Follow best practices in communicating during a crisis.
From Nancy Seideman, associate vice president for media relations at Emory University: Crisis communication strategies that the university used while in the global spotlight for treating Ebola patients included:
- Establish and update protocols;
- Conduct drills;
- Determine and adhere to key messages;
- Prepare spokespeople before interviews;
- Plan visuals in advance;
- Ask for extra staff when needed; and
- Establish a relationship with an outside PR firm in advance, in case they are needed as back up.
Study core crisis communications principles.
From Cathy Andreen and Shane Dorrill at the University of Alabama: Lessons learned when tornadoes hit the campus town of Tuscaloosa:
- Send early alert messages and frequent updates;
- Use various tools to get the message out;
- Leverage the university’s homepage;
- Educate faculty, staff, and students about the issues; and
- Test the university’s alert system monthly