The power of a social network can add value to a crisis communication strategy
Being able to effectively communicate during an emergency is an important capability of any organization. A crisis situation needs to be addressed systematically to prevent loss of life, damage to property and harm to an organization’s reputation. Keeping employees and other stakeholders informed in such situations can be a challenge. It is crucial to adopt and implement a crisis communication strategy no matter what type of organization is at stake. Schools, universities, shopping centers, corporate buildings, apartment complexes and movie theaters are just a few examples of organizations that need a solid crisis communication plan.
Social media platforms have been identified as effective communication channels to deliver crisis communication messages during an emergency. By using social media platforms, an organization can reach out to a wider audience than with its internal communication systems. Social media allows for the instant dissemination of crisis communication messages and a great way to keep the public updated. Using social media platforms to distribute crisis communication messages helps to reduce response time—people will act quickly—and increases public support and assistance.
Using social media platforms as part of your crisis communication strategy has other benefits. Costs are non-existent and access is widely available as long as an internet connection is accessible. There are also an overabundance of platforms to choose from depending on your audience. These attributes make social media platforms valuable assets in a crisis communication strategy for many types of organizations. Since many people frequent social media websites and receive social media notifications on their smartphones, readership of messages is high. Especially in an emergency, crisis communication messages can be spread by “word of mouth” on social media platforms.
Because social media is a widely used medium to connect to millions of people, it must be handled professionally in an organization and as part of a systematic strategy. Distributing rumors, misinformation or sensitive information too soon can amplify a crisis situation. When using social media for crisis communication efforts, an organization must maintain complete control over posts in order to keep people informed but to reduce panic and alarm.
Even though social media platforms add value to a crisis communication plan, other communication channels such as text messaging, email, and voice mail should also be utilized as part of a complete crisis communication strategy. RedFlag is a mass notification system capable of utilizing multiple crisis communication channels including social media platforms, text messaging, email, and voicemail. For more information about using social media as part of your emergency action plan and more about the RedFlag mass notification system, give Pocketstop a call at 877-840-2444.