State site puts Haiti earthquake relief efforts in one place

Department uses multimedia and social media to update earthquake response

Agency: State Department

Project: 2010 Earthquake in Haiti

Location: www.state.gov/p/wha/ci/ha/earthquake/index.htm

Technology: Blogs, Twitter, RSS, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube.

Multimedia applications that involve video, maps and photographs are useful tools for federal organizations that want to reach the public. The State Department, which has been an innovator among agencies in the use of social media, provides a good example of effective multimedia use with its 2010 Earthquake in Haiti page.

A part of State’s primary Web site, the response page features a steady stream of updates on relief efforts in Haiti, which was rocked Jan. 12 by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake at Port-au-Prince, killing more than 230,000 people and injuring hundreds of thousands more, while destroying a lot of the city’s infrastructure.

The site includes a photo gallery, briefings and remarks, interviews, details about high-level diplomatic visits to the stricken nation, White House and government press releases, and conference information. The site provides full texts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speeches on Haiti and makes extensive use of videos to highlight speeches and conference panels.


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The page provides links to several major meetings and conferences on Haiti relief efforts. Each of the links provides full texts of discussions and videos. The site also features a blog that discusses recent events in Haiti, including a slide show of First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to the country. Visitors can also subscribe to updates through a variety of methods, such as Twitter and RSS feeds.

State Department Earthquake in Haiti website

As a part of the main State site, the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti page also includes alerts and warnings about traveling to the country.

The page is also a place to start for people looking to donate money, goods or services to the relief effort. External links are provided to several additional Haiti support sites, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Haiti relief page and www.aidmatrix.org, which provides a venue for those wishing to donate large quantities of products to reconstruction efforts.

People and vendors interested in providing services to the U.S. government for profit can find a link at the Federal Business Opportunities Web site. On the more personal side, the Haiti relief page has links to services for people trying to contact friends and U.S. citizens in Haiti at Haitiearthquake@state.gov.

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