Sound the Alarm: Preparing Digital Crisis Communications Strategy

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Sound the Alarm: Preparing Digital Crisis Communications Strategy Colleen Brennan-Barry (@ColB) Monroe Community College Rochester, NY

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These are the times that try men's souls. -Thomas Paine

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Image via channelweb.co.uk

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February 2, 2011 #snowpocalypse #snowmageddon The 2011 Groundhog Day Blizzard Antioch, IL: 27.0”

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Rochester, NY: 3.8” Annual average = 95.1” WHY WASNT SCHOOL CANCELED TODAY!?! I almost died driving here! School should be closed tomorrow because of snowstorm and bad weather conditions!! Will it be closed???? Why don't you EVER close??

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February 3, 2011

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Image via wallconvert.com

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Image via infomobile.com

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Image via dreamstime.com

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Image via istockphoto.com

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Crisis communications must have a regimented plan, yet be agile enough to handle the unanticipated.

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Image via 123rf.com

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Image via powerbookmedic.com

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So where do we go from here?

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Step One: Do your homework

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Image via blog.meegenius.com

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Ask. Image via istockphoto.com

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What is a “crisis”? Image via streetwise.com

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Crises refine life. In them you discover what you are. -Allan K. Chalmers

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Step Two: Assess your strengths … & weaknesses

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Strength Image via sodahead.com

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Weakness Image via istockphoto.com

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Step Three: Build your basics

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Assess your needs Image via amysheehan.net

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Set goals Survive Focus Flex Protect

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Select channels

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Top four channels used as primary crisis information sources: -- 2009 Steering Committee of the EDUCAUSE Net@EDU Converged Communications Working Group (CCWG) survey of 125 colleges/universities Email SMS Website Social Media

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Image via http://kevin.lexblog.com/ Via social media: Monitor conversation & gauge pubic opinion. Manage & address accuracy of information. Track developments for evaluation & prioritization. Respond in real time as events evolve.

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Set processes & workflows

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Plan the right voice for the right channels

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Remember: be human Image via changingthewayyouwork.files.wordpress.com/

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Stay on message Image via dafilmschool.files.wordpress.com

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Establish communications guidelines Be ready. Be responsive. Be real.

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Image via uxteam.com/

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Step Four: Fill your toolbox

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Strategy is your #1 tool Image via istockphoto.com

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The hardware The “red binder” Web-enabled alert system Redundant systems with geographic diversity Alternate “lite” homepage Well-worn social media accounts Messages & templates

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The soft-ware Crisis team Extended team ALL employees Student champions

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“I love it when a plan comes together.” Image via nbc.com - Col. Hannibal Smith

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The personalware Smartphone or device Pre-stocked links Mi-Fi Saved scripts

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Step Five: Educate. Update.

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It ain’t over til it’s over. - Lenny Kravitz

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The status is not … quo. - Dr. Horrible

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Thank you. Colleen Brennan-Barry @ColB