Even just a few months ago, the curriculum of high school A.P. classes would be considered by most to be more of a snoozefest than a firestorm.
But lately, it’s making front-page news, and it has brought into sharp focus the legislative, legal and political pressures educational organizations across the country are facing.
FGS Global’s Education Group has helped organizations ranging from independent schools to global nonprofits to large universities manage a variety of complex and high-stakes issues, including curriculum criticism, social issues, labor relations, sensitive personnel matters, litigation and more.
To be prepared for a crisis of any kind, FGS counsels our clients to have—and be familiar with— a crisis communications playbook. Through this process of creating the playbook, important questions and issues surface and can be proactively addressed, such as:
- The Team: Who are the core members of a cross-functional crisis response team? In addition to communications team members, the team will often include legal, human resources, campus security and others, depending on the nature of the crisis. What level of Board of Trustees involvement is required?
- The Issues: What are the most significant and likely topics that might impact the institution? Are there issues impacting other peer institutions and how are they responding?
- The Process: How does the team determine when a crisis has taken place? Who kicks off the process? How does the team communicate in real-time? What are best practices? What is the protocol for determining next steps and who makes the decisions at what stage in the process?
- The Options: Who are the audiences the institution must keep in mind when considering how to respond to the issue? What channels are available to reach them (email, video, social, in-person, text message alert system, etc.)? What communications tactics should be considered and evaluated?
- Ongoing Improvement: After a crisis has been averted or subsided, the team should engage in a post-mortem to memorialize lessons learned and consider what could be improved in the future.
- Scenario Planning: FGS can work with your internal team to develop draft materials such as holding statements for a suite of possible scenarios. The playbook can be pressure-tested with a “tabletop” exercise in which a crisis scenario is simulated for practice and planning purposes.
If you are interested in connecting with FGS Global’s education team, feel free to reach out anytime at Education@FGSGlobal.com.