SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente

News Feed Item

Disaster Simulations Led by the American Red Cross and Hill+Knowlton Strategies Prepare Organizations to React, Respond and Engage in Times of Crisis

The American Red Cross and Hill+Knowlton Strategies have partnered to provide a comprehensive simulation experience utilizing a sophisticated online dashboard that allows organizations to test and improve their communications response during times of disaster. The announcement was made today in Austin during a SXSW Interactive panel series hosted by Hill+Knowlton Strategies (Nano Size Me: The rise of the micro entrepreneur, the need for nano targeting and the power of one).

“Consequences of an organization’s conduct during a natural or man-made disaster have always lasted far beyond the conclusion of the crisis, but the evolution of digital communications channels makes that more true today than ever before,” said Josh Hendler, chief technology officer at Hill+Knowlton Strategies and architect of the Flight School: Disaster Preparedness platform. “Through social media, organizations have the power to influence public behavior at the level of the individual user, at the speed of light, in a time when every second counts. Communications teams must know how to manage the conversation if they want to play a meaningful role in helping people during a disaster, and protecting the long-term reputation and viability of their organization.”

“Helping individuals, families and communities know what do during an emergency is a key part of our disaster response efforts and a skill we exercise every day at the Red Cross,” said Laura Howe, vice president of public relations for the American Red Cross. “This partnership allows the Red Cross to share its communication knowledge and knowhow with other organizations responsible for keeping the public safe and informed during emergencies. It’s one more way we can work to keep communities safe.”

In a crisis — be it a natural disaster, or a situation where there is a threat to the health and safety of people and their possessions — the public needs meaningful and timely information so they can stay safe or lend a helping hand. This joint offering from the American Red Cross and H+K Strategies will empower local governments, first responders, health providers, financial institutions, utilities and other organizations to provide useful and actionable information to employees, customers and the public in a crisis situation.

“How an organization communicates with the public in these moments is about much more than its reputation or bottom line — it is about helping the individuals, families and communities that are affected,” said Robert Ludke, head of the H+K Strategies corporate advisory practice. “If an organization is committed to being a responsible actor in society, and being character-driven, it must be on the front lines of responding to a crisis.”

The American Red Cross’s communications and social teams work around the clock to facilitate relief efforts around the country. Winning numerous industry awards, ARC has continued breaking new ground on leveraging social and digital media in emergency response situations. H+K Strategies, a global communications consultancy with a long history of advising clients of all types in crisis scenarios, developed its Flight School platform to allow clients to experience, in a controlled setting, a realistic simulation of what happens in the event of a crisis.

Flight School: Disaster Preparedness helps:

  • Test internal social media policies, protocols and/or procedures for maximum effectiveness
  • Highlight strengths and priority areas for improvement
  • Build teams’ confidence in dealing with real issues and responding to likely disaster scenarios
  • Improve teamwork in a high-pressure situation, especially the unique challenges posed in responding to events generated by a natural disaster

How it works

Flight School uses a sophisticated online dashboard that simulates social and traditional media activity, live callers role-playing as reporters and third parties, and mobile integration via SMS alerts — all combining to create a fully immersive experience. Participants become players in a customized scenario that plays out across the news media, Twitter, Facebook, internal company communications channels and other popular platforms. It requires participants to engage and react rapidly in real time. From issuing a press release to responding to information requests via Twitter, H+K Strategies and ARC facilitators can monitor and evaluate participant reactions within a completely secure, private setting.

A team of trained ARC and H+K Strategies facilitators who have experience managing disaster response control the action behind the scenes, simulating public activity in a live setting. This lets the participants rehearse, in a closed environment, how best to respond to audiences on social and traditional media channels.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. The firm is headquartered in New York, with 88 offices in 49 countries, as well as an extensive associate network. The agency is part of WPP, the world’s largest communications services group. For more information, please visit www.hkstrategies.com.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big D...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Skytap blog on "DevOps Journal" exceeded 84,000 story reads. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that comp...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...