Lead During a Crisis
Article During an institutional crisis, leaders should maintain their composure around employees, say management pundits.
Weathering the Superstorm
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how some colleges and universities in New York and New Jersey communicated with its stakeholders during and after Hurricane Sandy in late 2012 and briefly discusses some of the advancement issues they had to address as communities dealt with the superstorm's aftereffects.
Crisis Planning & Management Resources
Good Question I need resources on campus crisis management. Also, do you have any sample crisis communications plans? We are working on one and want to see samples to help us get started.
Responsiveness is Key in a Crisis
Article The most common mistake institutions make during a crisis is not responding quickly enough to the media, says a communications expert.
Boards in Crisis: The Impact of Communications and Governance
Product This webinar teaches strategies for preparing communications offices, boards and presidents to communicate well with the media: how to handle everyday opportunities and once-in-a-lifetime crises with an institution’s best interests and reputation in mind. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar presented Oct. 25, 2012.
Sample Collection The CASE InfoCenter maintains this collection of crisis communications plans and emergency response plans.
Crisis Communication and Issues Management in a Networked World
Product This webinar examines the elements of an effective crisis communication plan. It discusses the difference between and issue and a crisis, tells how to test a crisis communication plan and how to use social media during a crisis. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar originally presented June 7, 2012.
Fast, Broad, and Frequent
CURRENTS Article Social media tools (now used in some form by 100 percent of all four-year universities in the United States as a way to reach students, according to a 2011 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth study) have become essential for university communication departments, and they take on even more importance during emergencies.
Crisis Communications Policies Overlook Social Media, Study Finds
Article While most educational institutions have crisis communications policies, many of those policies do not address the use of social media in a crisis, according to a new study.
Crisis Communications Exercises
These two fictional exercises can help members assess their institution's ability to quickly and effectively communicate with constituents in an emergency.
Using Social Media in a Crisis: Independent School Snapshot
CKSyme.org in partnership with CASE
Report This 2012 report looks at how independent primary and secondary schools are integrating social media tools into crisis communications planning. It looks at the percentage of schools with crisis communications plans, the number of reputation-threatening events schools faced in the past year, the percentage of plans that address the use of social media, which social media tools schools are using and more.
Using Social Media in a Crisis: Higher Education Results
CKSyme.org in partnership with CASE
Report This 2012 report explores the findings of an international study on the use of social media in crisis communications at institutions of higher education. It looks at the percentage of institutions with crisis communications plans, the number of reputation-threatening events institutions faced in the past year, the percentage of plans that address the use of social media, which social media tools institutions are using and more.
What's Going On? A Few Great Crisis Communications Sites
Article This post from the CASE blog presents a few examples of university crisis communications pages.
Managing Communications in the Face of a Crisis
Podcast Hear Deborah L. Grant from Tulane University outline what every communications department should have on hand before a crisis strikes. Also, listen for her advice on how to help prepare administrators for their own roles and responsibilities during as well as after a crisis.
Keeping Cool on the Hot Seat: Dealing Effectively with the Media in Times of Crisis
Product This book offer practical advice on how to deal with the media during any type of crisis at an organization. The new, fifth edition includes information about handling social media as well.
Creating a Sophisticated Annual Giving Program
Online Seminar This session will help you create expectations beyond the standing annual giving program, to a sophisticated annual giving-advancement pipeline.
Partners in Crisis
CURRENTS Article A consortium of Chicago area higher education institutions developed and signed a mutual aid agreement that is intended to provide support—such as access to facilities, equipment, and personnel including police, human resources, and communications staff—to member campuses in the initial hours of a crisis situation. The agreement has garnered approval from risk management experts, who tout the benefit of such cooperative emergency planning efforts.
CURRENTS Article At some institutions, time-honored fight songs have devolved into fighting words, and alma maters have become lightning rods for controversy. Alumni relations and public relations directors are then called on to find a peaceful solution.
Talking Points: Road Map to Campus Calm
CURRENTS Article The potential H1N1 crisis presented public relations practitioners with perhaps their first opportunity to use their full arsenal of communications tactics to reach and influence key audiences.
CURRENTS Article How crisis communications has changed in the past two years
FERPA and Campus Security
National Association of College and University Attorneys
Article Misunderstanding of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) generates concern in the U.S. about sharing student information. This bulletin, presented in a Q&A format, explains that FERPA is not an obstacle to appropriate and desirable cautionary communications intended to protect student, campus or public safety.
Reflections After the Storm
CURRENTS Article One year after the shootings at Virginia Tech, the author looks at how institutions are reassessing their crisis plans. Most important, this examination looks at how institutions are making the decision to lock down a campus and examines the results of these decisions.
Talking Points: Text Vexed
CURRENTS Article In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, campuses are looking for ways to communicate more quickly and effectively during a crisis. Many institutions are exploring Short Message Service, also known as text messaging, a technology that sends short messages to and from cell phones. This article explains what SMS is, why it is useful, how it works, and more.
Weathering the Storm: Protecting Your Brand in the Worst of Times
Product This book provides a step-by-step approach to creating a crisis communications plan that can prepare any institution to withstand a media assault when times get tough and help protects its reputation.
Hiding in Plain Sight
CURRENTS Article This article, a complement to "User Generation," examines how, with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, crises can blow out of proportions in a matter of minutes. The author outlines strategies for preparing, managing, and surviving a crisis in a hyper-connected, always-on news world.
Advance Work: When Good Events Go Bad
CURRENTS Article This article offers a look at events gone awry on three campuses and how planners managed each situation.
