The One Component of Mass Notification Every Organization Forgets

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What Every Organization Forgets

When organizations look to implement a mass notification system, it is easy to get distracted by flashy features. The truth is, that many of those features never end up getting used, either due to the complexity of setup or because setting up those features becomes a low priority as other projects take precedence. At best these features become a distraction, hindering organizations from configuring their mass notification system to perform as effectively as possible. This can cause them to lose sight of the true purpose of implementing a mass notification system: spurring people to take action.

It’s not just about creating a message and getting it out. It’s about delivering messages that reach people as quickly as possible in a way that gets them to stop what they’re doing, take notice, and follow the instructions that are being communicated to them. That means leveraging a system that delivers notifications that can’t be ignored.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through how to create and deliver effective notifications that compels people to action so they can stay out of harm’s way.

Get Alerts Out of People’s Pockets

There’s a simple reason many alerts get ignored. People either don’t see the alert or they don’t hear it. That’s because many organizations rely on mass email or SMS text messages to deliver alerts to only mobile devices. On the surface, this may seem like an effective method to get people’s attention since most people are often within reach of their cell phones. However, this method of delivering critical messages doesn’t take into account several factors.

For one, many people keep their phones on silent. In fact, a survey by Android Authority revealed that less than 50 percent of people actively use a ring tone on their cell phones. That means when a text message or email is sent, there is no immediacy for seeing what the message says. It’s up to the recipient to be looking at their phone at the right time, and that highlights the second issue. Even though a survey by Reviews.org brings to light that people check their phones as much as 262 times per day, it doesn’t mean people are looking at their phones all the time. Phones could be in someone’s pocket, left at their desk, in a briefcase, or somewhere else out of sight, preventing them from seeing information the moment it is delivered. In critical situations, every second matters, and by passively sending out messages that may or may not get read, precious time could be wasted which puts people at risk.

Using More Devices Reaches More People

So how do you overcome this obstacle? The best way is by leveraging more than one or two communication channels to deliver your message. That’s where many mass notification systems fall short. They’re designed to deliver a single message to a large group of people using one specific channel. Often solutions will augment this shortcoming by offering additional third-party integrations, but that means more systems to manage and more investments in technology that you’re not sure will be effective.

A complete solution for mass notification will give you the ability to connect with all your communication tools so when an emergency occurs, you’re able to leverage every available channel to get the word out. It’s also important to look for mass notification systems that offer multiple delivery methods, so you’re not just relying on text. Using a mix of intrusive audio, text, imagery, and visual cues all help interrupt ongoing activities so people can focus on the information being relayed to them.

Mass notification solutions that leverage desk phones, IP speakers, overhead paging systems, desktop computers, digital signage, lighting, and mobile phones can greatly expand the reach of your message and penetrate even the hard-to-reach areas of your facilities. The more communication channels you can use, the more likely it is that someone will see a message quickly and begin taking appropriate action.

Keep Everyone on the Same Page

When you can leverage all your communication channels, you not only help ensure people take action but that everyone is taking the same actions. Delivering clear and consistent messaging reduces confusion and panic and means spending less time answering questions, and more time helping to resolve the situation. It also helps emphasize the seriousness of the event and diminishes the chances that people think it is just a drill or unimportant.

Organizations that keep this goal at the forefront of their safety and communication plans will achieve better outcomes when trying to protect their people.

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