Master of Arts in Media and Communication Plan II Graduate Projects


Community colleges need to develop crisis communication plans to protect themselves from the ramifications of crises. While colleges and universities have been diligent about ensuring that they have crisis management plans in place, the same cannot be said for crisis communication plans. The effects of crises on the reputations, operations, and finances of community colleges can include losses of enrollment, decreases in donations, reductions in government funding, accreditation issues, and the severing of key partnerships. This is because crises can negatively impact organizational reputations, which are widely recognized as valuable, intangible assets. Having a solid crisis communication plan can help a community college mitigate reputational damage incurred by a crisis.

The purpose of this project was to analyze the literature to determine the best strategies to create a crisis communication plan for small or mid-sized community colleges. Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Mich. was used as the model used for institutions that are similar in size, demographics, and mission. Evidence-based research was used to analyze how the absence of a crisis communication plan can affect a college or university following a crisis, if a crisis communication plan can positively influence how stakeholders perceive such an institution after a crisis, and what components of a crisis communication plan can positively influence the reputation of the institution. Key strategies include assembling a crisis communication team, outlining the purpose of a crisis communication plan, defining a crisis, and using the crisis definition to structure the plan and protocols.

Publication Date

Summer 6-27-2017

Document Type

Plan II Graduate Project