Universities, airports, sporting venues – any place of mass gathering – must have a centralised communication point (a.k.a one source of the truth), that all stakeholders can rely upon for up-to-date information during an emergency.
“It’s really frustrating because there is no campus-wide updating from a central command centre. Everything we’re getting is just rumours.” These are the words of a Delta State University Lecturer whose office is across the street from where a fellow lecturer was shot dead in his office yesterday (15 September).
When news of the shooting surfaced, the university initiated its lockdown procedures and attempted to notify staff, students and visitors through a variety of mediums.
Using a combination of channels, including social media, to notify of a critical incident is important – however they should all link back to a centralised communication point; one source of the truth.
This one source should be the spot where all of your stakeholders know they will find the latest and most reliable information. Often this will be a company website or an internal intranet system.
Once you’ve established your one source of the truth – make sure everyone knows about it. All your stakeholders need to be well educated (prior to an incident) that this is the place they should go for official information in the case of an emergency.
This doesn’t mean stop using your other channels (like social media accounts), simply make sure you direct people back to your central point with a link.
Here’s an example of a suggested tweet:
@GenericUni: Active shooter reported near Generic St. Take immediate lock down action. Refer to <insert link to central communication point> for latest info.
If you’re unsure about the effectiveness of your crisis communication systems, get in touch with one of our communication experts today. We can help with a diagnosis or exercise simulation that tests your current setup and then we’ll work with you to fill in any gaps.