THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Critical Communication in times of crisis

In 2020, the world has changed from discussing trade deals and climate change into a state of emergency due to Covid-19. We are collectively fighting a new virus which is unknown to the immune system.

During a global crisis, it is of utmost importance to secure that correct information reaches the public. This is well known in any crisis management guidelines – analyze, share information, create and uphold trust and keep a close relationship between your leaders and the public.

Trusted information via text messages

Sharing information requires not only information to share but also the means to do it. Today, there are many options to do this. Broadcast radio and TV, the web, apps, digital signs – the choices are many and every one of these has their optimal use. But in order to maximize the reach of the message, and to uphold trust with all, you need to ensure that you leverage the method which reaches everyone. SMS is that method that reaches everyone with no need to know about social networks, apps, web pages etc.

With proper procedures, the sender is trusted and the recipient will know that the sender is the one assumed and that the information is correct. By using SMS you will also see how many messages that has reached the intended recipient and keep track on your information sharing and the effect it has on the recipients.

When using SMS as a communication method, carefully crafted messages with trusted senders to secure authenticity and combat fraud is crucial.

 

Xolaris Civil Security

Our line of business provides the analytical and communicative tools necessary for authorities and governments around the world. We normally compete, but in times like these we are all eager to ensure that no means are spared to reach the public.

This short guide describes how you could provide the right information at the right time to the right person at the right place. We are using our application Real-time Emergency Analytics and Communication Tool, REACT™, as an example.

Introducing Xolaris REACT™

Xolaris REACT™ combines anonymous mobile data from operator networks, machine learning and historical movement data to provide guidance and situational awareness to help fight the spread of infectious diseases.

THE CRITICAL FORMULA

Mitigate – Prepare – Respond – Recover

When you are in the middle of a disaster scenario, the traditional workflow entails four steps; mitigate – prepare – respond – recover. A Covid-19 situation is very much the same, although in a different time scale than a bush fire, tornado or a tsunami.

Mitigate

Mitigate – Usually refers to the stage where you work to avoid a disaster, or minimize the potential impact of it. In a Covid-19 situation, this is where you would distribute information to all of the population, transmitting millions of messages to everyone that has a mobile phone, with the text adopted to the native language of the recipient.

The information being sent out can be regarding hygiene practices, staying at home and restricted areas.

Prepare

When the situation has escalated and the mitigation has reached its full potential, preparing the public is the next step. This could entail warning a particular region, directing potential patients to a certain hospital, sending out quarantine instructions or similar. A very powerful aspect here is also the capability to detect how many persons that are in a particular geographical region to dimension your health care capacity properly.

For example, sending messages to the citizens of Stockholm that “Älvsjömässan” is now the place to go to for Covid-19 symptoms. Also, warn and inform a certain demographic, such as elderly people.

Respond

During the actual event. What can the authority say, do, direct so that the public is ensured of the governments’ capabilities, sense of urgency and long-term trust? The message could be directed towards very distinct narrow regions, a part of a city, alerting people that is violating curfews, request volunteers, report on progress in terms of reduced number of persons in intensive care etc.

The communication during the peak of the pandemic event can have a monumental impact on how the public behave and securing the means to do so and reach everyone is crucial.

As an example, you can message people travelling on a road going out of the city, hence violating the curfew.

Recover

This is in the aftermath of the event. When we have passed the critical stages and are aiming to recover as quickly as possible. Sharing the progress and the outlook moving forward can be a very powerful tool to inspire and enlighten the public of the way forward.

This is where you would inform about the removal of restricting regulations on movement, when you can monitor in real-time how people are starting to gather in larger groups, and how traffic patterns are emerging again, perhaps in a new way compared to before the event.

All healthcare personnel in a particular region can lower their readiness, or that quarantine is removed from the inner city.

SUMMARY

Critical Communication in times of crisis

Precise and reliable communication is the number one tool in a state of emergency to mitigate mass panic and ensure trust through information sharing between the authorities and the public. Leveraging the power of systems like REACT ™ is essential in a time of crisis and we are eager to help in whatever capacity we can.

Covid-19 could be the biggest challenge of our lifetime and only by working together, using all our skills, our innovation, our compassion and our solidarity, will we win the fight against the virus and enable our societies to flourish again.

We’re here to help out. Get in touch.