Monday, March 24, 2014

Are you faster (and smarter) than a robot? The need for speed drives crisis communications more than ever.

I recently wrote about the impact of technological changes on crisis communications and the pressures that accompany this evolution. This is only picking up speed. In mere days, "drone journalism" has hit the mainstream. 

This Amazing Footage Shows Why Drone Journalism Is About To Go Mainstream

So, you can stop trying to hide when things go bad at your plant, factory ... at any location. 

Now, how about trying to keep up with a robot ... an algorithm that creates a news story almost in real-time as it's happening? Think you still have hours to react? No, it's not fiction ... It's reality.

And that's just traditional media trying to move at the speed of social networks where more and more breaking news happen. News consumption is evolving rapidly with Americans (and Canadians) getting news from many sources on a multitude of platforms. And, yes, mobile is key again.

Twitter is a big player in breaking news and Reddit proved to be a central focus of crowdsourced "journalism" during events such as the Boston Bombing. Although not always accurate, it's a trend that can't be ignored. And now, Reddit is making the nexus between "old" and "new" media even more dense, according to Mashable.
Reddit is planning to offer embeds for breaking news threads, a move that could help news organizations tap into instant live blogs of newsworthy events.

This all means the pressure continues to mount for crisis communicators. Silence is not an option ... while haste can lead to some missteps à la Malaysian Airlines indelicately announcing tragic news to relatives of missing passengers via TEXT MESSAGE.

The four imperatives of crisis or incident comms add up to massive headaches for professionals under stressful situations. Now add to this the added reality of having to identify and debunk rumours that could impede your response or mortally wound your reputation and all of a sudden, there's no breathing room left.