Communication tools for critical event management

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Communication is an essential part of Critical event management. There exists an array of communication tools that can be used to support organizations communicating and coordinating during a critical event. This article discusses some of the communication tools that may help you handle and manage the situation.

Email 

Email is still an extremely important communication-tool for many organizations. It is easy to use, and everybody has access to it. During a critical event, however, it will be difficult to make email work as well as needed. Email does not support engagement; it lacks the easy user experience of social sharing, and as soon as too many people join a conversation, it quickly becomes confusing. Email will most likely not be an adequate tool for managing critical events as it will be practically impossible to properly coordinate who is doing what, what is the current focus of the critical event management team, and so on. In the end, it will also be a real mess trying to write the final report on the basis of a large number of incoming and outgoing emails that have been sent back and forth between the crisis team members.

Chatting tools and social media platforms

There exists a multitude of tools and social media platforms that provide chatting and multi-communication channels. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Slack are three examples of tools that are natural to consider used for handling a critical event. For a small crisis group, these types of tools may work well, but as they are not built for handling critical events, they will quickly fall short if the crisis escalates, if one or more incidents occur within the critical event, and so on. These tools have been built to communicate one-to-one or to a group, via their generic communication interfaces. They are, however, not very useful in all other respects of managing a complex situation. A simple thing such as maintaining a status board, or to generate documentation and reports will be equally difficult on these platforms as they are with email. 

Video conferencing tools

Services like Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet are great to communicate fast in real-time and discuss ideas. They do, however, lack important asynchronous features that are needed in critical event management systems. For example, information needs to be stored in external documents when video conferences are used, people who are not present in the video conference must also be updated on the current focus, etc. A stand-alone video conference tool will not be good enough. Used in conjunction with other tools, it can be very useful for distributed crisis organizations.

Critical event management

These systems have been built specifically to provide the best possible tool to manage any type of crisis or critical event. As a start, a critical event management tool is pre-populated with emergency preparedness plans, making it very quick to immediately notify the critical event management teams appropriately via its multi-channel framework that utilizes communication tools like SMS text messages, email, app push-notifications, and automatic phone calls, like the tool RAYVN, will do. RAYVN will even automatically collect the responses on who can participate and who can not, and visualize it using a very easy understandable graphical view.

Crisis management software/apps will also give you good control over who performs a certain task, how the task should be prioritized, what deadline it has, and so on. A good critical event management tool will also automatically time-stamp and trace all actions so that it in the end can automatically generate a complete-time-stamped report showing how your team handled the critical event and how it unfolded.

During critical events, you and your team’s biggest problem will be to make good decisions because of lacking or fragmented information. In addition, the Emergency Response organization will work under lots of stress and it becomes more important than ever that the tool you rely on just works, and that it is as simple to use as possible. When it comes to usability within the critical event, this is very RAYVN really shines compared to its competitors and the other communication tools.

The table below illustrates how RAYVN differs from other communication tools in terms of critical event management. The great benefit RAYVN gives you over other tools is that it is built for handling a critical event within its extremely user-friendly interface.

FeatureEmailChatting tools & social media Video conferencing RAYVN
Fast notification systemXXX

Notifications using multiple notification channels simultaneously
X
Task distributionXXXX
Task Status MonitoringX
TraceabilityXX

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