« Return to Blog

Emergencies, Social Media and Web Design

Twitter yesterday announced that they will be introducing emergency alerts to the UK and Ireland. This move, announced by UK rep Steve Summers, is intended to help emergency services to communicate more urgently in situations of crisis.

The premise of emergency alerts is really very simple. A government agency signs up to the scheme, and simply adds the hashtag #alert to a tweet. The tweet will then include an orange bell graphic to signify that it is an emergency alert. There is also expected to be text-based functionality for those who want messages sent directly to their phone.

There are currently 57 organisations who have signed up to the programme, including many of the UK’s police forces, the Environment Agency and the Mayor of London. These organisations are all active Twitter users, and it is hoped that emergency alerts will help to make them even more effective in addressing crisis situations.

Getting fast and accurate information to the public in a major incident or terrorist attack really could make a life-saving difference. Using social networking sites, including Twitter, gives us additional ways to talk directly to the public. Twitter Alerts means that our messages will stand out when it most matters.” David Martin, Metropolitan Police Service Commander

Social Media and Web Design

The introduction of emergency alerts simply confirms what we already know: that social media is arguably the most immediate way to communicate a message to an almost limitless audience. It’s no secret that mainstream media and news agencies have been using social media for a number of years in order to break news as quickly as possible. It was only really a matter of time until other organisations began to harness the enormous broadcasting power of social media.

As a London website design company we’re particularly interested in Twitter’s introduction of emergency alerts. We’re convinced that these measures will help to bring greater safety to our city. We’re also increasingly aware of the importance that social media carries for our web design clients.

The 57 organisations who have signed up to Twitter emergency alerts have done so because they know that it is probably the quickest way to spread news across a city, region or even nation. This has already been demonstrated in the US when gunshots were heard on Capitol Hill and to warn of Tornado threats in New Jersey.

As a web design agency we advise all of our clients that social media gives businesses a platform to communicate instantly with a wide range of clients, customers and followers. It’s rapid, effective and it’s free.

It goes without saying that every organisation is different. These emergency services have identified the most effective social media strategy to help them achieve their goals. We encourage all of our website design clients to do likewise; by working out what messages you need to communicate and who needs to hear them, you’ll become more effective in your use of social media and spread the news about your organisation.