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It is the policy of Georgia Highlands College to handle any crisis which has the potential to directly affect the college in a negative manner by immediately notifying the proper authorities and disseminating accurate information to internal constituents, the media and the public in a timely manner.  A crisis is defined as any event which requires the services of professional law enforcement or emergency personnel, or which could have a negative effect on the campus or the campus community.

The key to handling and controlling any crisis is accurate and timely communication with internal constituents such as faculty, staff and students, as well as with the media and the public.  Therefore, as soon as a crisis is identified, the President and the Public Information Officer should be notified, regardless of the time or day.  The vice presidents will then be notified and apprised of the situation.  The magnitude and possible consequences of the crisis will be assessed by the president, Public Information Officer and security personnel.

The President or the Public Information Officer will be the sole spokesperson.  A statement will be prepared and distributed on campus and to the media as soon as possible.  Information will be accurate and as detailed as possible.  If inaccurate information is inadvertently given out, the mistake will be corrected as soon as possible.  Regardless of the nature of the crisis or the area/department affected, all media inquiries will be referred to the Public Information Officer.

All media inquiries will be logged by the Public Information Officer.  Inquiries will be answered as quickly and as accurately as possible by the president or the Public Information Officer.  If a press conference is warranted, a location will be preselected in an area with easy access for mobile satellite vans and telephones.  The student newspaper will be included.

Information will be updated as it becomes available.  Following a crisis, the management procedure will be assessed for effectiveness.  Feedback from campus constituents and the media will be a part of the assessment.

Page last updated: March 12, 2010