Crisis Communications and Social Media

Social Media is for More than Just Marketing

Strong businesses know that their customers and clients are connected through various social media channels, but too often those same businesses are not utilizing social media for disaster preparedness and emergencies. Even as companies strengthen the BCM practices in light of recent natural and planned events, social media is one of the most effective yet overlooked tools in their continuity plans.

Fifty-seven percent of the companies surveyed in a recent study had no mechanism in place to turn to their existing social media connections as part of their risk management plans.

There Is No Script for an Actual Emergency

For decades, companies relied on pre-scripted protocols for employee engagement during any type of emergency, but companies who employed such protocols were unfortunate enough to discover that emergencies rarely follow the script. Not only are businesses working to make their plans far more flexible in order to fit any given situation, but they are also investigating how to make these plans work for long-term crises, and not just immediate emergencies. This flexibility and ability to adapt are both key to any company’s BCM.

A Slow Adoption of Social Media Integration Isn’t Just from Lack of Insight

Companies who are reluctant to take advantage of social media when analyzing their continuity plans are not simply doing so from a lack of perspective or an ignorance of the importance of utilizing every available tool. There are very real legal, privacy, and risk management concerns that have to be addressed before companies can fully incorporate social media into their emergency operations. Respondents to a recent survey cited these factors as some of the obstacles that had to be effectively overcome before social media use could become integrated.