We hoped it was a joke. The plan was to get up very early on a Sunday morning so we could bring our daughter to camp. She’s been spending a month away each summer for 7 years and over that time made some great friends throughout the Southeast. Now one of those friends was calling at midnight.

The ‘news’ was the start of camp was being delayed: indefinitely . Twelve counselors had come down with the Flu. The “call” actually didn’t involve things like sound or telephone wires, her friend had sent a text. Quickly, the texting commenced among disappointed 14 year olds from Florida to Tennessee and the Carolinas to Georgia.

But still, nothing and nobody official had done or said anything. Of course anything official would be posted on the camp’s website? Nothing. Hope? And then it rang. The “home phone.” The one with wires that gets listed in a big fat phone book and whose # can be accessed through a request to 411.

About the time the phone was ringing our Blackberry’s dinged (we had taken them off of sleep mode) announcing a new e-mail. It was those e-mail updates that kept our family in anticipation mode for several days. When the counselor’s epidemic surpassed 40 staffers, at 10:45pm on Tuesday we received the news that camp was cancelled.

We received the news via e-mail. Prior to its arrival, the official announcement had leaked out from a quarantined counselor via text. From there it spread on twitter, My Space and Facebook.

At the same time, thousands of miles away in Iran, Social Media and viral messaging were protesting an election and playing a role in freedom vs. tyranny.

The camp (a not-for -profit business) chose to implement a crisis communications plan that essentially said each involved person gets one phone call and the rest is going to be electronic. What is your firm’s crisis communication plan?

In fact, why wait for a crisis or revolution.  What is your plan to communicate to the people that matter?

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