Concept of Emergency site if crisis strikes

Keeping the media, employees, the public and other stakeholders informed during a crisis can be the toughest challenge that communicators face. One way to keep all parties informed is through a dark site, an emergency site that launches the minute a crisis hits. Filled with the latest information about a crisis, a dark site is an effective way to reduce press calls and control rumors. But it only works, of course, if the site’s set up before crisis strikes.

Warfield’s team brainstormed all possible disasters (environmental and business) and possible audiences to determine what to put on the dark site. But they soon realized it was “a challenge to get approved language for different emergencies. Many didn’t exist, others were just hard to find.”

Take, for example, an ammonia plant leak. In parallel to creating the dark site, Warfield was working with Bayer’s local HES (health, environment, safety) group on an ammonia leak drill. The group had all the data and information on what to do in the event of an ammonia plant leak, plus background information on ammonia, but the information was not all in one place.

“We had chemical data sheets, siren and Berkeley Fire Department response levels, what information the employees need to know depending on the level of the leak, and when and what to notify our neighbors of—all in different manuals,” Warfield explains. “There were no comprehensive write-up or response documents.”

Similarly, Bayer took part in the City of Berkeley‘s planning process for a pandemic plan. “When it came to who the responsible group within Bayer would be, and ultimately who we would need to coordinate regarding messaging, there was internal politics regarding which department should take on the responsibility,” she says.

Tip: Don’t underestimate the time it will take for company executives and community groups to agree on who’s responsible for what information on the dark site.

What’s on the site?

Speed is crucial when crisis strikes; creating pre-filled templates containing approved language is key to handling a crisis successfully.

Warfield has pages built and ready to go live with minimal editing in the event of an emergency. “We have our pandemic content, ammonia leak and shelter information in place, plus content and templates created for letters from the leadership.”

Other content includes leadership statements, facts and figures, as well as contact pages. “Right now, we are focusing on natural and business emergency content for employees, neighbors and press,” adds Warfield.

Additionally, Warfield is taking advantage of free social media tools like YouTube and Flickr to post images of buildings and b-roll of facilities.

Looking back, the biggest surprise, says Warfield, wasn’t in the technological or business hurdles, but in the one place they felt most confident. “While all our plans look good on paper, we would have had to do a lot of legwork doing research on basic background information and getting text through review in the middle of the crisis, when our attention should be elsewhere,” she says.

What’s a placeholder site?

There is a Web site that inhabits the twilight zone between a regular site and a full-blown dark site but is still dedicated solely to crisis management. The placeholder is always active and holds general emergency information or resources.

Some examples: Berkeley and the University of California.

Source: Internal Communication |

Windows Skills: 16 Hidden Windows XP Goodies

Here are the few of the good windows featuring skills:

1. Installer music: Start –> Run –> “C:\Windows\system32\oobe\images\title.wma” –> OK
2. Hibernate: Start –> Turn Off Computer… –> press Shift key to change the “Stand By” button to “Hibernate”
3. Hidden Devices: Control Panel –> System –> Hardware –> Device Manager –> select “View” and Show hidden devices
4. Character Map: Start –> Run –> “charmap.exe” –> OK
5. Clipboard Viewer: Start –> Run –> “clipbrd.exe” –> OK
6. Dr Watson: Start –> Run –> “drwtsn32.exe” –> OK
7. IExpress Wizard: Start –> Run –> “iexpress.exe” –> OK
8. Old Windows Media Player 5.1: Start –> Run –> “mplay32.exe” –> OK
9. ODBC Data Source Administrator: Start –> Run –> “odbcad32.exe” –> OK
10. Object Packager: Start –> Run –> “packager.exe” –> OK
11. System Monitor: Start –> Run –> “perfmon.exe” –> OK
12. Network shared folder wizard: Start –> Run –> “shrpubw.exe” –> OK
13. File siganture verification tool: Start –> Run –> “sigverif.exe” –> OK
14. System Configuration Editor: Start –> Run –> “sysedit.exe” –> OK
15. Driver Verifier Manager: Start –> Run –> “verifier.exe” –> OK
16. Windows for Workgroups Chat: Start –> Run –> “winchat.exe” –> OK

Internet Explorer Vs Firefox Vs Chrome: Fight for the Preeminence on Browsing

They’re back! Just when you thought the “browser wars” were over, with the two camps – Microsoft and – settling in for a kind of intransigent détente, along comes Google to stir things up all over again.Clearly Google is unhappy with the current state of browser geopolitics and feels it needs to roll its own in order to ensure a robust base for its myriad hosted applications (e.g. Gmail, Google Docs, etc.)

To that end, Google has designed an almost completely new Web browser. In fact, other than the core rendering engine — which is based on the open-source WebKit standard of Safari fame — everything in Google Chrome constitutes a rethinking of how you engineer a browser application.  

Mozilla had already claimed its 3.1 version could outperform Chrome when it comes to speed (and most independent tests show it at least tying). Now, the engineers have incorporated Chrome-initiated options such as the ability to drag and drop tabs in and out of browser windows. The second alpha release also adds support for the HTML 5 video tag, which gives Web developers expanded options for embedding video within a page. Don’t forget, too, that Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 — released at the end of August and quickly eclipsed by Chrome’s introduction — is also vying for a piece of the pie.

Here’s a breakdown of the high and lowlights of each offering and where it stands as far as a full release.

Contender #1: Google Chrome

The status: Windows beta released September 2. Mac OS X and Linux versions still under development and said to be coming soon. No indication of targeted full release date.

The good:

  • Reliability. Chrome’s multiprocess architecture makes a bad Web page less likely to take down the whole browser.
  • Speed. Chrome loads fast and keeps your surfing super-fast.
  • Simplicity. Its clean design wastes no screen space.
  • Searching. The Omnibox lets you type search terms or URLs into a single spot and figures out what you want.
  • Privacy. Chrome offers an “Incognito” mode that lets you easily leave no footprints from where you’ve been.

The bad:

  • Privacy. Chrome’s taken a lot of heat for its monitoring and collection of user data, some of which happens before you even hit enter.
  • Security. It didn’t take long for users to discover vulnerabilities in the beta browser. Several of these have already been patched.
  • Reliability. Some sites and online services still don’t work with Chrome.
  • Consistency. Because Chrome is build on the WebKit system, it differs from the dominant platforms that most designers focus on.
  • Support. Chrome doesn’t yet have any add-ons or customization options available. It’s yet to be seen how these, once developed, will compare to the rich options available for Firefox. Continue reading “Internet Explorer Vs Firefox Vs Chrome: Fight for the Preeminence on Browsing”