Incident Notification Message Anatomy 101


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What are the four components of an effective incident notification message? How about the DA 4 - 3 & 30 - 60 & 6 rule? If not, then it is possible that your recipients are not sure what you are trying to say when reading your messages.

Are you concerned about planning your messages, when to send them, and how to make them clear and concise? From seasoned veterans to newbies, we could all use a refresher class every now and then when it comes to something as critical as incident notification.

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Incident Notification Message Anatomy 101

  1. 1. Incident Notification Message Anatomy 101 Robert Chandler, Ph.D. Director of the Nicholson School, University of Central Florida Marc Ladin Chief Marketing Officer, Everbridge
  2. 2. About Everbridge• Everbridge empowers better decisions with interactive communications throughout the incident lifecycle to protect your most important assets• Recognized in the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant on Emergency / Mass Notification as a Leader in the industry• Everbridge helps more than 30 million people communicate in a crisis and connect on a daily basis.• The company’s notification platform is backed by an elastic infrastructure model that delivers near infinite scale, advanced mobile connectivity, and real-time reporting and analytics.• More than 1,000 organizations in over 100 countries rely on Everbridge for their emergency needs 2
  3. 3. AgendaAgendaPart 1: Presentation • How to address todays notification challenges • Fundamental rules you need to know to create effective messages • Best practices for incident messagingPart 2: Q&AAre you on Twitter? Follow us at @everbridge andtweet insights with your friends during the webinarusing the hashtag #everbridge 3
  4. 4. Q&ANote:Presentation slides are available on our blogat Use the Q&A function to submit your questions. 4
  5. 5. Bracing for the 2010 Incident Notification MessageHurricane Season Anatomy 101 Dr. Robert Chandler University of Central Florida
  6. 6. Communication since the dawn of time “ “ Early humans probably adapted warning calls and cries to alert one another of potential dangers (e.g., predators or natural disasters) once they banded together in social groups, much like other species of mammals still do to this day Dr. Robert C. Chandler Emergency Notification (2010) p.20
  7. 7. Challenges for effective notification
  8. 8. Expectations of the communicationaudience• Information• Financial impact• Safety• Organizational responsibility• Causation• Consequences and effects• Projections for recovery• Return to normal operations
  9. 9. Four challenges unique to emergencycommunication1. Impact of technology breakdown2. Extraordinarily high levels of stress3. Events occur rapidly4. Aggressive demands for information and analysis from the media and the public
  10. 10. The main categories of incidentcommunication issues Participation Barriers C-3 Inefficiencies Collaboration Issues • Command • Control • Coordination Information Quality and Communication
  11. 11. The crux of the notification challenge “ “ Contacting the right people at the right time with the right message is the basic challenge for effective emergency notification. Dr. Robert C. Chandler Emergency Notification (2010) p.153
  12. 12. What helps counter these challenges?• Recognizing management and communication challenges• Analyzing your audience• Looking at ways to improve your crisis communication plan
  13. 13. Communication Processing Impairment Low Stress High Stress Info processed at Recipients Recipients Info processed at -4 grade process average process average average grade (average) levels of 7 messages of 3 messages level (about 10th from low stress per Grade in general per (about 6th grade communication population) communication in general episode episode population) Cognitive Abilities Normal<-------------------- Diminished Routine misinterpretation Increased Confused Routine misunderstandings Inability to focus Assumptions Easily distracted Sequential Errors Increased Misinterpretation Increased Misunderstandings Unable to complete complex critical thinking Robert C. Chandler, Ph.D. © 2010
  14. 14. The good and the bad ofincident notification
  15. 15. Effective communication strategies• Be first, be right, be credible• Acknowledge with empathy• Explain and inform about risk• Describe what you know, don’t know, and what you’re doing about it• Commit to continued communication• Keep communication channels open
  16. 16. How information is processed• Cognitive processing capabilities and stress, distress, and duress• Perceived risk changes• Information loading (cognitive limits)• Attitude-behavioral consistency theory• Uncertainty reduction theory• Situation awareness• Selective attention• Reaction time changes
  17. 17. How information is processed Determine what and how you should communicate by assessing how people understand, interpret, and act on messages during critical events.
