Companies Connect Via Social Media During Crises

Enterprise use of social media to respond to employees, customers, and the world during a crisis is growing. This is pointed up by rising media exposure, such as the coming Ogilvy Exchange event, “The Expanding Use of Social Media in Disaster Preparedness and Response,” which Ogilvy Public Relations will host next week in Washington.

Twitter and Facebook are two tools commonly used to communicate with customers and staff during continuity of operations, said CJ Wallington, a retired Army officer and former Army director at Advanced Technologies, now working in private industry. The advantage of Twitter for crisis notifications is that its messages are immediate and direct to the subscriber. Tweets via SMS are also more likely to get through in emergencies than communications via Facebook or even emails or phone calls. Here is why.

In a crisis affecting the cell phone infrastructure, something called priority of delivery comes into play. “The priority of delivery goes to text messages because they are small packet transactions,” Wallington said. Because of this prioritization, text messages, whether through Twitter or another text-only messaging service, will process when emails and phone calls won’t…. Read more

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