It was a typical day in Twitterland. Chirping here, there and everywhere about an endless array of issues. Conversations were flowing effortlessly, until every now and again the Twitter whale (too many tweets) reared his happy head and you are forced to smile and stop for a moment. “News” about an U.S. Airways plane in the Hudson River began rolling in slowly at first. Someone exclaimed they had seen a plane crash into the river, a few official stories from the traditional media trickled in and Twitterers were commenting on the CNN coverage, as my breaking news alerts lagged behind.
When someone posted an arresting picture from the Washingtonpost.com of the survivors in bone chillingly cold water on the wings of the airplane, but happy to be alive, we as Twitterers felt a sense of togetherness, rare in this unprecedented world of disparity. We were literally and energetically on the same page. We knew we were leading the crest of the wave of communications about the US Airways crisis.
In a Twitter minute, U.S. Airways figured out that Twitter is the ideal crisis communications tool. Shortly after the U.S. Airway pilot was being declared a hero, U.S. Airways registered a Twitter account and urged users to call the number they provided if they were concerned about their loved ones. It was a smooth move in my opinion. It almost makes up for the fact that a fan of U.S. Airways, @usairwaysgirl, was on Twitter before they were. But when they did enter, they did it with grace and style. When the next crisis inevitability comes, they will have an army, instead of 40, “followers” who will help them spread the word.
Signing off…Amy Dean