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Can 5G Wireless Technology Supercharge Crisis Management?

[by Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications] The breathless buzz about the coming global deployment of 5G wireless technology keeps building to a crescendo. 5G will launch the Internet of Things (IoT) to the next level, empowering massive real-time data sharing between connected devices (health sensors, traffic sensors, weather sensors, your car, your HVAC and lighting systems, your ‘fridge). It’ll allow you to download movies, 3D models or watch live events at 20 times the speed of that clunky old 4G device you’re lugging around. It’ll let all of us experience augmented and virtual reality for fully immersive experiences we didn’t know we needed to experience.

But beyond all the hype, what can 5G do for you when your business is staring down a crisis or an issue so controversial, your reputation hangs in the balance? First, let’s get the tech nerd stuff over with, and quickly bring you up to speed on how we got to 5G.

1G was the technology that powered the first cell phones – the ones as big as LeBron’s left shoe. 1G let us make wireless calls and not much else. 2G was mobile technology’s digital breakout, and powered our ability to send texts. 3G and 4G gave us bigger and bigger bandwidth so we could stream tunes on our phone, watch live TV on our devices in real time, do mobile video calls, mobile banking and so on.

5G is a technology that blows open bandwidth capacity. How might 5G change your world when you’re dealing with a crisis or a trending issue? Here are some of the basics:

  • Microtarget audiences: With more net-connected devices dumping data to the Internet, 5G will likely make it easier – and certainly quicker – to find niche audiences who support your company, hate your company or are on the fence about your company. You’ll be able to drill down deeper: Who among these people have purchased products and services? When? Are they repeat customers? Do they recommend your products or have they scorched you on social platforms?
  • Identify third-party influencers: Who is influencing these identified audiences? Whose blogs do they like, share or comment on? Whom do they rely on for product reviews? If you need to influence your audience’s influencers, instantaneous access to this level of data will be nothing short of miraculous.
  • Always-on datacasting: Sure, you can livestream 24/7 right now in the 4G world, but 5G offers a strategic, always-on mindset shift for communicators. Your crisis management team can get its messages out live, around the media filter, as events unfold. With a 24/7 live channel to your target audiences, you can update them immediately as you get new information, and interact with them in real time. You can respond to – and if need be, correct – media reports and social media comments the moment they are posted. Success here will hinge on your organization’s dedication to educating your audiences that you’ll be using these tools in a breaking crisis.
  • Cut through the clutter: Seems like it’s only when you’re at a packed industry conference or in a stadium with 30,0000 people all uploading selfie videos at the same time that you learn about a lawsuit just filed against your company, and you need to download a PDF library of court documents to your smartphone. 5G promises to free us from performance degradation in a crowd so you can effortlessly send and receive the data you need when you need it.
  • Leverage low latency: Hate watching that little spinner .gif while you’re downloading time-critical documents or seeing your screen freeze just as you start a video conference with colleagues around the world? Kiss that all goodbye in 5G. No matter how far-flung your organization, 5G promises to make real-time cloud computing – and cloud data storage – far more reliable.

When you need to get out highly targeted communications in real time, 5G holds the promise of reliably delivering very specific messages to very specific audiences along with massive amounts of data whenever you need and wherever you are.


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