Identify a single information source (typically
this will be your designated Public Information
Direct media representatives to one
area (on or off campus) where briefings can take
place (this should be done in advance so there is a
known media staging area). This should not
necessarily take place at the site of the event
unless the school is showing how normalcy has been
Instruct all employees to refer all
information and questions to Media Liaison or
If the emergency is a death, consult
with the deceased student/staff member’s family
before making a statement.
Insist that reporters respect the
privacy rights of students and staff.
Advise students of the school’s
student media policy.
The school should decide what to say,
issue a statement, and answer questions within the
limits of confidentiality.
Remind employees that only designated
authorized to talk with news media.
Take initiative with news media and
let them know what is or is not known about the
Emphasize school’s/district’s good
Speak to reporters in plain English -
not in “educationese.”
If there is involvement with a
criminal case, work in conjunction with law
enforcement spokesperson and the local board
Don’t try to “kill” a story; don’t say
“no comment;” don’t speculate; don’t try to blame
anyone for anything.
When communicating, maintain a unified
position and message; keep messages concise, clear,
Contact District Support Team to
Delay releasing information until
facts are verified and the school’s position is
clear; prepare statements about the situation in
advance to read (avoid ad-libbing).
Assign sufficient staff to handle
phones and keep a log of calls and personal
Express appreciation to all persons
who helped handle the emergency.