Winner: Southern California Edison - Visalia Outage: SCE Social "Comes to the Rescue"
The company realized this in December 2011 when a devastating wind storm crippled parts of SCE’s service territory. Some customers were without power for up to a week, and the then-fledgling SCE Social Media team, which consisted of about half of an FTE, for the first time saw the value of social as a critical communications tool in a crisis.
As a result, SCE sought to invest in Social Media and in 2012 this objective was met by SCE as it added a full-time Social Media manager and community manager. Armed with these new resources, in 2013 SCE initiated a robust social media initiative around crisis outage communications.
The initiative was put to the test on the night of Aug. 19, 2013, when lightning struck a critical piece of infrastructure (a substation), causing a large fire in the structure and more than 100,000 customers in Tulare County were left in the dark. SCE social media responded and a steady stream of tweets by @SCE that focused on the crews working feverishly to restore power helped turn the frustration from customers into a groundswell of support -- and appreciation -- for SCE crews.
After initial acknowledgement of the issue, SCE posted a tweet with an estimated time of restoration (for most customers) and that tweet receieved 207 RTs -- the most RTs of any @SCE tweet since its launch on Sept. 15, 2008 -- and 27 favorites. According to PublicRelay, which measured sentiment around the outage, the tone in social media was 94% either positive or very positive.
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