CURRENTS Article Millions of dollars poured in to help restore campuses devastated by Hurricane Katrina and other Gulf Coast storms. This story is about what these colleges, universities, and independent schools did with the donations. In salavaging their campus community, they also found a higher purpose in helping the larger communities in which they reside.
Advance Work: Preparation Pointers
CURRENTS Article Members of the College Communicators Association of Virginia and the District of Columbia got together to discuss how to prepare their institutions for a potential bird flu outbreak.
Quest for Clarity
CURRENTS Article Bad news travels fast. Getting ahead of it requires a quick, coordinated, and calculated effort. Advancement professionals whose institutions have survived campus crises and emerged with reputations for accountability intact (if somewhat tattered) share what they have learned the hard way. The sidebar, "Crisis of Faith," goes with this article.
Crisis of Faith
CURRENTS Article This sidebar to the article "Quest for Clarity" provides tips for averting and getting through a campus crisis.
Closing Remarks: Disaster Drill
CURRENTS Article In the wake of a disaster that affects a campus--regardless of its origin--education leaders need to know how to respond to keep students, faculty, and staff members safe, maintin order, and manage risk. The author suggests several steps campus officials can take to develop sound disaster response plans. Those steps include reviewing and refining existing plans periodically, rehearsing plan elements with emergency response team members, planning for the expected, and developing mutual aid agreements with peer institutions.
Weathering the Storm
CURRENTS Article Hurricane Katrina and a subsequent flood dealt areas of the Gulf Coast a punishing blow—more than 1,000 people died, some 900,000 people were displaced, and countless neighborhoods, homes, and businesses were destroyed. Nearly three dozen colleges and universities and dozens of independent schools sustained damage—some of it severe. This article reports on the effects of the hurricane on Gulf Coast institutions, some campus-based relief efforts, and other elements of the storm’s aftermath.
CURRENTS Article Florida’s colleges and universities were forced to deal with an unprecedented summer of stormy weather in 2004. This article outlines the best practices campus communicators followed to keep their constituents informed and safe.
CURRENTS Article Media training for campus leaders, administrators, faculty, and communications staff has become even more important in an era of increased media scrutiny. This article outlines the characteristics and purposes of media training programs and includes a short sidebar with tips for selecting a program.
Keeping off Thin Ice
CURRENTS Article Because public relations officers are adept at issues management and crisis communications, more campuses are including communicators in the assessment and prevention aspects of the risk-management process. Their most significant contributions include raising hard questions; forging good relations between the campus and the media and community; and tracking litigation patterns. This article, which also discusses potential future issues that will challenge campuses, is of interest to media and community relations officers, PR managers, and chief advancement officers.
Turbulence at Ground Level
CURRENTS Article As higher education institutions close and consolidate at unprecedented rates, advancement officers can play a vital role in assessing their institutions’ vulnerabilities. The authors present six warning signs and corresponding recovery strategies, with special attention to how advancement officers can help. This article is of interest to managers of development, alumni relations, and communications programs, as well as campus CEOs.
All Along the Watchtower
CURRENTS Article PR professionals are confronting a new breed of problems with rogue Web sites and damaging e-mail messages. Campuses must deal with these unconventional attacks on a case-by-case basis. But they should also adapt their issues management and crisis communications plans and techniques to include online responses to known and anonymous critics. This article is of interest to PR professionals and Web managers who handle issues management and crisis planning and management.
CURRENTS Article Public information officers often find themselves in the midst of controversy surrounding their institutions’ scientific research activities. That’s only one part of communicating science, however. Even though not every project will make headlines, PIOs must communicate important, complex research every day. Key to that task is establishing rapport with the scientists, presenting science to lay readers, and explaining why it’s important without overhyping.
September 11, 2001
CURRENTS Article The 2001 terrorist attack placed many demands on advancement offices. Institutions in New York City established command centers to manage communications and emergency response amid human loss and facility damage. Elsewhere, advancement professionals dealt with such tasks as reporting the status of alumni and parents, connecting campus experts with reporters, rescheduling alumni travel, rewriting magazine issues, and postponing or adjusting fund-raising calls.
AdvanceWork: In the Dark--and in the Limelight
CURRENTS Article The power crisis that struck California in the winter of 2000-2001 posed new communications challenges for colleges and universities. This article describes how California State Polytechnic University, Pomona College, and Claremont McKenna College handled blackouts; how Saddleback College responded to high electric bills; and how Humboldt State University gained media attention for its alternative energy research programs.
A Crisis of Legendary Proportions
CURRENTS Article Simpson, vice president for public affairs at Indiana University, describes how IU’s communications team handled a six-month media firestorm over basketball coach Bob Knight. The team followed a predetermined crisis communications strategy that called for developing a media relations plan, establishing a single media spokesperson, maintaining open and continuous communications, and expecting the unexpected. Simpson also describes what his team learned from the experience.
All Elian, All the Time
CURRENTS Article For the University of Miami news media office, the Elian Gonzalez saga meant a crush of requests for interviews with faculty experts and the university president. The public relations staff found ways to handle the media frenzy judiciously and parlayed it into mentions in more than 1,500 news stories.
Handle with Care
CURRENTS Article Public relations officers often must take the lead in handling campus crises -- a job requiring many levels of negotiation, compromise, communication, and implementation. The article describes how five campuses are successfully managing these potentially explosive situations and keeping their institutional reputations intact. Examples include campus protests (Georgetown University), student demonstrations (Henry Ford Community College), alcohol abuse (Michigan State University), racial tension (University of Hartford), and sexual misconduct (University of Toronto). A sidebar provides seven crisis-planning tips.