More Power to the Neighbourhood
Cri-du-coeur for real communication as Cloud outage crashes confidence

Earthquake changes communications landscape

If there is an organisation left in New Zealand that has, post-February 22 - failed to appreciate the power and potential of online and social media then seriously - we need to talk.

The ferocity and scale of the second Christchurch earthquake meant that organisations were forced to leave 'old' communications processes behind and venture in to uncharted waters as the urgent need to communicate outweighed entrenched opinions of how 'communication' should be undertaken. 

I take my hat off to all those involved in the post-quake communication, many of whom were having to deal with both the professional and personal aftermath of the quake. 

For some, that meant learning to use 140 characters or less while under great stress, for others, it was simply about saying 'I don't know - but I'm finding out'. 

I would particularly salute Christchurch City Council's communications team and the many volunteer techies who built valuable and vital web platforms - sometimes in hours - so that people could access information that helped them towards the basic necessities of life.

Lots of people will, in the months to come, pontificate on what was good and what was bad, the lessons to be learned and so on.  As for me, I think that unless you have lived through such an experience, you can't legislate one way or another. Those involved have done the best possible job in extreme circumstances with what was to hand. 

Post-quake communications will continue to be vital for the Canterbury region for many years ahead, long after the world at large has switched its gaze elsewhere.  Christchurch communicators - and all of us involved  in this line of work - are in this for the long haul. So Kia kaha. And well done.