Notification is Not Communication

July 23, 2007

Ever since the Virginia Tech tragedy in April, there has been a tremendous increase in interest in emergency notification. There is almost a sense of panic, so many seem so intent in putting emergency callout capability in place. This is positive in many respects because it is a strong indication that more are starting to understanding the growing expectation that today’s stakeholders have for DIRECT communication. When their lives are at risk, or what you are doing affects them, they want and expect to hear from you directly, not the media, not from blog sites, not second hand–directly from you.

But there is a lot wrong in this frenzied rush to buy notification solutions. We have bandied this about in our offices for weeks and with the prompting of Marc Mullen, my associate who drafted the first version of this paper, I finally put down what I think is wrong with the current thinking about emergency notifications.

Here is the White Paper.

I fully expect that those providing telecom-based notification services will disagree. Good, let the debate begin.

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2 Responses to “Notification is Not Communication”

  1. Chris Bothel Says:

    What institutions / corporations need to acclimate to is the paradigm shift that has taken place in the past couple of years. Just in the same way that music lovers expect that they can download music (via paid or other means), participants, whether active or passive in communication of said events, expect that their information be delivered in an immediate time frame. In news delivery cycles that rarely exceed hours, let alone minutes, it is literally a race between the stakeholders (working to preserve their message and accuracy) and the news outlets (working to increase readership and subsequently, advertising revenue as result of increased viewing).

    So the question to the institutions / corporations is not how fast can you deliver information but rather have you planned your communication in advance so that you can deliver that message in the DEMANDED time frame?

  2. L K Tucker Says:

    Communication of an emergency would not have been necessary if there had been communication of the problem that caused the shooting.

    Cho had created the “special circumstances” for Subliminal Distraction exposure. Had that been recognized the shooting would have never happened.


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