Reaching Everything to Inform Everyone
When an emergency occurs, one of the biggest challenges is informing everyone about the situation. Sending timely, accurate information to everyone in an organization as quickly as possible should be the first step in managing an emergency.
Messages with critical information should be sent through as many channels as possible in order to reach the most people. This means utilizing systems that can tie into existing on-premises and mobile devices. While some organizations believe reaching people on their mobile devices is sufficient, leveraging other systems for emergency notification can improve the chances of everyone seeing a message immediately.
Digital Signage Offers Messaging Advantages
One device that is often overlooked when developing an emergency communication plan is digital signage. Many organizations, whether it’s a business, school or manufacturing plant, have some kind of digital signage already in place. Whether this be TVs mounted in lobbies or conference rooms, or outdoor signs in front of buildings, you can maximize your investment in these devices by using them to keep people safe and informed. You want to create awareness inside of your buildings, but also prevent people from coming into a dangerous situation by also tying into outside signage.
Customize for Different Events
As you work to get more value out of your digital signage by using it for emergency notifications, consider the different crisis situations your organization might encounter. Ask what needs to happen and what information needs to be shared in the event of an active shooter? Severe weather? Evacuation? Each of these events should have a pre-built customized message associated with it. The messages should offer instructions on what people can do to keep safe. Think about what color coding alerts will grab people’s attention and include visuals to provide clear instruction.
Text should be in an easy to read font, and the message itself should be short and to the point. It doesn’t pay to have people standing in front of screen needing to read a long message when the point is to get them to safety quickly. It should also be distinct enough from what appears on digital signage day-to-day so that people notice the message when it goes out.
One Piece of the Puzzle
Keep in mind, digital signage should only be one part of your emergency communication plan. It’s all about reaching as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. To do that you need a tool that connects to all the devices you need.
Our partner, Singlewire Software, has a robust emergency notification software tool called InformaCast. It is able to connect with all of your on-premises and mobile devices, including digital signage. Its capabilities include being able to pre-build messages and groups for a variety of scenarios so you can include the details that keep people safe.
Learn more about InformaCast and how you can use it to keep people in your organization safe and informed at www.singlewire.com/informacast.
About the author
Chris Swietlik is a Marketing Communications Specialist at Singlewire Software. He is the primary author of Singlewire’s Emergency Notification Blog and leads company communications across its social media channels. In addition to his marketing skills, Chris also spent several years as a PR professional cultivating relationships with the media that led to meaningful stories published across a variety of publications.