In today’s digital world, this digital tool is one you just can’t go without.
Digital technology has not just changed our lives, it has revolutionized them. From the way we shop to the way we take pictures, digital technology has impacted an abundant number of things we do in our daily lives. And such, it has also altered, created and killed entire industries. Let’s talk more about the communications industry.
If you’re younger than 25 or so, you probably can’t remember a time before e-mail or imagine how you “worked” without a computer. Laptops, tablets, Smartphones… these devices are so ubiquitous you actually stand out if you don’t have one. Communicating is quicker and simpler than ever before thanks to digital tech and has impacted the crisis communication industry exponentially.
Crisis Communication is a key component of any well prepared organization’s emergency action plan. But those organizations that are not using digital technology to their advantage—right now—have missed the boat. It is not just a “nice to have” anymore, but an imperative that organizations of all sizes implement digital technology crisis communication systems to help keep their most important assets—their people—safe, secure and informed.
So, what’s the most powerful crisis communication tool that you probably aren’t using—but should be using—that I’m talking about? A mass notification system, of course! Mass notification system implementations are on the rise. From property managers that handle multiple tenants with otherwise stovepipe crisis communication systems to corporate headquarters with dozens of offices worldwide, more and more organizations are realizing the importance of having a mass notification system as part of their crisis communication plans.
Why is a digital mass notification system to critical to crisis communication success? I already touched on the answer above… speed and simplicity. Mass notification systems offer a nearly instantaneously and simplistic way to communication to 5 people… 10 people… 100,000 people… it doesn’t matter the number. In a crisis, you can’t waste time collecting contact information, adding recipients to a “to” line or manually dialing the phone.
Let’s walk through a worst case scenario. You’re the property manager of a shopping mall that houses hundreds of tenants. You get a call in the early hours of the morning that a fire has broken out at your shopping mall. Many of your tenants will be heading to the mall soon to set up their stores for the day. How do you contact all of them? How do you know which managers are on duty and which ones are on vacation? Are you going to call all of them? Will they check their emails before driving into work?
The fire department will need to keep the area clear. You don’t want your tenants showing up making a hectic situation worse. If you are using a mass notification system for crisis communication in this situation, you can use your laptop, tablet or Smartphone to access your mass notification system and send ONE message that will not only be sent to all of your tenants, it will be sent to them on multiple channels (i.e. voice, email, text, etc.). Your message will be sent quickly and multi-channel delivery will increase the readership or the chances that your messages will actually reach a person and not just a device.
Here’s another. You’re the corporate office of a commercial real estate firm with shopping centers located all across the country. A hurricane is heading towards the east coast and you need to make the decision on when to close down several of your properties to keep not only your customers but your tenants and their employees safe. What do you do? How do you contact them?
If you’re using a mass notification system for crisis communication in this scenario, you can utilize the Groups feature to select the specific property managers in the specific locations you want to communicate with. This way, you’re sending the right message, to the right people at the right time and you’re not alarming others that aren’t going to be affected by the storm.
Mass notification systems for crisis communication are extremely powerful tools—but they are only as strong as the data you put into them. Implementing a mass notification system is pretty straightforward. But there are a few things you’ll need to add to a monthly or at least quarterly checklist to make sure your system is up and running for any sudden crisis communication need.
You’ll need to:
- Keep your contact lists up-to-date by having your tenants/employees verify their information on a reoccurring basis.
- Send regularly scheduled test messages to your contact lists and review the reports for any undeliverable addresses/phone numbers.
- Set up Groups however best fits the needs of your organization so you have the ability to communicate with sub-sets of your contact database.
- Provide training to your mass notification system administrators and users as well as to your crisis communication team or other emergency action group about when and how to use the system.
- Use your mass notification system for routine communication needs as well, so you, your administrators and user are familiar with and competent at using it—the more practice you have in a non-emergency situation the better you’ll be at using the system during a crisis communication need.
There you have it. A mass notification system is the number one crisis communication tool you probably aren’t using. So, I want to know, are you?
For more information about Pocketstop’s RedFlag mass notification system or any of our other digital communication solutions, please visit our website at www.pocketstop.com where you can live chat with us today and give us a call as 877-840-2444.