Crisis management is vital for all educational institutions, spanning from public and private preschools to colleges and universities. Establishing a crisis communications plan is crucial for ensuring the safety of students and staff during emergencies. Although creating such a plan requires time and effort, it’s an essential measure in today’s world.

What is a Crisis for and Educational Institution?

Depending on the severity, anything that can harm, stall, or halt school operations could be considered a crisis.

What is a Crisis Communications Plan

A crisis communications plan is a set of guidelines created to help an educational institution address the fallout from an emergency or unexpected event. Crisis response plans include steps to take when a crisis first occurs, how to communicate with the public and other audiences, and how to prevent the problem from recurring.

Benefits of a Crisis Response Plan

 School administrators at colleges, universities and at all levels of public and private education need to prepare a crisis response plan before they actually need it so they can minimize damage and reduce threats when an emergency occurs.

When a crisis happens having a plan in place can make all the difference. Knowing who needs to be contacted will mitigate the impact of the emerging situation. Knowing how to communicate with stakeholders, handle the media, and gather necessary information are key components of an educational institution crisis management plan.

When a crisis occurs at a school, college or university, the crisis response team must act quickly to evaluate damage and communicate with stakeholders. Students, and parents will require different information than faculty and support personnel. Knowing how to reach each group, and what to say before a crisis occurs is essential because when disaster strikes, it’s easy to panic. Controlling the situation by being prepared serves the school and its constituents.

Creating a Crisis Response Plan

 Creating this plan may feel daunting, but there are resources available to help educational institutions, when faced with the unexpected. Companies like Red Banyan specialize in crisis communication and can assist in developing a comprehensive plan tailored to the specific needs of your school

All crisis management plan should address the five Cs of crisis communications: care, commitment, competency, community, and continuity.

Working With a Crisis Management Firm

When working with a crisis management firm, crisis communications experts will identify a wide range of crisis scenarios and plan a response to each. These experienced PR practitioners will make sure your message is unified, truthful, and told in a way that benefits your university or institution of learning.

Target audiences, key messaging, emails, and social posts are all developed in advance to allow for an agile response should something happen. Having these documents prepared and ready to edit with the appropriate details when the time comes, creates a sense of control for any educational entity.

The key to overcoming adversity is having a plan in place before you need one so you can act fast when time is of the essence.


  • Build a trusted communications team; you need a core team of trusted individuals to handle communications in the event of a crisis
  • Map out potential responses in advance
  • Assess the situation efficiently
  • Make use of social media
  • Remain compassionate