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Crisis PR Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon crisis: How social media responded

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

April 16, 2013 | 5 min read

Social media became a key part of the emergency response to the bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon.Three people were killed - one of the victims was an eight-year-old boy - and over 100 injured after two explosions at the finish line of the event.Mayor of Boston Tom Menino tweeted a good luck message to the runners before the crisis unfolded. He then retweeted information from the official account of the Mayor's office, which responded quickly to the fast-moving events and tweeted advice and instruction to the public.

Terror: There were two explosions at the marathon finish line

Boston Police department confirmed the news on the Twitter and appealed to the public to clear the area and submit any videos of the finish line.The Boston Parks Department Twitter feed also sprung into action immediately, sharing information from a number of different Boston sources and becoming part of the social media coordination.The dedicated Boston Marathon Twitter feed took part in the social media crisis response, providing information to runners and those involved in the marathon. The Boston Globe was praised for the speed of its social media reaction, tweeting a number of videos and pictures of the bombing. The Globe was the first to report one of the victims killed was an eight-year-old boy.Throughout the chaos there was some misinformation spreading throughout Twitter on the apprehension of suspects. Eric Twardzik, who described himself as a "fiction writer, journalist" on his profile, shared a number of pictures of a man surrounded by police on Boston common. It received over 3,000 tweets.However, it was denied that the suspect in the pictures was connected to the incident.Google also became involved in the aftermath, launching a people-finder tool to help people locate their loved ones.
Crisis PR Boston Marathon

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