Beside the emotion caused by the missing people and the damage the town suffered, this is a lesson of crisis management.
Crisis management is an important part of our training program. All organisations, be they public or private, have gone through crisis situations, or will have to go through them. And crisis never knocks before entering the organisation’s life. It is therefore important for us to have our students properly prepared to face such situations, as actions have to be undertaken in an emergency context, sometimes after two or three days with short resting time, and lucidity altered by pression.
But one of the main aspects of crisis management is crisis communication : what to say, when to say it and how to say it. And the Lake Megantic accident shows how social media, such as Facebook, can be a relation link. Not only for the local police to provide informations, but also to collect these from victims relatives through a website. This exchanging is mutually profitable, as it helps gathering informations on missing people, as well as showing out the citizenship of people which arises, and how they feel a part of a community in such tragic events.
Competitive Intelligence does not only exist behind the four walls of a classroom, but in the real world as well. This incident is a lesson as to how a crisis communication can be wisely managed.