J2.2 The Human Side of Weather: Using Social Media to Build Trust with Your Users

Wednesday, 21 June 2017: 10:45 AM
Salon III (InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza)
Daniel Hawblitzel, NWS, Pleasant Hill, MO

Social media has provided the National Weather Service (NWS) a unique platform to break away from an appearance as a faceless government organization and interact with its users on a personal level. By engaging users with humor, creativity and a sense of caring and understanding of their interests, many NWS offices have capitalized on social media to build a solid relationship with the communities they serve including thousands of people who may be otherwise unfamiliar with the NWS and its services. Allowing users to interact and get to know the human being behind the forecast message builds a sense of trust and confidence, especially when the forecaster is seen as an integral member of the community they serve. This relationship building has become critical in maximizing the reach and effectiveness of potentially life-saving information when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
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