What’s Going On? A Few Great Crisis Communications Sites

emergency poleJennifer Doak is the online communications specialist at CASE.

Crisis planning is a necessary part of any institution’s communications strategy. And social media outlets have become the best way to get up-to-the-second information out to your audience. I recently found a few great examples through a Facebook group and thought I’d share.

Many institutions have set up websites that replace homepages in the event of an emergency. San Diego State University’s urgent information page has information on how to receive text alerts, a Twitter feed of its news account and general information on campus emergency preparedness.

The University of Southern California’s emergency homepage replacement site includes similar resources, including relevant phone numbers and access information.

Wright State University has a wealth of information on its emergency management site, along with an explanation of possible text alert delays and a widget for the National Terrorism Advisory System. It provides audio files of pre-recorded messages for campus building alerts as well as information on email alerts, text and voice messaging, radio and TV channels, and which social networks to follow. I really like how it has a sidebar that lists specific procedures and resources for tornadoes, winter weather, evacuation and more.

And during the most recent Virginia Tech shooting, a Blacksburg student newspaper, The Collegiate Times, provided a thorough, accessible account of the day through its Twitter feed.

Stuck on what you should plan to say through these channels? Deborah Grant, vice president of university communications and marketing at Tulane University, gives some advice managing communications in the face of a crisis on our Advancement Talk podcast (available as a premier benefit).

What’s your institution’s crisis communications plan? What institutions are really great at providing this information?

One response to “What’s Going On? A Few Great Crisis Communications Sites

  1. Nice post! The concept behind having a “backup home page” is relatively new, and for organizations such as schools and governmental is a pretty great strategy – when done correctly!
    I teach a lot about these types of alternative strategies within the social media crisis academy, and, it always depends on the type of organization or company, but it’s a great option! Twitter is another great one, especially when you can quickly bring your Twitter feeds, of the crisis, directly onto your home page as well.

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