As an automated response system that provides definite information based on a perceived need, mass notification can provide information to a massive audience in a very short amount of time. A comprehensive mass notification platform can provide effective ways to handle emergencies and provide a definitive communication protocols that works across a network of identified recipients. This structure can potentially save lives and mitigates further damages Mass notification has received rave reviews about its wondrous benefits. Although, one might think if there are any flip side to it. Let us review the pros and cons of a Mass notification system being used for the public or in certain organizations.
1. Single point of contact
Certain organizations have put into a place a structure of their mass notification system but most fail to realize the importance of using multiple communication touchpoints. Auto-dialer module is inexpensive choice yet it lacks the multifunctional communication process that will facilitate numerous assimilation and transmission of notifications over an extensive spectrum of platform be it: mobile, desktop, digital billboards, emails etc. The flexibility of having an all-encompassing structure will increase the chances of sending and receiving real-time messages that can reach thousands or millions of people during an emergency.
2. System failures
Because of it being heavily-reliant to technology, Mass notification might encounter some glitches along the way. The system might have been bogged down or the web-interfaced might be hacked to some extent. This is a major limitation that Mass Notification needs to critically look into. What if the system suddenly broke down in the middle of a terrorist attack? Given technological innovation of today, mass notification system providers might have already given this some thought yet the probability of it being dysfunctional at the time of crisis remains to be one of the challenges that skeptics needs to surpass.
3. Signal coverage
Similar to system breakdown, there are areas that even satellite coverage cannot penetrate. Their might be areas where cell service is being blocked by certain infrastructures or simply the user’s location cannot be reached. This will limit their likelihood to receive any mass notification.
4. Outdated user profile
As notification system are associated with emergency events there are times that if such incidents do not occur, the system might experience some back seat especially with its list of target recipients. Many mass notification system requires their users to register in order to fast track information dissemination based on certain parameters set by the system, having an outdated list of users might not be helping when push comes to shove. Only then we realized that almost 70% of the users did not renew or have become idle that the remaining 30% experienced delays in accessing the message. Therefore, it is important to keep the list fresh and relevant so the active and existing users gets their fair share of information.
Although email and text messaging offer accessible costs for users, sophisticated mass notification system have a more premium price tag. Some just sign up for the sake of having a peace of mind that they are indeed enrolled in a program that provides timely messages during emergencies. Hence, additional fees are a big consideration for this elite subscriptions that can hinder people to consider signing up for. This principle does not only apply to individuals but also to certain companies or organizations and even countries who couldn’t care less.
With the enumerated list of disadvantages that Mass notification can have, at the end of the day, the decision to use it relies on how Plan B, C, D, etc. you have if the first plan does not work. Regardless which path you consider, a solid communication plan remains to be the backbone on how to provide quick notification to all contacts for the emergency response to succeed.