Using Twitter in Disaster Recovery

By Jim Benlein, CISA, CISM

Simple. Direct. Effective. Fast. If asked, many credit unions will point to these as key reasons they use Twitter to connect and communicate with members. The fact that Twitter is simple, direct, effective and fast also points to why some Credit Unions are using it to communicate with their employees and have included Twitter as a connection point for employees in their business continuity plans.

Twitter provides options to create private (protected) accounts/tweets. With a protected/private account, only approved subscribers receive (e.g. can view) tweets, and re-tweets are limited. Using these tools, your credit union can create a Twitter account specifically tied to its continuity plan to provide employees with updates on important information.

The content of tweets during a disaster would depend on the nature of the incident, but could include meeting reminders; information on relocation or rally points; and status updates on recovery efforts. As with member Twitter communications, the credit union should develop a communication plan detailing the whats and whens of the Tweets that will be sent during a disaster.

Because tweets may contain sensitive or confidential information on operations during a disaster, the credit union needs an individual to keep up-to-date subscriber (employee) information (e.g., adding/removing employees who will get disaster recovery tweets and validating/updating contact info). Depending on the credit union’s size and staffing, this could be the same or a different person from the one responsible for actually sending tweets. The person sending tweets should be a designated member of the CU’s incident reponse or business continuity team.

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