Funny thing, this social media stuff. It doesn’t take long to go from a newbie to potential how-to case study. Just ask the good folks manning the keyboard at Lambert St. Louis International Airport.
STL joined Twitter earlier this month, and as recently as yesterday was slowly growing its following, helped in part by the typical welcomes from fellow airport tweeters.
Last night at about 9PM, things changed–and @flystl foreshadowed it with an informative tweet about severe weather warnings.
At 12:47AM, word came through via Twitter that the airport was closed.
The rest is well-known–a tornado was confirmed, and one report had more than 2,700 buildings in the city damaged. The airport’s @flystl feed has been one of the primary sources for getting information out about the airport’s status, press conference information, flight information from airlines, and the like. As of this post, @flystl has pushed out 40 tweets since its inception–about half of them have come since the storm hit. Followers stood at about 180 this morning (reciting this from memory, as I checked out the page first-thing but–my reporter skills apparently long gone–failed to actually take notes) to about 851 as I type this; the count will probably hit 1,000 by the time I actually publish the post.
Twitter has been an integral part of STL’s communications strategy–but only one part. The airport’s website was updated quickly and regularly (and included a reference to pushing information out via Twitter), its Facebook page featured updates (including photos and video), and press releases started going out early this morning.
From afar, it looks like Team STL is doing a tremendous job communicating key information via various channels. Let’s hope the recovery effort goes well enough so they can get back to pushing out the more everyday stuff real soon.