Indonesia is prone to tsunami; from local to giant tsunami. The giant tsunami hit Aceh on December 26, 2004. It’s estimated quarter of a million people around the Indian Ocean region was dead. As we know that the arrival time of local tsunami is very short, between 10-60 minutes (the golden time, red.) that makes the Tsunami Early Warning information dissemination becomes challenging. In consequence, this will have a direct impact on evacuation procedures and evacuation time which is very short.
Figure 1: Photo documentation of the Rahmatulloh masjid building and surrounding affected by the Giant Aceh tsunami
Source: AFP (2004)
Figure 2: The writer’s inside Rahmatulloh masjid at Lhok Nga district
Source: private collections (2017)
Based on this fact, the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) the official agency who has responsibility to disseminate climate change, earthquake and tsunami warning in Indonesia, developed the Indonesia Tsunami Early Warning System (InaTEWS) uses social media to maximize public safety. One of them is using twitter. BMKG’s twitter account through the social networking @infoBMKG has exceeded 3 million followers since officially launched on February 2014 to disseminate weather, climate, climate change, air quality, earthquake and tsunami (M. Adriyanto, 2017).
Figure 3: The official BMKG’s twitter account
Source: M. Adriyanto (2017)
Availability and ease of public access to this information service, not only to answer the challenges of mitigation, but also can be used for public education. Social media is utilised also to raise awareness and community preparedness for a potential disaster and public engagement in Indonesia. Kirilenko and Stepchenkova (2014) found that in Jakarta at least issue of climate change is tweeted 20 times per day. From figure 4, the triangle symbol represents a tweet value at least one tweet per day. The bar represents tweet over 20 times per day.
Figure 4: The number of tweeting on climate change issue
Source: Kirilenko and Stepchenkova (2014)
In comparison, an attention to environmental issues especially climate change undertaken by the old media (i.e. newspaper), also has a positive trend in Indonesia. Schmidt et al (2013) found that there was an increase trend in the Indonesian newspaper attention to the issue of climate change up to 10 per cent of the data from 1996 to 2010.
Figure 5: The attention of the Jakarta Post newspaper for climate change issues in Indonesia
Source: Schmidt et al (2013)
Using blogs and social media are tools for involving the public (Mangold and Faulds, 2009). Publics feel more involved with the products and organizations when they are able to submit feedback. The feedback contributes to a sense of community that is honest, open communication is encouraged and enhanced public engagement. Use both internet-based information and traditional tools to engage the public is the best way to keep public up to date with the information.
Figure 6: The six progressive levels of participation
Source: Parent et al. (2011)
Parent et al (2011) state that there are six stages of public participation, from viewing, forwarding, commenting, creating and finally arbitrating (fig.6). This progressive participation is associated with the levels of involvement distinguished by Hallahan (table 1).
Table 1: Level of involvement
Source: Hallahan (2000)
Along with the development of technology, when numerous studies on various aspects of social media grows, but no one has made a formal categorisation of social media. Frased and Dutta (2008) divide social media into five major categories at the very first time named: egocentric, community, opportunistic, passion-centric, and media sharing sites.
Table 2: Categories of social media
Source: Frased and Dutta (2008)
Utilisation of social media in the government officially to support the public services is still considered relatively new when compared with the private sector and individual interests. To date, social media as knowledge management systems, particularly subject for disaster and emergency management began to be used for communicating risk. For example, social media applications and technologies have been used by government responding to disasters in Haiti earthquake (Yates & Paquette, 2010). Mendonca et al (2007) examine that social media is able in response support disasters preparedness, including the need for cross-boundary collaboration.
Taylor and Kent (1998) became a pioneer in a study of organisational strategy in building a relationship over the internet with a dialogical two-way communication. Taylor and Kent noted that internet provides opportunity to create a public relations organization through a dialogical component that allows input and communication to the public. Examples of dialogical component which are proposed including forums comments and e-mail contact form. By having a two-way dialogue through social media, in the case of the American Red Cross uses social media reports providing faster service for publics, generating more media coverage, and receiving negative and positive feedback from stakeholders to improve the organization (Briones et al, 2011).
However, there are many obstacles in the implementation of using social media. The most frequently cited barrier to using social media was resources, specifically time and staff. Also, another problem is the staff from an older generation usually unfamiliar with new advanced technology. This translated into a view that an obstacle to using social media is that it alienates the older generation.
All in all, related to technologies advanced, in addition to using a rich variety of social media, we should also continue to use old media to accommodate the wider public attention. H K B N – #SiapUntukSelamat, #BMKG