Develop Media Protocol for Line Employees

Campus rank and file not know your policies.

One problem we have seen repeatedly in the wake of major campus crisis events is the tendency for campus employees to give unauthorized media interviews under stress. Though most campus organizations have detailed policies relating to the release of information to the media, it is not uncommon for rank and file employees to be unfamiliar with these policies because they do not typically interact with the media. Even when they are familiar with the policies, it is not unusual for staff who have just experienced a major crisis to make a statement to reporters while they are in shock from the event.

Including a media protocol in your crisis plans, training staff on the protocol, simulating attempts by reporters to interview staff during drills and discussing this concern during the hot wash can reduce the chances that one or more staff members will provide unauthorized interviews. Repeated practice can further reduce the chances that an employee under stress will make this type of often harmful error.

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About the Author

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Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a global non profit campus safety center. During his 30 year campus safety career, Michael has served as a university police officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. He served as a school system police chief for ten years before being appointed the lead expert for the nation's largest state government K-20 school safety center. The author of 25 books on school safety, his work has taken him to Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. Michael welcomes comments, questions or requests for clarification at mike@weakfish.org. Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.

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