How to recover from an education crisis in just 3 steps
Schools and education leaders are increasingly expected to take on the role of media guru and PR expert, with or without training. With some of the more sensitive challenges and crises facing school's these days, often linked to activity that has taken place beyond the school day, having a recovery plan in place is essential. Follow our three steps to protecting your schools brand and reputation should the worst happen.
1. Agree the messages - What are you prepared to say about the crisis? How can you limit the potential damage caused by the crisis to your school brand? Remember, less is more. Overwhelming people with details can often come across as defensive. Always include next steps - reassure your audience the situation is in hand.
2. Line up your stakeholders - Your stakeholders all have a role to play in damage limitation. Bring them into the fold. Share the information that is needed and what the party line will be. Emphasise their role in protecting the school’s brand.
3. Put your recovery plan into action - Issue your party line using appropriate marketing and social platforms. Every crisis is different - you may just need to address your immediate stakeholders e.g. an assembly for parents, pupils and governors - or you may need to issue a press statement, which will require supporting messages across your school’s various channels e.g. website, Twitter.
Whatever you do, don’t hide away in the hope that the dust will settle. It may well do, but failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Depending on the reach of the crisis you may need to follow up with some repair work. This should be meaningful and relevant. For example, if the crisis involved specific stakeholders, for example your parents, offer an opportunity to engage with them. Get their feedback on how you handled the crisis and what they think the next steps should be.
In today’s digital age, failure to manage your crisis can affect your reputation in the long term.