I kind of want to call this crisis communications, because of the overlap. With one big caveat: it's probably "someone else's" crisis.
- If you feel the urge to express anything other than empathy or sympathy for the victims or survivors or their families, don't.
- Disable autoposts. I repeat: disable any and all queued posts. This applies during the event, and some time thereafter. You'll have to judge how long to wait, but any less than 6 hours is probably too few. I recommend a full day, or more. If the event happens near a weekend and you have posts queued, set them up to run later that week.
- This means no promotions. At all. There is no alignment to be found, I promise you.
- The single acceptable commercialization of events is things that qualitatively help victims or their loved ones:
- Don't make comments on who, or what, could have done better. That's someone else's job, a job they are very good at. Let them do their job. Your hot take is just 💩.
- This also means keeping your domestic politics out of your corporate or personal response. There will be plenty of time for punditry. That time is not now.
- Do not use the assistive hashtags of the people who are present at the event. For example, during the recent Paris attack, #porteouverte ("open door") was created to allow Parisians to find shelter from bullets and bombs with other friendly Parisians (until they could return home safely). The hashtag was much more difficult to use than necessary because of non-Parisians using it.
We’ve made international calls to France free via Hangouts. #ParisAttacks Android→ https://t.co/RLNSn2HPHd iOS→ https://t.co/UKRrBZgBGT— Google (@google) November 14, 2015
@Aranjedeath should include "don't clog up hashtags for people needing a safe place to stay w/ posts about how inspiring those hashtags are"— Yael Grauer (@yaelwrites) November 14, 2015
Reminders: It is okay to log off. It is okay to stay quiet. It is okay not to know what to do or say.— Jay Rachel Edidin (@RaeBeta) November 13, 2015
ps it's ok to be saddened and horrified— Ed Bott (@edbott) November 14, 2015
And, finally, for all users and publishers on social media, please utilize the following guide when dealing with breaking news events online. Heed the advice.