A Huffalump lives here: December 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011


So the train broke down again this morning.

Just a quick thought on the SMRT thing.

I think the disruptions are "minor". What is more important is that the problem is fixed. If the trains must be stopped, then so be it.

Better to stop the trains and fix the problems properly, then to put up a band aid/stop gap solution and compromise on safety.

It may not be in the best interest in terms of image to disrupt the train services further. But scheduled disruptions are better than unscheduled disruptions no?

Another point I think is important, that I hope the relevant authorities learn, is our need to have better readiness.

Where was SMRT? Where was SCDF? Where was the media coverage??? This is a very glaring security gap that I hope will be patched. Be glad that it happened in good times. In bad times, it would have been a clean wipe, and there would be five hours to do so.

I also read with some disappointment in the forum today where someone mentioned that the public should be better prepared. he mentioned something to the effect that public should have stayed calmed instead on texting and messaging.


I think merely breaking one window was already very calm, I would expect that in many other countries more windows could have been broken.

And the texting? It was sadly THE ONLY communication that was working. And it was actually socially responsible to send the message out. SMRT, when it happen, was still letting people INTO the station (I was there). How dumb was that?

However I think he does make a good point that citizens should be better prepared and know what to do in these situations. I am going to assume there is a with SCDF and a no SCDF scenario. I think the with SCDF scenarios are the official training ones. The non SCDF scenario should at LEAST equip the driver (or public) with some means of evacuating the train or opening the doors in an emergency.

Citizens can already think and move in a hive manner with social media. I think the relevant authorities should see this as an opportunity rather than a threat (as a few other countries have already done admirably). I see some comments where the grouse was that companies now have less time to react. but seriously the same social media tools are there for them to use. They just need to maintain an online prescence. Note: PRESCENCE. Not an abandoned website or account, but one that is actively maintained.

I am confident that if there is an official word from the company, then that would be SIMILARLY propagated through the social media stream.The knife cuts both ways however, it means that if the company cannot successfully use its means of communication then it loses its credence as a source of news. Its their call really, use it or lose it.

(And really, its not PR that is most important but the work at hand which is to manage the safe evacuation of the public. Once you have done your due dilligence, you can do your PR, but if your focus is the other way round, i.e. PR then due dilligence, then... well I don't really have more to say but that you are in the wrong place and probably have the wrong values for a public resource.)

This brings us to another topic. SPIN. Spin can be used for good or for evil. If you have done your due dilligence, spin can be used to higlight the good work you have done. Spin can be used for evil, when you have NOT done the neccessary or due dilligence, then Spin in this case is used to cover up and spread misinformation and deceit. Spin, like it or not is part of our daily lives and everyone. Public, COrporate or Government, should keep a sharp eye on Spin.

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