Webinar puts focus on social media role in disaster planning
The U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery Solutions will host a webinar March 13 to show small-business owners the benefits of social media as a communication method for employees and customers during emergencies.
"Historically, businesses have used e-mail to communicate with their employees during a disaster — which is great, except when the network is down," Agility President and CEO Bob Boyd said. "With the advent of more available and secure social media tools, there are outlets for communication in emergencies that have never existed before. We find out the disasters happening in other countries like Japan's recent earthquake through Facebook and Twitter, so businesses should be using those tools to communicate with their employees."
According to Boyd, it is important for business leaders to put a social media disaster plan in place ahead of time, then practice it regularly with employees, just as an office would practice fire drills.
"It doesn't do you any good to make a Google group on the day something goes wrong," Boyd said. "When the power goes down, your employees and customers have to know how to communicate with each other, and that has to be set up ahead of time, with designated people running the Facebook page and such."
One tool for disaster recovery that Agility offers is a backup account for e-mailing and text messaging, so employers and their charges can communicate during a disaster when primary networks fail.