Situation: A client that sought advice on how to streamline their protocols when dealing with a crisis. In the past, there was confusion around how and who was to respond during a crisis. When a crisis did occur, they found themselves scrambling and losing precious time to get correct facts out to parents, staff and the community. In the era of social media and mobile phones, stopping the spread of rumors and misinformation is becoming even more difficult.
The school district knew it could do a better job to prepare for the unfortunate situation of an accident, staff misconduct, among others. They also didn’t have a plan to differentiate their communications between a crisis (student death, accident) and issue (non-injury bus crash, student discipline issue). They consulted Allerton Hill Communications to create a clear process on how to deal with a crisis.
Solution: First, Allerton Hill Communications conducted an audit of the district’s current crisis protocols. After a comprehensive analysis of that information, AHC was able to identify gaps in the process and ways they can enhance current communications strategies pertaining to crisis communication. For example, during the audit it was discovered that there was no central collection of parent emails. The only way to share crisis or issue situations was by placing it on the website or broadcast over text or a recorded phone call. That is completely appropriate for certain crisis situations, but not necessarily for isolated issues. In addition, AHC worked with district leadership to create a crisis communication manual, which included the creation of a system protocol, which identified the messenger and mode of communication as well as communication messages for a variety of issues so that the district could get vital information out in a timely manner.\
Interested in learning more about how the Allerton Hill Communications team can help your school? Contact us today.