Before the Crash: A Look at Crisis and Reputation Management


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Public relations experts from the Alamo Colleges and Northwest Vista College shared stories and best practices from their experiences responding to unexpected and unfortunate situations on the Alamo College campuses. In addition to practical tips, the speakers gave suggestions for being strategic even in the midst of a crisis.
Presented at PRSA San Antonio's August 2, 2012 luncheon.
Slides and content are the property of Alamo Colleges and are provided here with express permission.

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Before the Crash: A Look at Crisis and Reputation Management

  1. 1. Presenters Mr. Leo ZunigaAssociate Vice Chancellor of Communications Alamo Colleges Mr. Mario Muñiz Director of District Public Relations Alamo Colleges Ms. Renata Serafin Director of Community & Public Relations Northwest Vista College
  2. 2. Alamo Collegeso Five collegeso Three regional centers – New Braunfels, Floresville, Kerrvilleo Two community education centerso Alamo University Centero 63,000 studentso 5,000 employees
  3. 3. Crisis Managemento Virginia Tech Shooting – April 16, 2007 32 killed, 17 woundedo Northeast Lakeview College Tragedy – October 13, 2008 at 2:13 pm a college librarian shot and killed by another employee.
  4. 4. Alamo Colleges Plano Crisis communication plano Emergency notification system o Email o Voicemail o Text o Social media o Digital signage network o Websiteo Emergency door access controlo Police on campus
  5. 5. What’s at Stake?o Reputationo Enrollmento State and federal fundingo Local tax baseo Grants & donationso Business partnershipso Vendor relationshipso Internships & job opportunities for studentso Job applicants
  6. 6. Media Relations During Crisiso Respond quicklyo Get the factso Designate primary spokespersono Anticipate possible media questionso Develop message pointso Establish media gathering placeo Monitor media coverage
  7. 7. Northwest Vista Collegeo April 10, 2012 - Northwest Vista College student was kidnapped and forced to withdraw money from an ATM.
  8. 8. Objective: Inform students and employees within 24 hours that the crime did not happen.Focus on Internal Audience: • 16,000 students • 900 employees
  9. 9. Strategy• Partner with police• Collaborate within college and work with district• Stick to the facts and let the facts speak for themselves• Protect the identity of the student; don’t blame the student
  10. 10. Tactics Used:• District-wide email• College employee newsletter• News mediaEvaluation:• Social media• Repair equipment• Survey internal community
  11. 11. How to Be Strategic Assess Risks Monitor Trust Social Team Media Reputation Train Update speakers Plan Push for Policy Change
  12. 12. Resources• Public Relations Strategist – summer issue• Companies specializing in Online Reputation Management• Sept. 14, 2012 - seminar on reputation management
  13. 13. Questions