The best practice for your school’s scripted messages and emergency notifications is to work in partnership with local first responder agencies to create an outreach plan and predetermine how information will be approved for release and who will provide that information.
The following recommendations are provided as a guide to school staff who will conduct public outreach operations during a critical or non-critical school-based incident. While the information released to the general public will be helpful to staff, staff-only messaging concerns may require additional considerations that are not covered here.
You will need to know who will communicate the messaging and how. The best plans will include the capacity to post to social media, utilize mass notification systems, monitor traditional and non-traditional media outlets, write advisories and releases, update webpages, provide interviews, manage press conferences, and manage and staff call centers. It is not possible for one person to properly and competently conduct the aforementioned tasks. Additionally, there should never be a single point of failure for any plan. Take the time now to train staff and create depth. Reach out to your local, regional, and state partners for support. There should be multiple individuals who can perform tasks.