An interesting story went by yesterday in the news and it underlines the importance of Media control in the event of a disaster.  When we do Business Continuity planning for our clients we underline the importance of getting the right message out to their customers.  If you let the media build the emergency, they will make it seem much worse than it really is, as they have to fill time on their programming and let’s face it, sensational news sells!

So, the scenario… On Sunday a passenger train was returning to Ottawa and had a mechanical fire about 40 minutes south of town. The article filed by the reporter, who happened to be on the train, makes the entire evacuation process sound terrifying.  A couple of things to keep in mind; first, nobody was hurt and second, there hasn’t been any sort of rebuttal from VIA rail (the train company).

How does this impact your business continuity planning?

One of the key pieces of Business Continuity Planning is minimizing the impact on your customer base (current or future).  In this case VIA should have had press releases plastered all over the news feeds about their fast response in having busses and trucks to evacuate people.  Instead we hear nothing.  The most prominent message we have is that the passengers had to walk down tracks in the dark while fending off bugs.

It’s been more than 15 years since I’ve been on a train and this story doesn’t make me want to rush out and take one anytime soon!  I realize that I might not be the majority, but in the constant market share war for new customers, VIA missed an excellent opportunity to highlight their fast response and possibly gain new customers. I, however, will continue to fly!

About KingsBridge

KingsBridgeBCP offers businesses of all sizes BCP Software Solutions and industry know how based on best practices.  We help build, exercise, and maintain Business Continuity Plans. Our services and software packages are customized to meet the wide range of our customers’ needs, ensuring we deliver the best value in every project. To learn more click here or check out our Services.

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