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A New Age of Emergency Management: Incorporating Social Media

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Organizations and businesses should evaluate their emergency alert and notification systems to be sure they effectively incorporate the latest communication channels for optimal message reach, according to a report by the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC).

Some of the latest available channels for emergency alerting are social media platforms, which can include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more. “The growth of social media is projected to continue rising—providing more opportunity for emergency response efforts,” CSRIC reports.

“[Social media] serves as a common way for citizens to communicate, coordinate and stay informed in the event of an incident,” according to CSRIC. Social media crisis communication can involve organizations’ simply breaking the news that a crisis has occurred. Communicating via social media can serve a variety of purposes during and after a crisis, too, such as to help people collaborate to assist those in need and speed up recovery.

Here are some specific examples of how social media has already been implemented for crisis communication. Tweets publicized the first available pictures of the Fukushima tsunami and Haiti earthquake. Before the Tasarnaev brothers, who were responsible for setting off bombs during the Boston Marathon in 2013, were apprehended, the Boston Police Department used Twitter to tell the public which areas were most dangerous.

Once organizational leaders and emergency managers decide it’s time to incorporate social media into the crisis communication strategy, they must figure out how best to do it. Unifying multiple communication channels under one emergency alert and notification system may seem like a daunting task, but CentrAlert software engineers excel in assisting with this process.

CentrAlert offers the NOW! Module, which seamlessly coordinates social media platform message delivery utilizing the same user-friendly interface the operator uses to control sirens and other alert technology. CentrAlert engineers can also take any third-party social media alert software and make it function with any other alert technology.

To ensure maximum effectiveness of your emergency alert and notification system’s social media component, contact CentrAlert today.

Social media can be a challenging channel for which to craft messages because these platforms appear on desktop computers, smart phones, tablets, and other devices, all of which offer a slightly different user experience. Additionally, social media platforms go through frequent updates, changing the “rules” for communication. CentraTalk’s future posts will discuss how to effectively craft crisis communication messages for social media before, during and after a critical event.

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