Warnings: What Works, What Doesn't and Why


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Why are some warning messages followed, while others are ignored or misunderstood? Why do some messages make it through to your audience, whereas some do not? To create messages that are successful, it is important to understand both the characteristics of your audience - preferred modality, location, etc., as well as the characteristics of each of your messages. It is also necessary to ensure you have the right infrastructure to support your message delivery, during any type of incident.

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Warnings: What Works, What Doesn't and Why

  1. 1. Warnings: What Works, What Doesn’tand WhyDr. Robert Chandler, Ph.D.Director, University of FloridaMarc LadinChief Marketing Officer, Everbridge
  2. 2. About Everbridge• Everbridge empowers better decisions with interactive communications throughout the incident lifecycle to protect your most important assets• The world’s recognized leader in incident notification and management solutions• 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. l ti• More than 1,000 organizations in over 100 countries rely on Everbridge for their emergency needs 2
  3. 3. Agenda g Are you on Twitter? Follow us at @everbridge and t t@ b id d tweet t insights with your friends during the webinar using the hashtag #everbridgePart 1 PresentationP t 1: P t ti• Best practices for message construction• Communication planning tips and goals• Message delivery strategiesPart 2: Q&A 3
  4. 4. Note:Q&A Presentation slides are available on our Slideshare account at: http://www.slideshare.net/everbridge Use the Q&A function to submit your b it questions. 4
  5. 5. Bracing for the 2010 Warnings: What WorksHurricane Season Works, What Doesn’t and Why Dr. Dr Robert Chandler University of Central Florida
  6. 6. Warnings Often Fail to “Work” Work• Scientific research on the efficacy of warnings of risk began in the 1950s greatly expanded in the 1980s 1950s, due to the increasing number of product liability cases• In general, the empirical research findings bear out the theoretical and conceptual studies carried out by communication studies scholars as well as sociologists anthropologists and designers sociologists, anthropologists,• They demonstrate that the effect of a warning message on a persons behavior is unpredictable: although a warning can be noticed, read, and acted upon, it is just as likely to be missed ignored or have an effect upon missed, ignored, opposite to the one intended• Compliance is rarely found above 50% of participants, and in some cases it is lower th 25% i l than
  7. 7. No Automatic Compliance For Warnings• Studies demonstrate over and over again that there is no “sure fire” warning message that consistently ensures compliance• Risk warning communication — whether on consumer products, labels, signposts or documents —a re too often inadequate and ineffective, because their design does not take into account the many psychological and socio-psychological factors involved in producing an effective warning message These include (and there are others): • the number of warnings a person is exposed to • the past experience of the person • the motivation and interest of the person • the persons perception of the likelihood of the risk • the persons attitude toward risk • the perceived cost or effort involved in compliance (including actually reading the warning notice itself)
  8. 8. Guidelines and Key Message Factors• Risk communication messages are an important aspect for any response. Such messages are designed to communicate warnings, threats, consequences, dangers, consequences dangers and specific/general behavioral guidelines/requests to key audiences• These messages typically seek comprehension, understanding, and some level of behavioral compliance from the individuals targeted
  9. 9. Risk Warnings Often Fail to Warn• Unfortunately, warnings often fail to change peoples behavior. Either the warning goes unnoticed or as increasingly happens the warning is seen but unnoticed, or, happens, ignored• For many years, designers focused their years concern on sensory aspects of warnings: color, shape, location, pictures vs text size and so on vs. text, on. However, research suggests that effective warning messages depend as much on th contents of the viewers h the t t f th i head as on the contents of the warning message
  10. 10. Analyze the Target Audience• You can’t communicate effectively without understanding your intended audience and are able to predict how they will understand and respond to your messages: • Languages • V Vocabulary b l • Interpretation (including reading between the lines) • C Comprehension and d i i making h i d decision ki processes • Valence and Salience• There is no substitute for assessing and analyzing the people in the intended target audience how they would interpret a message, before releasing it t th world l i to the ld
  11. 11. Never Withhold Key Warning Information• One often hears "experts" predict mass panic in an emergency. Yet studies since the London blitz during World War II through the 9-11 events have shown that people behave responsibly, even bravely, in crises• The duty for risk disclosure outweighs the fear of negative response• Transparency and honesty builds your credibility and increases the likelihood that your messages will be received and considered
  12. 12. Warning EffectivenessThe problem with warnings is that they often fail to actually warn those at risk• Key for Effective Warnings • Deliver the Warning g • Attention to the Warning • Selection (elaboration) of the Warning • Valence • Salience • Perception/Processing of the Warning • Language • V Vocabulary b l • Decision-making orientations • Behavioral Reponses (Action) to the Warning
