HMV to help deliver crisis alerts to students

The music chain is sponsoring the introductory phase of CallCritical through advertising and promotional prizing.

With sponsorship from HMV Canada, Cozumo – a Toronto-based mobile marketing and technology company – will soon launch CallCritical. Announced on Tuesday, the crisis alert system will send danger warnings to students’ cellphones and emails along with maps leading to safe escapes. It was designed to help avert the sort of campus disaster that happened recently at the University of Virginia.

Cozumo president Gary Chaikin tells MiC that launch dates for Canadian colleges and universities will be announced as soon as at least 10% of their student bodies sign up for the free service. He’s hopeful that will begin happening early in the new year.

To publicize the service, CallCritical began advertising in HMV retail outlets across Canada last month. Developed in-house at Cozumo, the ads are also posted on HMV’s website, and will soon appear in the chain’s holiday catalogues. To accelerate the sign-up rate, students who register for the service will become eligible to win one of several $500 scholarships from HMV, plus HMV gift certificates.

There are two more phases of the alert system to come – one for public venues and high-rise buildings, and one to notify the parents of elementary students. Over the next year, Cozumo plans to implement a national mobile/email/web/digital platform for informing more people about emergencies. The company is currently looking for one or more partners for each phase.