Crisis Management Enhancing Consumer Safety

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    U.S. CPSC putting social media and e-comms to work to better protect the public

    Just yesterday we ran a post applauding the crisis management efforts put forth by FEMA’s, and now we have another example of excellent crisis communications to share, this time from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. These are the guys responsible for many major products recalls, so they definitely have some important information to share, and they’re taking full advantage of electronic communications and social media to do it.

    Check out the email we received as members of the recall information list:

    When we first launched CPSC recall e-mails, many other electronic forms of communications didn’t exist.
    Now that so many of you receive information in multiple ways, we want to make sure you know all the ways you can receive recall information from CPSC.

    1. Twitter @OnSafety: We post nearly all recalls and all news releases on our Twitter feed. You’ll also receive important safety messages, tips and other information. Url:

    2. Flickr: Photos are a priority for us, as they help you identify if you own a recalled product. You can find the photos of many recalled products on our Flickr page.

    3. Google+: CPSC recently launched a page on Google+. We are still experimenting with how many recalls we post on this page and are open your thoughts on what you want to see here. For now, we’re posting Recall Roundups and some of our larger recalls on Google.

    In addition to these social media platforms CPSC posts all recalls on its website. Recalls and Consumer Safety Reports. We encourage you to search for products you own or are thinking of buying to see what others have told us about those products.


    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in
    receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to a
    product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please
    tell us about your experience with the product on

    Media Contact
    Please use the phone numbers below for all media requests.
    Phone: (301) 504-7908
    Spanish: (301) 504-7800

    CPSC Consumer Information Hotline
    Contact us at this toll-free number if you have questions about a recall:
    800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)
    Times: 8 a.m. ? 5:30 p.m. ET; Messages can be left anytime
    Call to get product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe products.

    Impressed yet? We can tell you from experience, that the vast majority of organizations out there are barely communicating at all, much less doing it via three of the most popular social media platforms in addition to phone and email. The best part? Consumer Safety has realized that making communication a two-way street is crucial to crisis management and has made efforts to not only be able to easily share information but receive it as well. Heck, they even make it simple for members of the media, who will be far less likely to report based on hearsay or rumors if they can easily get facts straight from the horse’s mouth.

    Kudos, CPSC, well done!

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also the editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]