After losing their long-term media relations/crisis communications director, who had been with the university since its inception, a large, public institution engaged BMCG to work with the new communications director to build their Crisis Communications response structure.

Actions / Recommendations:

  • Performed key interviews with leaders and potential members of a new crisis communications team to identify what was going well, what wasn’t, and potential hurdles to implementing this cultural shift. The interviews provided a base of institutional knowledge that allowed BMCG to create a more tailored plan and process.
  • Held a facilitated planning session with many of those same leaders to review and socialize key aspects of the new approach and discuss issues identification, team roles/responsibilities, clear activation process, and review useful tools to aide effective communications response.
  • Developed a crisis communications plan, which included roles/responsibilities for core and extended members, a screening team, checklists and toolkits.


The new plan was adopted by university leadership and implemented within the communications unit and broader membership. Shortly thereafter, the team was successfully activated in response to an event, and the plan is becoming a new part of the operating culture at the institution. Having a repeatable, credible and formal approach to crisis communications is allowing the institution to overcome the gap in institutional knowledge and better respond to crises and issues.