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Crisis Communications: Avoid These Mistakes

Alyssa Keehan, Esq.
June 2021
Key things to avoid saying to the media during a crisis

To survive a crisis, leaders at your K-12 school, college, or university must show fortitude and develop thick skin. They must know what actions to avoid when speaking to the media.

When speaking with the media, DON’T do any the following:

  • Discuss legal ramifications (including responsibility and liability) of the crisis
  • Provide unnecessary information
  • Speculate you should stick to written, counsel-approved messages with known facts
  • Release names of any injured person until notifying next of kin
  • Say, “No comment,” “I’m not allowed to talk,” “I can’t tell you anything,” or “I don’t have time to talk to you”
  • Let misinformation go unchallenged
  • Put anything in writing, including emails, that you don’t want to see in the next day’s newspaper

In addition, offer an escort to any media members visiting your campus.

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