On May 22, 2014 two teen-aged girls from my hometown went missing. One of the one is a girl I used to babysit very frequently when I was a teenager, her age now. We are all in a state of vigilance, hoping and praying that these two girls will be found and returned home safely as we receive updates through Facebook and Twitter.
Social Media is helping immensely in the pursuit of missing children. Fox News posted an article in 2011 that states the use of these media sites has helped recover 98.5% of Amber Alerts since 2005. This statistic comes from NCMEC. One little girl, according to the article, was found just five hours after the Amber Alert was sent out over Facebook and Twitter.
Public Relations create strategies to communicate with the Public. Social Media is a very effective tool to do that. By sharing social media links to others, it becomes viral, the more people it reaches the better chance there is of finding these girls. I shared the link to the news article and within one day that link went as far as Florida where my Uncle Mike lives. The viral nature of the Internet is used as a strategy in this case, to bring awareness of people far and wide to look out for these girls, wherever they might end up.