Oct 122017


SVVB Fire Communication & Best Practices

To all of our Member Businesses:   As our community continues to endure the fires across Sonoma Valley and throughout California Wine Country, please remember our team at the Sonoma Valley Visitor’s Bureau is here to assist you. We understand this is becoming a big media story; our team is doing what we can to correct inaccurate information that has been posted by media; with a unified effort between you and us, we hope to ensure accurate and concise news is reported. Below are a few reminders and best practices we think may be helpful when dealing with media and managing your business social media accounts.   When dealing with members of the media:

  • If you are contacted by the media, you do not have to talk to them. You can refer them directly to our team at the Sonoma Valley Visitor’s Bureau to handle the request. You can direct media inquiries directly to our PR team at SonomaValley@wearebpr.com.
  • If you do talk to them:
    • You can refer them to our website, www.sonomavalley.com/fire, and to Sonoma County’s website, www.sonomacounty.com/fire for information.
    • You can refer them to local government and media sites such as ksro.com, The Press Democrat, or National Fire Awareness Situation for up-to-the-minute details.
    • Remember to only provide accurate information based on what you know to be true. Any information that is embellished or salacious is more likely to be picked up by media, even if it’s not true.
    • If you do not know the answer to a question, it is OK to state that you do not know the answer.

When updating your social media pages:

  • Keep in mind that images can be alarming and misleading. If you post a photo, please give thought to how viewers may perceive it. We’d love to collectively showcase not just what was destroyed and lost, but also ways in which our community is banding together to stay safe, and how we will later rebuild and reopen.

We know so many of you have joined together to help our community – we are so proud of everything all of our businesses, firefighters and service workers have done to support each other and our home in this time of need. If you need to get a message out to the community via the @ExperienceSonomaValley Facebook page, direct message us on Facebook, or tag us on your Facebook post so we can see it and repost (if you’re posting from your personal account, please ensure your post’s privacy is set to ‘public’ so we’re able to do so).   Lastly, Sonoma County Community Foundation, which includes its local affiliate Sonoma Valley Fund, has set up a special fund for relief. The new Sonoma County Resilience Fund will focus on the mid- to long-term tasks of recovery and rebuilding, which will include basic needs as well as longer term economic, health and social supports. To make a gift, go to Sonoma County Resilience Fund or call 707-303-9620. Please feel free to share this information on your social channels as well.   Stay safe, Jonny Westom Executive Director Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau

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