While marketers typically fret about the optimal way to allocate their budgets across different media, when it comes to public safety there’s really only one way to go: flood the zone. With that in mind, digital signage software provider Visix has partnered with Rave Mobile Safety, in effect creating a multi-platform safety alert system for college campuses that combines digital out-of-home and mobile channels.
Visix’s AxisTV digital signage software is already used by a number of higher-education clients for daily announcements, news, weather and video streaming, with installations on over 700 campuses around the country. Its capabilities include public safety alerts for emergency situations including fire, severe weather, natural disasters, or the all-too-frequent “hostile situation” -- i.e., someone bringing a gun on campus. The software allows alert messages to be broadcast across an entire digital signage network or to specific targeted regions.
By joining forces, Visix and Rave Alert are able to offer higher-education clients an integrated mobile alert component, allowing campus authorities to reach students both through digital signage and alerts delivered to their mobile devices. Rave’s alert capabilities include multimodal broadcast messaging through email, SMS, voice, RSS, and social networks, among other mechanisms.
Unfortunately university officials will continue to have plenty of reasons to implement campus-wide alert systems, including a seemingly endless series of incidents involving guns on campus. Earlier this week a 50-year-old man was arrested on six counts of attempted murder following a shootout and standoff near the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, which left one policeman injured. Last Friday, three people were injured in a shooting near the campus of Eastern Michigan University.
In addition to their human toll, these sorts of incidents carry the risk of heavy liability for institutions if they’re found negligent in their public safety preparations. On March 15, a Montgomery County jury found that Virginia Tech was negligent for failing to send out an email alert earlier than they did -- which might have prevented some deaths during the mass shooting that claimed 33 lives on April 16, 2007.