Social Media

Do you know the potential benefits and dangers of social media? How they can help in your continuity of operations efforts? How do you deal with the risks? This week's articles can help bring you up to date about this phenomenon that isn't just for kids anymore.

You have to understand and be able to manage social media's role in your organization. (Item #1)   Only 25% of businesses currently use social networks as a tool; here's why you should use them. (Item #2)   If you're not one of the businesses already using social media as a BC tool, you should be. (Item #3)  

If you're going to use social media, then you need to make sure to include it in your plan and test it before disaster strikes. (Item #4)   You do have to be able to control the use of social media in your organization in order to minimize the risks. (Item #5)   The use of social media guidelines can help prevent problems. (Item #6)  

As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Social media in business continuity management

This document sets out how social media is impacting business from the business continuity perspective. It argues that business continuity managers must recognize this issue as a new discipline which needs to be understood and managed within a business and not dismissed as passing teenage fad. Failure to do so could damage the reputation of the business and may lead to financial losses.

2. Why Businesses Should Use Social Media for Disaster Management

Though social media proved to be a great helping hand during the Haiti and the recent New Zealand earthquakes, there's still a long way to go before it becomes the preferred disaster recovery management tool amongst businesses. Janco Associates conducted a review of 215 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans and found that only 53 (25%) of them included social networks as a tool during the recovery process.

3. Social media to support business continuity

Three-quarters of organizations will use social media as part of their business continuity management (BCM) strategies by 2015 with communication during crises a key component of its role. According to Gartner, businesses are already tasking their BCM teams to assess the opportunities to use public social media platforms to support business continuity.

4. Five Ways to Use Social Media for Continuity of Business and Recovery

It seems that social media and emerging technologies, such as cloud commuting, can be utilized for disaster communications for small, and even larger businesses, as well as for disaster recovery. But remember that no system will work if you are doing it for the first time in the middle of a disaster: planning along with training and exercising are always the key.

5. Don't panic - it's only Facebook

Social media has the power to seriously disrupt the activities of any organization - but that does not mean it is something to be feared. Far from being something to fear and hide from, social media should be an important element in the crisis plan. Indeed, the rules for dealing with social media in a crisis are the same as those for crisis management generally, starting with proactive communications with key audiences to create a positive rapport before a crisis happens.

6. Intelligence-Based Business Continuity | Part 3: Social Media Guidelines

Social networking has made the barriers to information within an organization very porous; the employee is the main determinant in how information flows between the organization and the outside world. In a recent set of guidelines on the use of social media by federal agencies, the CIO council concluded that "The safe use of social media is fundamentally a behavioral issue, not a technology issue." Mitigation of the potential risks, therefore, requires the continuity planner to take steps to properly direct this behavior.

Quote of the Week:

"There's no need to re-create everything from scratch... Look at some of the early adopters, see what they've done and see if it makes sense for your organization. And then think about what you need to do to customize it."
-- Dave Fletcher
Utah chief technology officer

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Attainium Corp
15110 Gaffney Circle
Gainesville, VA 20155