For many years, formal and controlled notification systems were one of the only ways to rapidly disseminate information during a crisis — then came the rise of social media. Today, in one way or another, social media has become a vital part of any organization’s crisis communication toolkit.

To investigate the fact that social media has such a prominent role in crisis communications, one of our often referenced websites — Continuity Insights — recently conducted a survey of more than 250 organizations to determine how social media and notification systems are incorporated into crisis communication plans, and the perceived effectiveness of each platform. As you will soon read, the results are compelling, clearly showing a lack of confidence in social media’s ability to be as effective as anticipated during a crisis.

However, the use of social media as a “crowd-sourcing” tool – i.e. turning the public into sources of information – has more potential and is catching on. This idea goes against the traditional top-down approach to disaster response and crisis communications, but the results show many plan to use social media in exactly this way.  To further address and discuss these developments, a webinar is being offered on March 7th — that webinar is entitled “Crisis Communications 2012: Social Media & Notification Systems”.

Participating in the presentation of the webinar to review and discuss these issues listed above, will be:

Luke Simpson, Editor of Continuity Insights, who will kick things off by revealing the key findings from the survey,

John Orlando, who regularly speaks and writes on the topic of social media in disaster response, will discuss the growing use of crowd-sourcing and the benefits of using social media to both broadcast and gather information, and

Jane Jordan-Meier, author of The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management, will present an overview of the social media monitoring tools available to track a brand or event.

Click here for more details and information.

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