Empathy, sincerity, and truth are the only way to communicate in crisis.

We have worked with a wide variety of schools and for-profits, sometimes formally, sometimes behind the scenes. In nearly all cases, public statements are the easy part. The strategies, planning, and positioning work that informs such statements is the more critical work—and it must be done in a way that not only responds to the the crisis, but anticipates the changed institution—and changed lives—that result.

Don’t let the stress of crisis lure you to easy, short-sighted solutions focused on “reputation management.” Instead, earn a reputation—for doing the right thing.

Our experience in crisis communications is unfortunately vast, and we’ve consulted with many organizations over the years. Typically, crisis communications work is entirely confidential, including even the names of most clients. The work of crisis communications is often focused on public comments and media management, but it’s equally important to help people and organizations heal and make meaning from unfortunate events. 

Broad Media Experience.  
While often it is alumni and parent relations which are most difficult to manage during times of crisis, we have also managed  interactions with a wide array of media outlets.

  • New York Times
  • Boston Globe Spotlight Team
  • Boston Globe Magazine
  • MassLive
  • National Public Radio
  • Fox News
  • Associated Press
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Vanity Fair
  • Town and Country
  • Local and regional papers
  • Regional and national television news 
The following examples have largely been generalized and don’t offer details of any particular situation or client, though some are linked to high profile accompanying stories. Every situation is different. Contact us for a confidential consultation on your specific situation:
  • Historical sexual misconduct, or professional misconduct, boundary violations, and sexual misconduct by current employees.
  • Major donor or alumnus implicated in crime or scandal, or causing complexity for the institution through notoriety and/or political commentary.
  • Death of beloved or high-profile community member.
  • Arrest of alumnus on serious charges, or arrest of community member on grounds.
  • Publication of memoirs, novels, and exposés unflattering to the school.
  • Suit of school for various reasons such as discrimination (gender, age), disciplinary responses (to student), poor college placement results.
  • Suit of a local vendor by school for poor quality, negligence, or criminal action.
  • H1N1 Pandemic of 2009, Ebola outbreak of 2014, tuberculosis/measles diagnosis on campus, COVID pandemic.
  • Illicit drug use, overdose, suicide attempts.
  • Termination of a longstanding, highly popular employee.
  • Economic downturns, layoffs, or other austerity measures.
  • Suspension or cancellation of fundraising or capital campaign.
  • Visiting head of state or celebrity.
  • Top 25 music artist dating a current student.
  • Illness, misconduct, boundary violations on school-led travel.
  • Vehicular accident, breakdown on school-led travel.
  • Fire in a major campus building.