  18. 18. Reaction timeFactors that affect reaction time include: • Recognition • Choice • Number of stimuli • Fatigue • Reasoning • Remembering • Imagining • Learning
  19. 19. Four basic functions an incidentnotification message must meet 1. Information 2. Meta-message 3. Behavioral request and instructions 4. Feedback request
  20. 20. Four components of effective emergencynotification messages Information Urgency Message Instructions Confirmation
  21. 21. Anatomy of an emergencynotification message DA 4 - 3 & 30 - 60 & 6 Danger - Action Structure 4 Key Components 3 sentences & 30 words 60 readability score & 6th grade reading level(Chandler Method)
  22. 22. More effective emergency notificationmessages• Front-load key information into the first 30 words/30 seconds• Be sensitive to the needs of different demographic groups including languages, co-cultural groups, needs agenda, etc.
  23. 23. Chandler 60 & 6 Rule• Research indicates that the typical person’s reading comprehensive levels drop about 4 grade levels during emergencies and crisis situations• For the general population – the closer you can write to the 6th grade reading level the more comprehension and understanding can be forecast during emergency situations
  24. 24. Chandler 60 & 6 Rule• The reading ease scores provide a baseline from which we can judge the relative ease that an individual will be able to easily read our messages (during an emergency)• The higher the score the easier the message is to read (for the general population, the optimal zone would be a score of at least 60 – to the highest, which is 120)• One dimension of effective emergency communication is to write (and revise) in ways that provide the right mix of readability ease and reading grade level
  25. 25. Six Stages of a Communication Crisis Crisis Lifecycle Analysis: What do we communicate, when, and how do we say it?
  27. 27. Example communication:NASA Facebook PageNASAs Hurricane Web PageSO. INDIAN OCEAN - Were watching System 97S today. This TRMM satellite imagefrom yesterday (4/4) shows some heavy rainfall (red) southwest of the center. Today, thecenter has moved east over Madagascar. Max. sustained winds near 20 knots, 1007millibars. Center near 171 South, 43.5 East. Currently 97S has a low chance ofdevelopment, because of its interaction with land (its over Madagascar)- which you cansee in this METSAT image from today:NASAs Hurricane Web PageNovember 11, 2011ATLANTIC*Update*- Tropical Storm Sean at 8 am AST was about 80 miles NNW ofBermuda with max. winds near 60 mph **Sean has sped up and is moving to the NE at22 mph. Pressure: 989 mb. This GOES-13 image from 9am EST shows the swirl ofclouds that is Sean. 27
  28. 28. Incident NotificationMarc LadinChief Marketing Officer, Everbridge 28
  29. 29. Incident Notification Solutions AddressCommon Communication Challenges • Reduce miscommunications • Communicate quickly, easily, and control rumors with and efficiently with large accurate, consistent messages numbers of people in minutes, not hours, making sure that the • Satisfy regulatory lines of communication are open requirements with extensive and complete reporting of • Receive feedback from your communication attempts and messages by using polling two-way acknowledgements from capabilities recipients • Ensure two-way • Deliver refined, prepared , communications to get timed messages to each pre- feedback from message designated audience group, by receivers scenario 29
  30. 30. Everbridge AdvantagesExisting Notification Vendor’sInfrastructure: • Static algorithms based on capacity limitations, not actual call volumes during a disaster - Failure-prone from unexpected volumes of message output - No ability to burst to meet wide-scale system usageThe Everbridge Advantage: • Near-infinite scale achieved - Multiple redundant VoiP & PSTN providers - Elastic capacity accommodates highest volume of outbound calls in the industry
  31. 31. Everbridge’s Elastic Infrastructure Model • What is it? • Elastic infrastructure integrates with multiple, redundant on- demand communications providers • Provides near infinite scale, capacity, performance and processing resources • Dynamically looking into performance and proactively enhance the performance of notifications delivered • Provable, measurable performance through Everbridge’s mass recipient emulator
  32. 32. Advanced Connectivity for a Mobile World• Communicate from anywhere, • Support for popular mobile under any circumstances or platforms (Apple iOS, Android, & conditions BlackBerry)• Low-bandwidth optimized to ensure delivery in adverse conditions 32
  33. 33. Note:Q&A Presentation slides are available on our blog at Use the Q&A function to submit your questions. 33
  34. 34. Contact InformationThank you for joining us today!Dr. Robert ChandlerRobert.chandler@ucf.eduMarc Everbridge Resources On-Demand Webinars: White papers, case studies and moreReminder Insights webinarsqualify for Continuing EducationActivity Points (CEAPs) for DRII Follow us:certifications. Visit www.drii.orgto register your credit. @everbridgeItem Number (Schedule II): 26.3Activity Group: A Point for each webinar