Crisis Communications for Educational Institutions

Educational institutions are often at the forefront of breaking news—and the topics being covered can be challenging to an institution’s reputation. Budget cuts, sexual harassment, school shootings, suicides, rape, diversity issues, racism, student hazing and cyberterrorism are just a few of the crisis situations that need to be anticipated and handled—both on campus and in the eyes of the media and public. No matter where you stand in the rankings, a crisis can compromise a school’s reputation and legacy.

Identifying and planning a communications strategy for managing delicate and potentially harmful situations takes strong preventative action. But if a crisis occurs, the time it takes to quickly and effectively craft a response can mean the difference between averting reputational damage and causing irreparable harm. Waiting for a crisis to happen without proper planning puts your brand at risk. Students, parents, faculty, alumni, donors, stakeholders, influencers and the media expect prompt, open, honest and ongoing communication.

SA works in close partnership with its education clients to identify potential issues, develop proactive plans and create messaging, materials and informational portals to handle all types of sensitive issues. In the event of an unforeseen crisis, we activate our crisis team and immediately go to work to understand the issue and strategize ways to mitigate the situation—working in conjunction with your internal stakeholders and others on the crisis team. In today’s “always on” media environment, how a crisis is handled from its inception can impact whether it makes headlines for one day, one month or even years. We have the skill and experience to develop a multi-channel, integrated and actionable response plan that preserves and protects a school’s reputation with all its stakeholders.

Our team is available 24/7 to tackle a range of preparedness, reputational and communications challenges faced by schools and colleges. Contact Phil Pennellatore on our Crisis Hotline at 617-901-7136.

Crisis Services:

  • Proactive Crisis Planning and Risk Assessment
  • Issues Management
  • Reputation Management
  • Traditional and Social Media Management
  • Media Monitoring
  • Website Development and Management
  • Video
  • Communications and Spokesperson Training
  • Internal and External Communications
  • Crisis and Disaster Training Exercises
  • Third Party Expert Identification and Training