VPNs: The Crisis Communication Plan for Technology Failure
Yesterday at HMA World Headquarters, our technology decided to take the day off. Two of my colleagues’ computers went on the fritz, operating so slowly that there was zero to little chance that any work got done on them. And while our information technology systems company is quite adequate, even they were having a tough time pegging down the problem.
While frustrating, these situations, along with the convenience of being able to work at home, is where our VPN comes into play.
As a PR agency, we are constantly advising our clients to create and/or update their crisis communications plans. While we hope that nothing detrimental ever happens to threaten our clients’ reputations, there are certain situations that are out of our control—similar to this technology failure. And these are the exact moments we consult our crisis communications plans.
In this particular instance, that plan revolves around our VPN—a beautiful technological invention that allows us as PR pros, who are never not busy, to access our database, create our releases, generate social media content and pull information necessary to help us produce knock-out pitches, securing media coverage for our clients, all from the comfort of our homes!
So, while the dark cloud of technological tragedy loomed above HMA’s office yesterday, my colleagues were able to plug away using our VPN with only the slightest break in productivity. This mini crisis proved two things: 1. PR pros also need to have a crisis plan in place and 2. We sure know how to adapt! The latter may be one of the most important traits for a PR pro to have.
Have you ever experience a technological crisis in the workplace? If so, how do you and your coworkers handle it? And does your company have a set plan in place or do you just roll with the punches?