The unthinkable in Boston – SCN Encourager 4/16/13

The Boston Marathon Explosions. Not really knowing. Yet we do.

The loss of life and injuries in Boston rightfully dominated our news since yesterday afternoon. While I always enjoy sharing a thought and some humor with you, we’re all struggling with something much bigger.

There’s only one path that seems appropriate to take today. My joking around about the Web 3.0 can wait until tomorrow.

The tragedy in Boston probably brings on “heavy hearts x 2” for school leaders and communicators.

As individuals (whether you’re a parent or an adult with family members and friends), we can imagine of the horror of suddenly losing a loved one or the frantic feeling of hoping against hope with a racing heart while awaiting word on a dear one’s safety.

So, while as individuals, we sympathize with the pain – it’s as organizational leaders and communicators we can empathize with the process.

Our knowledge, training, and experience do not transcend the essence of our humanity, of course, but we know what an all-out crisis response involves. it’s draining. From the media just “doing their jobs” to the necessity for leaders and communicators to be accessible, calm, reassuring, and accurate – we’re almost in a position to understand too much about what is taking place in Boston.

Sometimes our roles and responsibilities prevent us from truly seeing the quiet tears and the inner hurts.

We may know this – and may even be troubled by it. But often, there’s not much we can do.

Last night, I followed the news on twitter and different websites. While a few comments were insensitive, many people turned to social media as a way to help.

In about a two hour time frame pulled from last night, here are some examples. Why do I offer these? Two reasons: #1 I’m always impressed (and proud really) when a communicator pushes back their own feelings and steps up.  #2  As social media becomes the communications vehicle of choice for many during a crisis, it’s beneficial to be aware of what’s out there. (We may need to add a new wrinkle in our own crisis communication planning.)

Brian Humphrey is a crisis communications consultant in California and LAFD spokesman. He tweeted this out: Talking to your kids about violence and disaster

CNN Living offered these 5 tips for talking to kids about scary news.

In their social justice blog, “TakePart” praised first responders and emergency medical personnel and listed ways “average folks” could make a contribution. Here’s the article.

AdWeek (and other Twitter users) really went after companies and celebrities who didn’t cancel their pre-scheduled tweets. There were several articles. Here’s one that was toned down.

Through “Storify” I found out that I’ve totally underestimated the number of people using social media to connect during good times and bad. “Storify” allows people to have a voice (words, links, videos, etc.) that joins in with others. Maybe you’ve seen this. it was new to me.

The Boston Police knew where to seek leads and information. They tweeted out for help.

And talk about significant searching, Google offered a person finder link. a project

But here’s the favorite. A SlideShare user sent in a 68 photo slide presentation to remind all of us that 99.9% of the time, we’re a-okay with who we are and who we’re meant to be. I know 68 seems like a long slide show, but it goes as quickly as you can click. And if you look at 3 or 4, I’m sure you’ll want to see the rest. This is the kind of thing I should do more of.

Our hearts and minds are in Boston today – in lots of different ways.

Tom Page, SCN 

Our cartoon will return on April 16.






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