Digital Marketing admin  

Using Social Media as a Communication Tool During Disaster Recovery

Stakeholders come in two forms; internal and external. They are the vendors, suppliers, customers, contractors, and employees of your organization. Every stakeholder has a genuine interest in ensuring the success of the organization and, knowing and understanding that fact, the organization has not only a duty but a responsibility to deliver the necessary information to every stakeholder, no matter what level of interest they have. have in the company.

When it comes to implementing a business continuity/disaster recovery plan, the organization will have to choose one or two places through which it will communicate with its stakeholders. The phone is certainly no longer the “go to” place. The last thing anyone wants to do is answer the phone in the middle of a hurricane or repeat the same information a hundred or more times a day. Having the right tools at your disposal to communicate with everyone will not only help you stay sane in the midst of a hurricane, it will empower all stakeholders to know what is going on. So, with the growth of social media tools, the ability to communicate with and empower your stakeholders has never been better than it is now.

Deciding which tools to use can be one of the most difficult tasks you or your organization may encounter when creating a business continuity/disaster recovery plan. There are many tools out there and you may find the right one on your first try or you may keep looking for the right one and find it after numerous tries. No need to worry as there are plenty of old and new tools to choose from.

By far some of the oldest and perhaps not-so-convenient ways to communicate with stakeholders before, during, or after a natural or man-made disaster are email, text messages, and updating a website. . Each is effective in its own way, but can be time consuming when all an organization has is minutes or seconds.

Email gives the user the ability to transmit a lot of information and attachments in a short period of time. However, one concern is that of email limits. Limits such as those imposed by your email software or administrator, either to prevent spamming others or sending large files that can bog down systems that are ideally designed for small loads such as emails simple.

Text messaging gives the user the ability to communicate “on the go” with short, simple messages. Communication via text messages can take a long time as transmission capacity may be limited. In most cases, this means that the user will have to send individual messages to all interested parties to keep everyone informed. However, the user may be too excited to pay the overage fees that a lengthy disaster recovery process could incur.

Updating a website can be effective and relatively easy when it comes to getting a lot of information out to a lot of people very quickly, once published. However, the issue of having the time available to properly format, connect, load and verify an updated web page might not be a possible reality once a hurricane or severe weather event hits.

Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and blogs, while web-based, are also by far the easiest and most convenient ways to communicate with all stakeholders. Their accessibility from almost any PC makes them an invaluable tool. Plus, with any web-based smartphone, information can be updated from almost anywhere, in almost any situation, and at almost any time.

Short for web logs, blogs have been around for quite some time and are now very easy to set up, format (or not format at all), and use. Upon login, the user can update the current situation or accompany that status update with a photo or two, all in a matter of seconds.

Using the MySpace service also allows for quick and easy updating. Interface applications can be found for most popular Internet-enabled phones, such as the iPhone or Palm Treo phones. Like a blog, the user can update the current situation and even request immediate feedback from those who follow him. Non-followers will only have access to updates, as long as the account is set to protected.

While setting up Facebook is relatively easy and quick, it comes at a price. While it is a free service, the price is that stakeholders who wish to be notified by the organization will need to be “friends” of the organization prior to the launch of any business continuity/disaster recovery plans. This is not advisable, especially when the Facebook user is in the middle of a hurricane, as this is not the best time to “friend” people to spread the word. While it is a very effective tool, it requires a lot of work up front and throughout the process.

Twitter is the newest tool in the shed. It offers any user the ability to communicate with the world 140 characters at a time. Like MySpace and Facebook, people can follow you and you can follow them, but you don’t need to share information. With only 140 characters of use, the service offers the possibility of publishing links through which interested parties can see images, download documents or read more detailed information about the situation of the organization. Like the other services, Twitter can be easily accessed through any Internet-connected PC or Internet-enabled smartphone.

Regardless of the tool or tools you or your organization decide to use, the positives will outweigh the negatives. Knowing when your doors will be open or when an operator will be available is a sure way to keep your customers happy. It will also keep your suppliers happy because they will know when and where they can start delivering product to your location. Above all, employees will know when it’s time to report to work. So when creating your disaster recovery/business continuity plan, keeping the conversation open between you and your stakeholders will go a long way toward getting everyone back on track as quickly as possible.

Leave A Comment