An important topic addressed by the UIC security division in 2018 is crisis management and within this framework the first of three workshops was dedicated to crisis communication and social media.
Especially in crisis situations is it necessary for railway companies to inform the public quickly, but in an appropriate way and with reliable statements. Regarding the use of social media, the distribution of false or unvalidated information is a big challenge. To diminishing negative effects, a crisis communication plan is an essential element of crisis management.
What can, and should we communicate in a crisis situation to the public as well as to colleagues? What kind of communication channels are useful? What have we learned from past crisis situations? What should be considered for future ones? These were some of the questions discussed by around 50 participants of the UIC Workshop on Crisis Communication and Social Media.
Over the course of two days, participants from railway companies, first responders and the research area presented their communication strategies and their experiences. Also, different possibilities and solutions to improve communication within crisis situations were presented. One main aspect was the use of social media. In addition to the possibilities the participants also discussed the risks and challenges of them.
Thanks to the speakers and participants it was a very fruitful and lively workshop. Based on the results of this workshop and further interviews and research, the UIC security division will produce Crisis Communication Guidelines. The publication is planned after the 14th Security Congress, which will take place from 22 – 26 October 2018 in Slovenia and include the third workshop on blackout situations.
At the request of the members of the UIC security platform, Business Continuity Management (BCM) will be the next topic. Therefore, the UIC security division will organise a workshop during the upcoming UIC security week, planned from 18 – 22 June 2018 in Paris.