4 Tips to Avoid Alert Fatigue

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Utilizing Best Practices

In any organization, when an emergency alert goes out, the number one priority is to get people to read it. However, some organizations may find they are falling victim to alert fatigue. This happens when alerts are sent too frequently and for inconsequential purposes. This leads to people unsubscribing from receiving alerts or ignoring the alert when it is sent out.

This can have a negative impact on an organization’s duty of care. If people are not receiving or viewing critical safety information, they can be unintentionally put in harm’s way. It’s important to utilize best practices when deploying emergency notifications, whether it be a test or an actual alert, to avoid alert fatigue.

In this blog post, we’ll outline considerations every organization should take to make sure their emergency notifications have the greatest impact.

Be Selective

An emergency notification system requires time and planning to ensure effective deployment. That means knowing who receives what messages, and under what circumstances it will be used. Sending alerts via every communication channel to everyone for an emergency should only be done under extreme circumstances. Using this method for every emergency can contribute to alert fatigue.

Organizations need to carefully analyze the emergency situations they may encounter and determine the best means for sharing safety information. For some instances, it may make sense to only alert security personnel and high-level administrators, rather than the entire population. Some messages may only need to be sent as a text message, as opposed to using every communication channel.

The people an organization is trying to reach are already on the receiving end of so much noise, whether it’s phone calls, text messages, browsing the internet, or watching something on their TV, laptop or phone. It can be challenging to cut through that noise, especially if an organization is not selective about how it is sending emergency alerts. By being selective about who messages are sent to and when they are sent, organizations be more noticeable when it matters and avoid degrading the effectiveness of their alerts.

Leverage Every Method

If an organization finds that it is not reaching its desired population due to people unsubscribing, or simply ignoring messages when they are sent, it’s important to find ways to reach everyone that are not dependent upon signing up to be included as part of a systems mass messages. Emergency notification systems that leverage mobile and on-premises devices to get the word out are more likely to reach 100 percent of the desired population. In particular, leveraging on-premises devices, such as desk phones and desktop computers, to communicate emergency messages provide a more intrusive means of reaching people that are more difficult to ignore.

Understand why mobile-only alerts aren’t enough

Clearly Label Test Messages

Part of alert fatigue can come from sending too many test messages. When testing an emergency notification system, it’s important to review the messages before they are sent out. All messages should clearly state that a test is taking place, and should be done with a select group of people. The fact testing will be taking place should be communicated ahead of time so people can anticipate and participate in testing.

It’s also important to select a testing time that will cause the least amount of disruption for other ongoing activities. Pick a time when only those who are most critical for the test will be around. This will help minimize confusion, and won’t burden an organization’s population with repeated test messages.

Learn more about testing best practices

Use it for Everyday Purposes

One way to test regularly without contributing to alert fatigue is to find everyday uses for an emergency notification system. Mass communication tools can be used for tasks like school bells and regular announcements. This offers a measured means to continually ensure the emergency notification system is working properly, without bogging people down with unnecessary, and potentially alarming alerts.

Discover more ways to use your emergency notification system every day

 

 

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