Who doesn’t remember being shushed by the school librarian? Too much noise in the library is disruptive, but if you’re stuck at an airport or waiting to watch a football game, you want noise… a constant flow of information.
Two airlines and the NFL Hall of Fame recently demonstrated the do’s and don’ts of information flow. Delta and Southwest experienced major IT issues cancelling thousands of flights andstranding 100,000+ passengers. Delta’s first announcements sent customers to the website, a dead end because all of its computer assets were off-line. However, both companies delivered a consistent flow of information via their social media channels. The CEOs, Ed Bastian and Gary Kelly respectively, gave multiple media interviews delivering messages of apology and working to find the cause. However, there was a missed opportunity – neither posted simple YouTube videos on their company’s official channel. This would have enabled more media and customers to access information on-demand, and demonstrated sincere concern and hands-on involvement from the very top.
A turf issue forced last-minute cancellation of The NFL Hall of Fame Game in Canton on August 7. The organization was quick to send out information on why they couldn’t play the game and even how ticketholders could obtain refunds. However, when the issue deepened after fans demanded reimbursement of travel expenses, there was radio silence from the Hall of Fame organization. Nobody likes to be ignored.
Here are a few important tips to keep information flowing during a crisis.
Use lots of channels: While the focus is usually on Twitter, don’t forget about posting simple video updates on YouTube, photos on Instagram and flicker, or even a PowerPoint presentation on Slideshare.
So unless you’re in the library, don’t be afraid to make noise – you won’t get shushed.