It's the start of the 2009 hurricane season, reminding many of the importance of business contingency planning. With more than 43 percent of the U.S. population now living in a hurricane zone - including thousands of credit union members - it's important to have a well-equipped and well-tested disaster communications plan, especially for credit unions operating in coastal areas. DigitalMailer is helping credit unions prepare by offering free webinars on incorporating online communications into their contingency plans. To view the scheduled dates and participate in the free crisis communications webinars visit http://www.digitalmailer.com/webinar.html.
"We know the key to any crisis plan is communication. But in emergencies, traditional communication methods may not be accessible or reliable," said Ron Daly, president/CEO of DigitalMailer. "Fast, accurate communication with members is vital, and we want to help credit unions ensure they can communicate during crises."
The webinars highlight lessons DigitalMailer has learned from helping credit unions launch crisis plans, as well as best practices that incorporate all types of digital communications. DigitalMailer, which works with a number of credit unions in hurricane-prone areas, provides a Crisis Management Notification System that helps automatically deliver messages to members and staff on whatever communication device is at hand. Many credit unions have used the email and text-messaging program to distribute critical messages during contingencies, including Shell Federal Credit Union and Keys Federal Credit Union.
Shell FCU in Deer Park, Texas, implemented its notification system last year in anticipation of Hurricane Ike, working with DigitalMailer to send email blasts to 50,000 members before and after the storm. The messages complemented Shell FCU's Web site -- MORE -- DigitalMailer offers webinar on crisis communication system June 8, 2009/Page Two notices and provided constant member and staff updates on operating hours, branches that remained open, shared-branching locations and other storm-related information. "We had prepared out options ahead of time and were ready when we needed to get the word out," said Angela Head, Shell FCU's VP of marketing and information systems.
Keys FCU in Key West, Fla., used the notification system twice in three weeks' time -first in the face of Tropical Storm Fay, and then again during the mandatory evacuation before Hurricane Ike. In both instances, the credit union relied on DigitalMailer to keep it in touch with its 15,000-plus members on its email list. "When branches are closing due to a looming hurricane, we attempt to get the work out to members through many different channels. And a big piece of our communications plan is sending email alerts," said Renee Travis, marketing director at Keys FCU.
According to Daly, hurricane season serves as a reminder to all businesses about the importance of having contingency plans. "Incorporating digital communications in these plans is a proven strategy," he says.
About DigitalMailer, Inc.
DigitalMailer, Inc. is a digital communication and e-marketing firm that provides clients the power to reach their members across multiple digital channels. A leader in building powerful online connections, the firm combines its technology know-how and online communication tools to create an affordable way for clients to drive profitable growth. For more information, contact DigitalMailer at (866) 994-4900, or visit www.digitalmailer.com.