Category Archives: Phillipe Borremans

Social media and crisis communication–emerging trend

I’ve noticed some news stories lately about organizations using blog sites as crisis communications tools as well as other social media tools such as wikis. This is all very interesting and those who happen to be in London and interested in learning more should take advantage of this training session by Phillipe Borremans via Melcrum.

I learned about it via Chuck Wolf of Media Consultants who forwarded this link to conversationblog from Borremans, and this post has some links to examples of using social media tools.

Of course, from my perspective the use of social media tools for crisis communications was begun in 1999 with the development of PIER, the system I created and the company for which I serve as CEO. In many ways, this technology could be viewed as one of the earliest, if not the earliest 2.0 social media technologies. The very reason that Borremans’ recommends blogs (easy posting by non technical communications people) is one of the reasons why so many use PIER not just for crises, but for day to day communication. One of the really cool things about blogs and other social media tools is the high level of interaction–but PIER was created with the idea of push-pull-interactive communication all built into one platform, Using Surveys (quick easy survey forms), adding these to all posts, is one way of increasing the interactivity. The Inquiry Management function was designed way back then as a way of coordinating response to multiple comments and questions when a communicator or small team can be quickly overwhelmed–something blog sites which are designed for the lone blogger to manage–simply can’t do.

While we might reasonably make a claim to have pre-dated and pre-envisioned social media for crisis communications, nevertheless there is much we can and are learning from how these tools work. And what makes them such effective communication applications. I won’t get into announcing vapor ware here but stay tuned. If social media tools and their accessibility helps communicators understand both what is needed in today’s urgent communication world and how it can be done, then that is a great thing–including those of us who have been trying to carry that message for a long time.

Blog tag–It's my turn

I’ve been blog tagged. Don’t know what that is? I didn’t either until Google Alerts brought me to Shel Holtz’s blog “A Shel of My Former Self.” There I discovered I and four others had been tagged. Seems back on December 10 a blogger by the name of Jeff Pulver had the idea that it would be good to use blogs to get to know each other better. Actually, from his blog this game of blog tagging is not new, but he was the one that started this particular string. Tagging involves telling five things about yourself that others may not know, and then tagging five other bloggers to do the same.

Somewhere along the line, Shel Holtz got tagged, gave up his five secrets, and then tagged me. So, it is my turn. And for those of you on the bottom of this–now it will be your turn.

1) I’m a proud Dutchman. My father immigrated from the province of Friesland in the Netherlands in 1948 and all my grandparents are from the old country. I am also very proud of the role my grandparents and my dad played in helping the Dutch underground during the war by sheltering those running away from the Nazis–activity that put all their lives at risk and that has been beautifully told about in my dad’s book called “The Way It Was: Growing Up in Wartime Holland.”

2) My family is my great pride and joy–my wife Lynne to whom I have been married for 33 years, my son Chris and his wife Deborah (expecting their first baby in March), my son Geoff and his wife Amy with their two children, Emily and Ethan (and expecting their third later in 07), and daughter Ashley and her husband Gabe and their son Baron.

3) Although now in the crisis management business and founder of a crisis communication technology company, my roots are in the arts. I was a fine arts and drama major and taught fine arts, communication and drama at the university level for four years before getting into business. I still love to visit museums (the Getty is among my favorites) and also enjoy painting–our house is overloaded with my paintings.

4) Given the last item, some might find it surprising that I also greatly enjoy outdoor activities including gardening, hunting, fishing, (and even paintball!) In fact, I hope to finish out the old year spending some time tromping around some local woods with my bow and arrow in search of venison.

5) Finally, faith has always been a driving force in my life. It is an interesting time as the world struggles with the issues of truth, meaning and purpose–in ways that are sometimes inspiring and full of hope and at other times with bitterness, hatred and violence.

I now hereby tag the following:

 Brian Sibley

Jonathan Bernstein

Phillipe Borremans 

Patricia Goldschmid

Alan Jacobs