Tip Sheets

Six Crisis Communication Tips for Heads of Schools

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com September 2018 1 TIP SHEET Six Crisis Communication Tips for Heads of Schools BY STACY JAGODOWSKI, Strategic Marketing Consultant While every school likely has an emergency response manual, not many of them contain information about how the school will communicate both internally and externally during a crisis situation. Fortunately, heads of schools can play a vital role in ensuring that a proper crisis communication plan is in place. By partnering with the marketing and communications office and addressing these steps in advance, your school will be better prepared when a crisis occurs. 1 Establish a crisis communications response team. • Identify the top five people involved in responding to a crisis, including communications representatives (also known as recorders) • Get back-up communications support for sending emergency notifications and updating your website and social media accounts • Set a group chat option and determine a location where you can store and easily access crisis communication tools 2 Set a protocol for effective communication. • Know your initial spokesperson and chain of command if the situation escalates • Know your communication outlets and who manages which channels (email, website, text messages, phones, and media relations) • Test logging in and creating messages with everyone involved 3 Plan your communication messages in advance. • Assess your most common crisis situations: w Fire, shelter-in-place, evacuation, active shooter, intruder drills w School closures, delays, and early dismissals

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