Cloud-based newsroom keeps customers informed during crises

When hurricanes struck late last summer, two organizations were ready with spiffy off-site content hubs that got the word out to journalists, worried consumers and other stakeholders.

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Jackson Electric Membership Corp. had, one month before, gotten its newsroom up and running when tropical storm Irma battered northeast Georgia, where the company is based.

The storm knocked out power for half of the electrical cooperative’s 225,000 members, who were eager to know when the lights would go back on.

The switch last August to a dedicated hosting platform for Jackson EMC’s online newsroom proved fortuitous. It was off-site and therefore less susceptible to power outages and other local problems.

“We were actually very fortunate that we’d launched our site ahead of that, because suddenly we had this great resource that we could point people to get up-to-the minute information,” says April Sorrow, director of PR and communication for the utility.

Handling the unexpected

In a world where accidents and unforeseen crises can swamp an organization’s newsroom within minutes, there are many advantages to hosting one’s newsroom on a dedicated platform, rather than on-site. With the emergence of networked computers known as the cloud, communicators can work from home and keep the site rolling on servers located far from the windstorm or other disaster.

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