Higher education clients experience a variety of issues that can prove challenging for an administration. Sensitive subjects like sexual misconduct, inclusion and diversity, student suicide, and overdoses are among the issues that today’s colleges and universities might face. And with today’s environment of immediate information share and unparalleled levels of transparency, higher education organizations need to have a proactive plan in place, should an issue arise.
Preparation is the key to working through a difficult situation. At DEVENEY, we work with our higher education clients to prepare them with the tools needed to navigate through a variety of issues. From putting a communication team in place to developing the appropriate messaging, we work together and devise a strategy to not only address an existing crisis, but enable clients to manage a potential future reoccurrence.
Below are some considerations when working through a campus crisis:
Assemble a crisis team. Based on the situation, this could include legal counsel, the university president, a public affairs member, a member of the board of directors or similar.
Establish a crisis command center. This center might be a physical meeting space, virtual one, or a conference line with a protocol on how to quickly assemble and engage your crisis team.
Identify critical audiences. These can vary greatly and could include students, media, alumni, faculty, administration, donors, campus neighbors and law enforcement officials.
Develop messaging. Arming your spokespeople with key message points and thoughtfully crafted statements and updates is crucial for successful crisis management.
Determine message delivery vehicle. Whether it’s a letter from the president, a statement to the media, conversations with affected students or a newsletter to faculty, the delivery method will be determined by the audience and situation.
While it’s always a good idea to plan for potential crisis situations in advance, due to their nature, many are often unpredictable. With over 20 years of experience in dealing with crisis issues big and small, the experts at DEVENEY can help you stay ahead of a potential crisis, manage brand reputation and shape favorable outcomes.
Want to learn more? Tweet your crisis questions to @DEVENEYnola using the #DEVchat hashtag.