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  • Writer's pictureCrisis Shield

The new app that's changing the face of communication

Social Media is now first on scene.

Worried about how a quick a crisis can go viral on Facebook and Twitter? They'll seem archaic compared to this new tool. Meet Periscope - the app that lets the world watch your crisis unfold, not in a matter of minutes like Facebook or Twitter... but literally LIVE from the scene.

Two months ago, Twitter bought the up-and-coming social media tool for a casual $100 million.

Why the big fuss?

Periscope allows users to live stream events from their phone to the entire world – as soon as an event occurs.

How does it work?

Periscope users can open up the world map, zoom into the location of the incident, and watch what’s unfolding through the eyes of anyone who’s there – recording through their smart phone.

What will it mean?

As of 2015, that means there are just over 2 billion potential personal camera crews stationed across the world ready to cover your crisis and stream it live to the world. Managing and limiting the reach of your crisis just morphed into an Everest like challenge for your communications team.

Is it really all doom and gloom?

No, not at all – Periscope could in fact provide a positive opportunity in crisis management if understood and strategically managed to your advantage.

How can you use it to your advantage?

Just as Periscope (and any other social media) can circulate bad news faster than you can say ‘crisis’, it can also spread good news as quick as you can say ‘crisis-averted’.

As soon as something goes wrong, everyone (from journalists and the general public to investors and partners) will be looking to management for what happens next and for all the latest information – the longer you leave them hanging, the more chance they’ll run with whatever other information is available to them. Why not try including a tool like Periscope as a part of your communications suite to get on the front foot and start owning the information that’s being distributed? It could be as simple as a quick one minute update from your Incident Controller or staff at the scene on what the current situation is, what you’re doing about it, and what you want your viewers to do. If you’re ever unsure, just remember our Briggs Communications simple 5 Step Response Model:

  1. Establish the facts

  2. What we know

  3. What we don’t know

  4. What we’re doing

  5. What we want you to do

Is Periscope just a fad?

It’s always hard to predict in what direction these new technologies will go, however the signs are promising for Periscope – in the week following their release on 26 March 2015, they had already signed up just over one million users. With Twitter now owning the app, Periscope will also have unprecedented access to the 302 million monthly active Twitter users – putting them light-years ahead of rivals such as Meerkat.

What’s the take-home message?

Communications technologies are evolving at a rapid rate and it’s essential for anyone involved in crisis management to, at the very least, be aware of how information may be distributed during a crisis.

The most advanced crisis communicators will not only be aware of how these technologies work but will strategically leverage them to their advantage.

Hopefully you’ve found this blog insightful – if you have any questions or comments about the latest communications technologies relevant to crisis management, including the best practice in managing them – please comment below or get in touch.

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