Smartphones catapult crisis risk: 3 things to do

Nearly 110 million Americans, from kids and grandmothers to potential e-reporters and employees, carry the device that can spur a crisis in minutes. Here’s what to do.

In 2007, fewer than 3 percent of the U.S. population owned a smartphone.

Today, it’s 35 percent, or nearly 110 million Americans. A more than 10-fold increase in five years!

Those astounding figures from comScore Data Mine have profound implications for your organization’s crisis preparedness. Out of any crowd of bystanders, a solid third (significantly more in many areas of the country) are likely to be carrying a device in their pocket that is capable of instantly recording and broadcasting audio and video to the Web. The same can be said for your employees.

Confident that scuffle in the employee parking lot won’t cause a reputation problem because it was behind company walls, hidden from public eyes? Think again, someone caught it on their Android and it’s going viral on YouTube just in time for the weekend!

Spot some city workers snoozing on the clock? A couple minutes with the iPhone and you’ve got a Flickr feed full of embarrassing photos ready to be shared with Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere.

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