Which channel should I use for crisis communication during an emergency?
Having a mass notification system at the ready to reach all employees in an organization can be incredibly beneficial in a crisis. A mass notification system allows for the timely distribution of crisis communication that goes a long way in ensuring the safety and reputation of an organization and its people.
RedFlag is a multi-channel mass notification system that enables managers to send out urgent crisis communication to their employees during an emergency. There are various types of alert messages that can be disseminated depending on the type of emergency — from letting tenants in a shopping mall know the status of a power outage to directing employees to evacuate because of a top-floor fire.
To save you time, alert messages should be pre-written and saved in the RedFlag mass notification system in advance of when crisis communication is needed. The alert messages should also be tailored to the channel to ensure they reach the maximum intended recipients and carry the most important information.
Since not all crisis communication channels are created equal, here are some tips for tailoring mass notification system alert messages.
Crisis Communication via SMS Text Message —
The length of an SMS text message is usually limited. You are expected to fit in as much information as possible in small number of words. With an SMS text message, it is advisable to include crisis communication that sticks to the main points and avoids unnecessary language. If you must provide additional information, consider sending multiple SMS text messages or use an email or voice message as well. Use a text message when your message is short and to the point.
Crisis Communication via E-Mail Message —
E-mail messages have more flexibility in terms of length, but when trying to distribute crisis communication you should be clear and concise in what you say. Include important information and easy to understand directions to your audience. A shorter message will be read quicker and will ensure a better response. When sending out crisis communication, keep your audience informed and but stick to the facts as you do not want to create unnecessary alarm. But keep in mind an email is a great way to send additional information. You could also sent a text message letting your audience know additional information will be sent to their email inboxes. Keep in mind also, that an email message alone might have a lower readership rate that if it is combined with a text or voice message — or both.
Crisis Communication via Voice Message —
In addition to text messages and emails, a mass notification system can also send crisis communication voice messages. Again, in a few sentences, include the most important information and directions for your employees and other recipients. Send crisis communication via a voice message for those in your audience who may have a vision impairment and have trouble or cannot read a text message or email.
Social Media Posts —
When you are ready to notify the others outside your organization, an effective way to do so is using social media channels. The RedFlag mass notification system allows you to post to Facebook and Twitter in addition to the other alert message channels. In order to tailor crisis communication for this channel, you must be very brief as character limits are restricted. Since posts on social media can be seen by the public, you will also want to make sure you know the facts before you post. You do not want to create a social media frenzy by posting rumored information. Also, make sure the proper authorities are notified before you distribute sensitive information on social media — this will keep you from having to do damage control after the emergency. Keep crisis communication templates saved in the RedFlag mass notification system so your crisis communication can be sent quickly.
And don’t forget, the RedFlag mass notification system allows you to send crisis communication via all channels simultaneously in order to maximize readership during an emergency. For more information about the RedFlag mass notification system and our other operational and marketing communication solutions, contact us at www.pocketstop.com.