  13. 13. Ensure That You Connect With Your Audience• Achieving and sustainingeffective communication with your targetaudiences depends (in part) on selectingchannels (modalities) of communicationthat will reach them and allow them toreach back to you• There are options to enhance theeffectiveness and success ofcommunicating risk warning messagesincluding new emerging modalities• Consider both your messages andyour target audiences in selecting themost appropriate communicationnotification systems tifi ti t
  14. 14. Perception/Processing of the Warning• Once the warning is perceived, the respondent must properly understand its meaning• Warning messages should be clear and easily understood understood, but it is difficult to ensure clarity for several reasons; Sentences may be poorly constructed or contain words that are unfamiliar
  15. 15. Sometimes People Ignore Warnings • Another reason that warnings are often ineffective and misunderstood is that they are designed by people who already know about the hazard and are highly familiar with the events, processes, and procedures • These designers are too often unable to put themselves in the place of a naive user who approaches the product for the first time • Warnings should b t t d on t i l W i h ld be tested typical audiences in advance of an actual crisis or disaster
  16. 16. Behavioral Reponses to the Warning• Even if the respondent understands the warning they still may not comply• One common reason is that people perform a mental cost-benefit analysis where perceived likelihood and severity of the hazard are weighed against cost of compliance • Any factors which increase cost or reduce perceived risk (such as product familiarity) will hurt compliance • It is imperative to understand the decision making orientation of your target audiences in order to create messages with higher p p g g propensity to y trigger appropriate behavioral responses
  17. 17. Overload and Familiarity People who have experienced events or warnings many times with no negative consequences (and possibly ti ( d ibl know of other people who have had similar experiences) will be less likely to comply with warnings l ith i
  18. 18. Psychological Dispositions• People who see a warning must decide whether or not to comply, however, "warning targets" (people for whom the warning is intended) are not blanks slates but rather start with a mental framework that leads them to process information in particular ways• Warnings must “fit’ the g preconceived assumptions and expectations and frames of the audiences
  19. 19. More Effective Warning Messages• There is more to creating effective warnings than choosing the right modality, format, color, size, modality format color size location and font or even the right message• It is imperative to understand what the target audience member is trying to achieve and how the warning affects attainment of those goals • Crisis communication planners must consider the decision calculations that the respondent is likely to perform • Crisis communication planners must consider the audience experience and knowledge and how they interact with their social world
  20. 20. Tailor the Warning Message to Target the Audience A diIt makes little difference if you headed your warning with:orand put the wording of the warning in big bold print and placed it within ablack-bordered boxThese graphic devices may seem to you to make your warning noticeable top p ,people, but it does not appear to do so pp
  21. 21. Perception is Reality• A warning message is only perceived as a warning- when it is part of the “conversation” between the message and its audience• A warning must speak to the reader, reader taking into consideration: • The context of the warning • The placement of the warning • The content of the warning
  22. 22. Incident NotificationMarc LadinChief Marketing Officer, Everbridge 22
  23. 23. Incident Notification Solutions AddressCommon CC Communication Ch ll i ti 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 f t k l d t from capabilities biliti recipients • Ensure two-way • Deliver refined, prepared , refined communications to get timed messages to each pre- feedback from message designated audience group, by receivers scenario 23
  24. 24. The Everbridge AdvantageExisting Competitor’s Infrastructure: • Static algorithms based on capacity limitations, not actual call volumes li it ti t t l ll l during a disaster - Failure-prone from unexpected volumes of message output g - No ability to burst to meet wide-scale system usageThe Everbridge Advantage: • Near-infinite scale achieved - Multiple redundant VoiP & PSTN p providers - Elastic capacity accommodates highest volume of outbound calls in the industry
  25. 25. Everbridge’s Elastic Infrastructure ModelWhat 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 tifi ti d li d • Provable, measurable performance through Everbridge’s mass recipient em lator emulator
  26. 26. Key Evaluation Criteria for an Incident Notification System• Infrastructure scale and resilience• Experience and expertise• Ease of use• Ability to reach all contact paths including paths, voice, email, native SMS (over SMPP and SMTP), IM, and more• Ease of integration 26
  27. 27. Note:Q&A Presentation slides are available on our Slideshare account at: http://www.slideshare.net/everbridge Use the Q&A function to submit your b it questions. 27
  28. 28. Everbridge Resources On-Demand Webinars:Contact Information www.everbridge.com/webinars White papers, case studies and more www.everbridge.com/resources Follow us:Dr. Robert Chandler www.everbridge.com/blog @everbridgeRobert.chandler@ucf.edu facebook.com/everbridgeincMarc LadinMarc.ladin@everbridge.com Reminder Everbridge Insights webinars qualify for Continuing Education Activity Points (CEAPs) for DRII certifications. Visit www.drii.org to register your credit.Thank you for joining us today! Item Number (Schedule II): 26.3 Activity Group: A 1 Point for each webinar