This blog is one in a series from K-12 public relations experts about how they are using crisis communications strategies to prepare and inform their local communities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Tove Tupper is in communications at Highline Public Schools in Burien, Washington.
How do you keep your school community informed during a health crisis?
My advice is to communicate early and often. The guidelines and updates coming from our local public health agency are frequent and constantly evolving. We want to make sure our staff and families receive factual information and stay calm. To do this, we have committed to providing at least one update per day to staff and families.
Each morning, we meet to talk about what questions we have received in the last 12 hours and what decisions we know will be made that day. That discussion turns into an outline of topics we want to address in that afternoon’s message. The day is spent gathering information, reviewing updates from public health and drafting our messages. There are a ton of moving parts, so the key is to stay organized. We use Google Docs, daily team check-ins and a white board to help us stay on track.
I also recommend leaning on other NSPRA members. We’re all in this together so don’t be shy to phone a friend and ask for help.
*For additional tips check out the #k12prchat and join the conversation about best practices for Coronavirus communication and more.