How and why 7-Eleven and other companies are improving their crisis communication skills


Last week, Loss Prevention Magazine announced that 7-Eleven will soon be rolling out a new technology-based emergency notification system that will do a better and faster job of alerting store associates to local crisis situations such as a active shooting event or civil unrest. With this information, employees can then follow appropriate safety procedures.

7-Eleven and other companies know that when a crisis strikes, they cannot afford to waste time dealing with it or communicating with workers about the situation. Much can depend on what they are doing, how they are doing it, and when they are doing it.

“Mass communication is the key”

Stacy Rosenberg, Associate Professor at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, said: “In a crisis, such as a cyberattack or natural disaster, mass communication is key. Businesses need to have upgraded systems that use cross-platform approaches.

“Emergency notification software allows an alert to reach large, disparate distribution lists via computer screen pop-ups, email, automated voicemail and SMS virtually simultaneously to ensure receipt alert. This multiplatform method is all the more important as the contact details of the employees are not always up to date, ”she underlined.

“How, technically, to raise an alert is not the only consideration for a company. Leaders also need to make sure employees know how to respond to the crisis to ensure safety and avoid losses. Having an emergency operations plan that employees can implement in the event of a crisis is necessary in conjunction with advanced emergency alert capabilities, ”Rosenberg advised.

Fast and effective

Jonathan Kingsley is the Chief Information Security Officer at Orbit. He said: “One of the most effective tools we’ve found in incident response has been real-time communication tools like Slack, especially when it comes to educating the company about the issue. broad sense to incidents quickly and efficiently.

“No security team is an island, and we found very quickly that by providing broader information on active incidents, we were actually able to uncover root causes and side effects much faster than we wouldn’t have done it the conventional way, ”Kingsley said.

Advantages of video

Shiv Gupta, Marketing Director of Incrementors Web Solutions, said: “With all the technology currently available, there is no justification for not connecting with your team. [by] video. There is a qualitative distinction in the communication that occurs. You will not only be able to perceive the emotions through the appearance of the face and the style of the body, but you will gain information that will allow you to connect on a more intimate level.

Pivot to employee apps

Morgan Baden, executive vice president of communications strategy and writing at SPI Group, said she had “seen many companies turn to employee apps and mobile intranets in direct response to the boom in remote and hybrid work, and these tools are also ideal in times of crisis. communications.

“For example, if a company has an employee app that includes push notifications, employees everywhere (including those off-site or at home) can be notified of important messages from leaders with just a few clicks on the back. end. Social tools like Yammer and Microsoft Teams are also great for crisis communications because employees can access them on both desktop and mobile, which is why it’s so essential for businesses to include tools like this in their corporate culture, ”Baden noted. .


Wayne Brackin is President and CEO of KIDZ Medical Services, Emergency Pediatric Services and AIRZ Medical Charters. He noted that, “From a practical point of view, mass emailing to all members of [our] team has proven to be exceptionally helpful. He noted that “99% of the staff have their cell phone as a receiving device and usually take it with them 24/7. There are companies that provide the support needed to make this easy to implement. It can be tinkering with your internal IT depending on the size of the organization.

Silver lining

“In this pandemic, there have been some glimmers of hope for KIDZ Medical. Routine company-wide communication was rare, ”said Barkin. “It turned out so well that the team demanded that it remain a permanent part of management practices. Not only has this been effective for pandemic communications, mass email has dramatically improved teamwork in an organization that operates 30 locations. [within] a range of 200 miles, ”he said.

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