Fishbat CMO Jennifer Calise Offers Support to Bostonians After Boston Marathon Bomb Explosions

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After bomb explosions wreaked havoc at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and the downtown area, causing fatalities and dozens of injuries, Jennifer Calise, CMO of the social media firm fishbat, Inc. responds. Calise offers her support to the victims and discusses the newfound role of social media during a crisis in the digital age.

We're proud to be a part of the world of the ‘always-on.’

On April 16, 2013, Jennifer Calise, CMO of fishbat, Inc., a social media management agency, responds to the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday, offering support and weighing in with her perspective on the advantages of using social media to spread information, raise support and mediate emergencies.

Two bomb explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon caused significant injuries and multiple fatalities, reports The New York Times. The first blast took place during the men's race, with several thousand runners still on the course, followed seconds later by a second bomb a block away. Two other explosive devices were reportedly found at the race and dismantled by police.

In the wake of the explosions, many in the area reported downed phone lines and dropped cell calls. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency recommended avoiding telephone communication and to send text messages to preserve local bandwidth, and the Boston Police eventually shut down all cell phone towers in order to “prevent remote detonations of possible additional explosives,” according to the Associated Press.

The telephone blackout sparked a wave of SMS and social media activity, with spectators and participants turning to platforms like Twitter and Instagram to send updates and document the scene. People in the vicinity of the race were able to notify loved ones that they were safe; others posted quotes from police officials and other helpful information.

Police reached out on social media looking for clues and information: “Boston Police looking for video of the finish line #tweetfromthebeat.” Users shared information for donating blood to the Red Cross and to other aid efforts.

Jennifer Calise, a former Bostonian and CMO of the social media management firm fishbat, Inc., sends her support to the victims and loved ones of those injured at the marathon. “We at fishbat are looking for ways to reach out and provide assistance in any way we can. We are still waiting for information about the perpetrator or perpetrators as police investigate potential leads. But I am incredibly gladdened to see the outpouring of support and outreach that has occurred in the wake of these explosions.”

Calise says that as police and intelligence officials investigate the possibility of terrorist connections, she is invariably reminded of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, which occurred before the advent of social media and the proliferation of “such all-pervading venues” for communication and connection, she notes. “I keep thinking about how our collective experience of that unspeakable tragedy would have been different had social media been around at the time. The overwhelming feelings that day, for many, were of confusion, panic and fear, as people scrambled to gather enough information to comprehend what was happening. We were all in the dark and clinging to whatever media outlets were available – but in retrospect we see how inadequate they were.”

Today, says Calise, social media enables witnesses, outsiders and volunteers to reach each other and paint a clearer picture of what is happening in a crisis. “Detailed accounts coming through social media can provide investigators and disaster officials with incredible insight into how they should manage the situation and prevent similar events in the future,” she says. “It's also an easy way to let loved ones know whether you are safe, and for organizations providing fundraising and aid to coordinate their outreach to willing volunteers,” she says, citing the incredible wave of relief efforts that swept social media in the aftermath of the 2011 Japan earthquake.

Calise adds that if these efforts can spare “just one parent or one sister or husband or mother” a moment of fear, they are worth it. “Using social media to keep us in contact or offer an ‘I am OK’ is the gift of technological progress. As a social media agency, we're proud to be a part of the world of the ‘always-on.’ Although our dependence on technology is always on the rise, we are also constantly finding new and better ways to express our humanness. Our hearts are with you, Boston.”

fishbat, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service online marketing firm and social media agency. We’re branding experts dedicated to making your business a part of conversations that are already happening. Through social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), web design, and cutting-edge public relations strategies, we can raise awareness of your brand, strengthen your corporate image, and place your business in front of your ideal audience.

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