Crisis, Communication, and Planning with Jane Hulbert

Jane Hulbert of The Jane Group joins the show to talk about her crisis communication firm, and how she landed working in education. Jane shares her background working at large companies like McDonald’s, and how it prepared her for helping educational leaders put together a plan of action for times of crisis. Jane discusses the importance of doing the right thing, the events that shifted crisis communication in schools, and the main steps leaders and their team should take in times of crisis.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • The Jane Group is a crisis communication consulting firm focused on schools, camps, and daycare centers, both in the U.S. and internationally.
  • Jane was working part-time and responding to a wide variety of issues within schools and camps. She developed a niche where she had a breadth and depth of understanding of not only crisis but teaching people how to respond.
  • Two events that created a pivotal shift in school crisis communication were the Columbine shooting and the exposing of Catholic church child abuse.
  • Jane has three consultants at The Jane Group that work remotely, as well as her husband helping and overseas contacts.
  • Here are a few of the steps in effective crisis communication. Jane and Kris both recommend having a detailed and written crisis plan, along with training two times a year to create an understanding and muscle memory of how to respond.Gather the facts so you can operate from fact rather than from speculation.

1. Gather the facts so you can operate from fact rather than from speculation.
2. No one should do it alone. Have others around to help.
3. Be calm, clear, and confident as you move into communication. Effective communication is what makes the listener feel heard and understood.
4. Open the lines of communication and make staff aware that they can funnel all questions to the appropriate contact.
5. Remind staff to act in a way that reflects the mission of the center, and that they model good behavior.
6. Leaders should lead with empathy, and learn to communicate in a tone that comes across and calm and deliberate.
7. If a procedure did not go as it is intended to, the institution must take responsibility.

 

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