Social Media sites Offer Relief to Disaster Struck Japan

Searching for family amongst the unyielding landscape of disaster. Photo Courtesy of

Ravaged by natural disaster Sunday, Japan’s people search for loved ones amongst the rubble – and their internet connection. While the landscape has been ripped apart by a record 8.9 magnitude quake, a following tsunami and the growing fear of nuclear disaster, people are still struggling to find answers concerning the whereabouts of their family and friends.

Social media is offering a strategic method to search for family, friends and familiar faces.

Google and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a person finder site March 11. Both sites allow people to look for or report information on the whereabouts on people in a geographical area. Google’s service includes, according to

Google Person Finder Services –

  • Reference maps
  • CitizenTube, for video
  • Crisis Response Page
  • Multiple language ability
  • Search and provide information on people

ICRC Services –

  • Person Finder
  • Multiple language ability
  • Search and provide information on people

Not only are social media websites assisting on locating people, but they are providing the ability to quickly post on their safety. Hours after the earthquake and tsunami hit, I received a broadcasted message through Facebook from Sayaka (first name only) to notify me on her and her families safety. It read –

Hi Jess,

Please tell your family I’m OK and so is my family. We can’t believe that Tsunami. it is beyond our understanding. It is very important to live one day at a time and cherish everything you are gifted.



Messages, like these, are a gift to those receiving them, they are the exceptional and the reason social media has integrated itself into our lives beyond a fad.



Social Media and the PR Professional

Photo courtesy of

The future of public relations relies on the smart implementation of social media to supplement and add to existing PR strategies.

Together social media and traditional methods will merge to create a cohesive form of communication. Social media will transform the future of press releases, the evolution of social platforms, building brand loyalty, cost savings and building relationships. The channels of distribution present the opportunity for strong visualization and brand authenticity.

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Payless ShoeSource’s social media presence boosts rapport

As brands clamor to obtain a social media presence to garner the attention of their intended audience, new pressure is being placed on marketing professionals. How to create advertising without intruding on forums not intended to “sell” anything?

Social media users typically hate their social lives interrupted by large banner ads, pop up ads, spam and the like.

Who could blame them?

So, companies are now attempting to lure digital/social media producers to their marketing teams in an effort to create brand imaging. Big wig brands are beginning to credit social media forums as a powerhouse tool to reach their markets – or to create a rapport with the millennial generation.

Payless's Facebook BOGO game offers savings with a fun twist.

Payless ShoeSource®, is just one outstanding example of a nationwide brand using social media to communicate with their customers. Their Facebook and Twitter presence is both fun, flashy and yet discrete.

By simply clicking ‘Like’ for Payless on Facebook, customers are able to play the Payless BOGO Game. The game is a recreated slot machine, where every 24 hours customers are invited to attempt three times to make the slots read BOGO. If you are the lucky winner, a BOGO coupon is e-mailed to you.

What customer doesn’t like saving money?

Pictures, comments, brand news and new product releases are all managed on the Payless Facebook wall. The inviting conversation between customers and company reps allow this social media tool to bring in a good karmic vibe toward the company.

“Our team at Payless has created an energized, customer-centric organization dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories for the world.”

And we believe you Payless, we believe you.

‘Here Comes Everybody’ by Clay Shirky explains the Digitalization of Relationships

Society has integrated social media into the function of daily life, according to Clay Shirky’s “Here comes Everybody.”

An in depth look on the evolution of Social Media.

Anyone out there scoffing at the idea of social media used as a daily tool?

Check the facts.

Facebook (according to Facebook) has:

  • Over 500 million active users.
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.
  • There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages).
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.
  • More than 70 translations on site.
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside of the United States.

Social media is beyond the clamor for the new ‘it’ item or website. It is the digitalization of relationships. Complex interactions, group interaction and the day-to-day moments in life

The availability of groups and the ease of community interaction in the digital media world let people connect on a level not achievable before today.

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Social media can help win elections

John McCain's Twitter account courtesy of cigar-blog post

I tweet. You tweet.

Does your state representative tweet?

In a recent trend, some politicians are becoming more tech savvy in an effort to reach voters. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube make up a large chunk of the average Internet user’s time, according to

Facebook alone reported 200 million active users as of April 2009, according to, and some politicians want a piece of the pie.

On the battlefront to save his Senate seat, Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.) updates his Twitter and Facebook daily.

Dubbed a “digital genius,” McCain hits home as the number-one ranking senator of digital skills, according to The study, conducted by George Washington and New York universities, found the 73-year-old Republican to have the highest “Digital IQ” in the Senate.

The Digital IQ index combined senators’ use of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with the frequency they post, as well as their followings, to judge their fluency and success in social media.

President Barack Obama's Facebook page courtesy of

Proven successful by President Barack Obama’s online presidential campaign, social networking and digital media literacy is a powerful tool in today’s political arena.

With 47 percent of adults and 73 percent of teens and young adults using social networking sites, according to, it would be foolish for politicians to discount the powerful influence they could have on connecting with voters.

McCain’s current 668,606 “likes” on Facebook and the constant bombardment of Obama advertisements littering the sidebars of my Facebook homepage make apparent the changing trends.

The traditional newspaper and television advertisements are falling out of favor. Americans spend more and more time using laptops and phones with access to the Internet. Newscasts are provided by YouTube and Twitter clips, and our favorite ads grace the sidebars of our e-mail. The world is a-changing, and so must our politicians.

While Obama pioneered social media networking, making the Democrats cheer, they have fallen behind the curve. Republicans, currently a minority in the Senate, grew significantly more than Democrats in the area of social networking, with 3,000 more Twitter followers and 20,000 more Facebook “likes” than their Democrat counterparts, according to GOP senators have experienced a 6.7 percent month-to-month growth on Facebook, compared to the 3.6 percent for Democrats.

These numbers exclude McCain, whose success skews the findings.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, was wildly criticized for being out of touch. For a man so out of touch, he now leads the pack on social media networking, and if the Democrats fail to step up their presence on popular sites, they may soon find themselves left behind.

Published by The Bona Venture on Sept. 10, 2010