For many people the holiday season is a chance to relax, take time off, and enjoy themselves with family and friends.
Emergency services and other public sector organisations however don’t always enjoy that same opportunity to switch off for two weeks at the end of December, but how can you best prepare so that you can enjoy your well earned days off?
Who is covering your communications channels on which days? Are they all comfortable with their role? You’ll enjoy your time off more if you are confident your team have everything they need to manage in your absence.
Check before shutting down and make sure there are contingencies in place to cover any concerns. And keep it simple - is there one central place for public information that everyone can update if the worst should happen?
Is everyone clear what the sign-off process is? How will potential issues be shared with the team? Set up a clear system now, test it out, and again your time off will be less stressful.
Now is a good time to review your admins and teams in MusterPoint and any other tools that you use - can everyone post and engage from the accounts that they need so that everything is covered throughout the holiday period?
Did you know MusterPoint has a training mode, and access to each of your individual social media channels can be changed at any time? You can easily moderate posts and assign and triage incoming social media enquiries.
Is everyone clear how to suspend or delete them if something happens and they are no longer appropriate? Make sure everyone knows exactly what's scheduled and when so that they can identify potential conflicts of interest quickly.
MusterPoint has a one click suspension button which means all you have to do is click once to stop all of your scheduled messages going out to many accounts. This saves you time and potential embarrassment and you can go back to review and edit when things have calmed down.
It’s easier to prepare in peace time, as the saying goes, and things will certainly be less fraught over the holiday period if you’ve drafted potential messages for likely scenarios. These might be day-to-day events or it could be preparing for bad weather, heavy traffic, or other incidents you know are possible.
There are sure to be events and incidents that happen regularly at this time of year, so identify your pain points ahead of time and get any messaging signed off in advance so you don't have to chase approval at the last minute and can prepare the messages for each of your profiles ahead of time.
Are all the contact details up to date on your emergency details crib sheet? Does everyone have a hard copy to take away with them? Is the chain of contact clear?
Organisational and media contact details change so frequently and it's often the last thing to be checked. A quick email to everyone to confirm their preferred contact method takes no time at all. Just because they have a work issued phone, will it actually work if they are travelling? Can you get hold of someone if they aren't at home? Check it before it's too late.
Communications and customer service may not be the only teams working at reduced capacity over the holiday period so if you know other services and teams run their own social media accounts check in with them to make sure they’ve put plans in place too, and their details are on your contact sheet should you need to push messages out through their profiles.
We hope you do get some down time over the next few weeks. Assuming you don’t have to deal with incidents or emergencies, why not spend time reflecting on this year? What’s worked well and what could be improved in 2020? Now is the time to take a look back so you can prepare for the year ahead.
2019 was unpredictable and challenging to say the least, but there were some definite opportunities for learning so take all that is positive from this whirlwind of a year and make 2020 even better.
If you didn't get a chance to take a look at MusterPoint and see how we can help you with managing your social media, media handling, archiving and crisis simulations - why not sign up for a free trial to get you off to a flying start when you’re back in the office. Need to see more? Book a quick online walkthrough
Wishing you all a happy holidays!