A 4-year, public university in the Midwest works with Standing Partnership to bridge the gap between operational preparedness and crisis communication.


Crisis Communication Plan; Crisis Communication Training


This public university follows the framework of the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Incident Management System (NIMS) for crisis preparedness but it needed to bridge the gap between operations planning and higher education crisis communication. The goal was to respond well operationally and effectively communicate with stakeholders during a crisis.

Standing delivered an effective higher education crisis communication plan the school could follow and execute, should it ever need to navigate communicating in a crisis.


Standing Partnership audited the university’s existing crisis plans and worked with the university’s marketing team to identify key stakeholder audiences.

Armed with that information, we made recommendations on how to best align the operational plan with school resources. We worked with the university to develop a plan for prompt and efficient information dissemination in crisis situations that aimed to:

  • Create a process by which the communications function was notified in the event of a crisis; and,
  • Divide responsibilities among members of the Marketing Communications team to communicate with specific stakeholder audiences and monitor unfolding events.

We also conducted media training with key personnel with crisis communications management responsibilities, including the school’s chief of police and select members of the Marketing Communications team.

Standing Partnership equipped the university to respond quickly and effectively in a crisis. The plan outlined emergency scenarios – from minor to major – and included detailed responsibility descriptions for each role by the level of emergency.


university staff members trained to communicate in a crisis


Standing team members working to craft the plan