The Boston Marathon has suffered a tragic set of events today that may turn out to be terrorism. During this time of crisis it becomes critical that the Marathon organizers provide information via their communications mediums – Twitter, Facebook, Blog or their home page.
So far, the Marathon has issued at least some communications since the events took place.
At an hour and twenty minutes out from the event the Boston Marathon had not posted a message to its audience.
Approximately 12 minutes after my tweet (coincidence, I am sure) to them, they updated their Twitter account.
The message should be short, clear and updated routinely to ensure that the audience continues to feel informed and reduces the speculation that might otherwise begin to circle.
Lack of information and fear have already driven increased security in Washington D.C., New York and in other high profile cities, despite the lack of knowledge that is publicly available. The better the information, the better the response! At this time the Boston Police Department is schedule to hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m., which is just two hours since the event began, but look for what can be said earlier.
My question for the Marathon organizers include:
Do they have a crisis communications plan?
Did it include explosions or terrorism as a possibility?
How often have they practiced their communications plan?
Do they have individuals identified to ensure that communications are fluid and accurate?
Did you have sample messages ready to issue in the event of an emergency that were all but approved?
Sincerely, hoping the human impact is not great.