they needed to know – from informing readers to where power and cell phone service was available in the area, to updating citizens on the local curfew, to posting photos of damaged areas around town, and alerting readers to the status of local and national volunteer organizations moving in to help.
The Daily Register uses Facebook to update their readers on injuries following the tornado
When your community needs news urgently, it’s hard to do much better than Facebook. You can update quickly and from on the go, and can get small pieces of information out to a large group of people in an effective way. Your efforts will be worth it, too -- taking their cue from the Daily Register, many of their more than 2,500 fans began posting their own updates on the tornado, sharing the Daily Register’s updates and using the newspaper’s Facebook page as a community message board.
The Daily Register calls for information about power and cell phone service.
When helping our newspapers to get started on Facebook, I often am asked a simple question: “Why do we need to be doing this?”
The answer often has something to do with page views. Don’t get me wrong – social media sites are a great way to boost traffic for your website – but there are better, more lasting ways having a well-established social media presence can help your newspaper.
Scrolling through the updates on the Daily Register’s Facebook page, you can see the moving dedication the newspaper showed toward their community in the wake of devastation. This wasn’t a ploy for page views, but the actions of a concerned entity looking to help and inform the citizens of this community in need.
Daily Register gives out donation information.