Communication teams in the UK have been working hard over the past day or so to prepare ‘storm comms’ before, during and after the St Jude storm (so-called because today is the feast day of St Jude).
Winds of up to 99mph hit parts of the UK this morning causing power outages in 140,000 homes, flash floods, fallen trees, cancelled flights, trains and ferries and a construction crane ended up on the roof of the Cabinet Office, Whitehall, London.
Putting it into perspective, it wasn’t as bad as initially feared and everywhere you look there is timely information being shared by businesses about what’s been happening and how their services are running, or will be.
The majority of people appear to be relatively unharmed, although unfortunately there have been a handful of reports about casualties, with a couple of fatalities.
Yesterday I published a crisis communication checklist to help comms pros assess their own business continuity plans (bcp) and get ready for this or future events.
From messages I’ve received today, it sounds like comms pros have done a sterling job communicating out of hours, putting plans into action and ensuring timely and accurate information is available for employees, customers and people affected by a change to business as usual.
I also spotted tweets like this from people who are on call (see my internal comms glossary for explanations of comms terms):
Highways, contact centre and comms teams ready. Hatches, house, garden and kids battened down. #storm #hopeitsnottoobad #oncall
— Jacqui McKinlay (@jacquimck) October 27, 2013
I regularly write about the fact the lines of communication are blurring between internal and external communication. The past 24 hours have highlighted that, with organisations taking to social media to communicate with their employees and give them advice about coming into work or staying at home.
I created a Storify of the tweets I spotted from businesses and universities, and you can see them below.
If you’re in the UK and this affects you, how have you communicated the storm? Have you used external channels for internal comms?
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Post author: Rachel Miller
Fascinating Rachel. And interesting that the vast majority appear to be public sector employees…
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