Shell and Chevron Will Tweet Storm Updates

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Shell and Chevron are incorporating Twitter into their mass notification processes, the Houston Chronicle reports today. The companies will use the service, which syndicates short text messages to a list of "followers" that can number in the thousands, to provide hurricane updates when the storms affect Gulf Coast operations.

But the two companies remain alone among oil companies with operations in the Gulf in using the service. As Chronicle reporter Kristen Hays writes:

So far, it doesn't appear other Gulf of Mexico producers have embraced the social networking phenomenon to help spread the word about evacuations, production shutdowns and other effects of hurricanes on offshore and onshore operations.

"We haven't reached a conclusion quite yet, but it doesn't hurt to try it out and see how it goes," said Guy Cantwell, spokesman for Transocean, the world's largest offshore drilling contractor. ConocoPhillips also may consider it, spokeswoman Kristi DesJarlais said.

Bill Day, spokesman for Valero Energy, the nation's largest refiner with plants along the Gulf Coast that can face shutdowns as hurricanes come ashore, said simply, "No, we're pretty old school."
Sorry, in these situations, being "old school" is not an excuse, or worse, a trait to brag about. As I wrote earlier this week, it's important for security managers to stay up-to-date on the way their employees use communications technology. Even though I use Twitter, I'm a bit nonplussed by it. Nonetheless, it's effective. More seriously, recall that while Virginia Tech officials were struggling to communicate with students during the 2007 shooting, students themselves were sharing far more accurate information via MySpace and Facebook. Virginia Tech security officials now use social networking as a tool in their emergency response plan. Guess you can say they're "old school" no more.

Shell and Chevron are incorporating Twitter into their mass notification processes, the Houston Chronicle reports today. The companies will use the service, which syndicates short text messages to a list of "followers" that can number in the thousands, to provide hurricane updates when the storms affect Gulf Coast operations.

But the two companies remain alone among oil companies with operations in the Gulf in using the service. As Chronicle reporter Kristen Hays writes:

So far, it doesn't appear other Gulf of Mexico producers have embraced the social networking phenomenon to help spread the word about evacuations, production shutdowns and other effects of hurricanes on offshore and onshore operations.

"We haven't reached a conclusion quite yet, but it doesn't hurt to try it out and see how it goes," said Guy Cantwell, spokesman for Transocean, the world's largest offshore drilling contractor. ConocoPhillips also may consider it, spokeswoman Kristi DesJarlais said.

Bill Day, spokesman for Valero Energy, the nation's largest refiner with plants along the Gulf Coast that can face shutdowns as hurricanes come ashore, said simply, "No, we're pretty old school."
Sorry, in these situations, being "old school" is not an excuse, or worse, a trait to brag about. As I wrote earlier this week, it's important for security managers to stay up-to-date on the way their employees use communications technology. Even though I use Twitter, I'm a bit nonplussed by it. Nonetheless, it's effective. More seriously, recall that while Virginia Tech officials were struggling to communicate with students during the 2007 shooting, students themselves were sharing far more accurate information via MySpace and Facebook. Virginia Tech security officials now use social networking as a tool in their emergency response plan. Guess you can say they're "old school" no more.

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