Issues and Crisis Management

Judges' Report

11 Entries

Gold Award

Lancaster University (United Kingdom) - Lancaster University's Communications response to Storm Desmond In December 2015


  • Lancashire and Cumbria were hit by Storm Desmond. This was an unprecedented crisis for Lancaster University. The power cut and no wifi on campus and the surrounding area made communications extremely challenging. Despite this the communications team got vital information to students, informed and reassured hundreds of worried parents and engaged with 2,500 staff who were literally in the dark.

Silver Award

The American University in Paris (France) - Living through the Paris Terrorist Attacks

  • During the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks, AUP immediately initiated a mass-contact strategy and was able to ascertain the safety of all of its students and staff within 48 hours. However, the job was just beginning as they addressed the effects the attacks had on students and families in a community where 90% of the constituency comes from outside the country. This submission records the crisis management steps took immediately after the terrorist attacks and the subsequent communications sent daily over several weeks.

Bronze Award

Amherst University (MA) - The End of a Mascot

  • By fall 2016, Lord Jeffery Amherst had been Amherst College's unofficial mascot for about 100 years. He was a British Field Marshal in the late 18th-century who penned a notorious letter advocating using smallpox infected blankets as a weapon against Native Americans. When the campus uprisings across the country arose last fall, the question of the racial, political, cultural and educational implications of such a mascot, even an unofficial one, reached a new level of seriousness. The Institution's Board of Trustees decided to take up the question, and Communications and Advancement worked closely together to manage the decision-making process in a way that engaged the community, in particular, involved alumni (where passions about the mascot were especially strong).