No school wants to see any of their buildings burnt to the ground like Bishop’s Stortford College in Hertfordshire back in September this year. Thankfully there was no loss of life or injury in this incident, but does your school have your crisis management plan in place should a serious issue occur?
While all schools hold their regular fire drills, as did Bishop’s Stortford College not long before the incident – which enabled everyone from their boarding house to escape unharmed in the middle of the night, can you be sure you’ll know how to handle the ensuring media interest?
Mosaic is a crisis communications agency in Colchester, Essex and offers crisis management training to schools, colleges and universities to help prepare for unusual eventualities. Mosaic can show your media team and spokespeople how to take control of the media before it takes control of you; and behind the scenes ensure key people are kept informed such as parents.
In the case of Bishop’s Stortford College, the headmaster was able to strike the right note in this most rare of events: he gave the media a short statement at the time of the incident and the crucial information that no one was hurt.
Building up a good relationship with your local media is vital, so that you have some good will in the news bank if anything should go wrong.
This fire has the potential to be a running story for the school. The local media may be interested for many months and even years on the saga of the Robert Pearce boarding house – how will they rebuild? What impact will it have on the school?
While satisfying the media’s curiosity, this school should see this as an opportunity, too, to build on those media relationships.
If you are planning on hiring the help of a crisis communications company for governors or head teachers and deputy heads, Mosaic can raise your awareness about the sorts of incidents that can provoke negative publicity, because the next incident might not be about a fire.
It could be about the wrongdoing of a staff member, financial irregularities, a dead body, a Panorama-style exposé, or any other crisis you care to think of.
Mosaic has experience in the blackest of scenarios since we hold our clients’ hands while they actually go through them.
Before it gets to the stage of having to face the media, just ponder these questions:
- Do you know your key messages?
- Are you prepared for an interview?
- What are your soundbites?
- Do you understand the requirements of different media?
- Can you see the opportunity beyond the crisis?
The main aims of our crisis management courses are to equip you with the skills and confidence to develop a proactive and positive relationship with journalists when handling a crisis – prior to one landing on your doorstep.
You will gain insights from our media professionals into what journalists are looking for and why and learn about what procedures should be considered in a crisis management plan.
While Mosaic is a crisis management agency in Essex, we travel all over the country to give you the practical experience of preparing for and undertaking challenging media interviews and offering constructive feedback on content and presentation.