Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) employed Twitter to inform and answer constituents' questions.
GOHSEP used Twitter’s management tool CoTweet to reply and see responses to tweets, as well as archive its tweets, according to Christina Stephens, director of GOHSEP’s Joint Information Center.
Stephens wrote and scheduled tweets to appear in advance in CoTweet, which also showed GOHSEP who retweeted the agency’s information.
GOHSEP used Twitter to disseminate information to fishermen about decision-making and fishing closures in the area. For example, a Louisiana man thought taxpayers’ funds were being used to clean up the oil spill, so he asked GOHSEP. Stephens found a letter from the governor stating otherwise and provided a link to it in about 15 minutes.
“In that situation, what would have happened if we didn’t have Twitter is this blogger would have gotten routed to a PR person — who may or may not have responded,” she said. “They wouldn’t have very easily been able to get the information.”