Texting finds niche in internal crisis comms

In a hurricane or office closing, staffers won’t necessarily check their work emails. They will, however, hear the ping on their mobile phone.

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Crisis texting for internal comms

When Hurricane Dorian approached Florida last summer, Booz Allen Hamilton texted employees near Cape Canaveral, providing a hotline number and asking them to check in daily.

Days later the company texted, “Now that Hurricane Dorian has passed, leadership would like to account for the safety of you and your family.”

As new innovations have remade internal messaging over the past decade, pings to a mobile phone are hardly cutting-edge comms. Yet organizations are rediscovering the value of texting both in supporting other channels and providing an emergency bullhorn during hurricanes, blizzards, workplace shootings and other crises.

Booz Allen Hamilton isn’t alone. NetApp, hybrid cloud and data services company, uses targeted texting to reach its workforce during major events, says Dana Masuda, head of employee corporate and crisis communications and a member of Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council.

Its workforce is scattered from its Sunnyvale, California, headquarters to global locations such as Japan and Singapore. Masuda’s team can notify them about bad weather, office closings and other urgent matters of limited interest elsewhere.

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