Internal enterprise social media during times of crisis

A lot of attention is being directed at the use of public social media during the London riots (for good and bad). But, if the experiences of my own company are anything to go by then its likely that organisations based in or with staff in the UK will have used internal social media to respond to the riots too.

Globally we used it to check in with our UK based colleagues, to make sure everyone was ok. If they needed our support, there was a channel already in operation for us to use.

Our London team also used internal social tools for dealing with the practical issues that the riots created, including:

  • Sharing updates about individual staff members who had been personally affected by the riots.
  • Rescheduling meetings and organising where and how people would work.
  • Responding to emerging situations, like changes to public transport.

While they didn’t need our help directly, because we work outloud we would have known quite quickly if that situation changed. Most importantly, being a global company doesn’t stop us from providing social support to our colleagues in times of crisis because we have the tools in place to connect with everyone who works for Dachis Group around the world.

And quite honestly, I can’t understand how some companies are still trying to deal with events like this without giving staff access to collaboration tools like social intranets, instant messaging and enterprise microblogging. No wonder, as we heard during the Queensland floods, that staff in some organisations were forced to resort to using public tools like Facebook to communicate and collaboration internally despite the risks (and all the more reason why governments should think carefully about how they might choose to censor social media, as it might impact on business and community services too).