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Update on communications for September 2021

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Renea Morris

Renea Morris

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Internal  •

To be effective in managing communications during a crisis, it is critical that we are prepared and that we do this work well. Our team has been partnering closely with Campus Safety, aligning capabilities, and brainstorming new ways in which we can support our community during a crisis. The following is a sneak peek at two items that are launching soon and an insider look at another in development.

Crisis Communication Websites

During the onset of a crisis, individuals can be unsure about what to do, where to go, and the best practices to maintain and ensure safety. Initial communications are often limited, and this is based usually on what is known at the time.

To neutralize these issues, our teams co-constructed websites for each behavior Campus Safety would advise in a crisis: Lockdown, Lockout, Shelter in Place, Evacuation, and Stay Home/Delay Arrival on Campus (for weather). Regardless of the specific crisis, individual DU community members will be urged to take one of these steps to help ensure safety.

Each website is designed to be viewed before, during, and after a crisis. There are some steps campus stakeholders can take right away in order to become better prepared for a future crisis situation; there are reminders of common behaviors during a variety of crises; and eventually, we will be sharing critical information for post-crisis options, such as counseling and other support options. Our plans are to introduce the new websites to the campus community this fall.

RAVE Templates

To reduce the guesswork and maximize the clarity on how the community needs to respond, all of the RAVE templates have been redesigned to work in tandem with the new websites. Each situation has a new template that points directly to the accompanying website for further information and ongoing information refresh. The RAVE system will be tested quarterly to ensure that, in the middle of a real situation, we have a maximum number of stakeholders receiving critical information.

Comprehensive Crisis Communication Guide

The guide is under development and will cover common scenarios one might encounter on a college campus and include a variety of templates that could be useful timesavers in the midst of a crisis response. In future months, there will be opportunities for feedback and tabletop drills to allow opportunities to make content adjustments before finalizing the guide.

Talking about and planning for crisis situations is difficult. No one has a crystal ball, and we hope the plans we put together will never be utilized. That said, having the conversations and developing the plans will help us all to sleep better at night, knowing we are doing our best to be prepared to protect and support our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.