November 7, 2013
Turning a crisis into a victory
When a small private school became the focus of a potentially scathing international media spotlight, they immediately called Dodd Communications. After the girl’s basketball team lost a game 100 points to 0, the school and its students became big headlines fast. Within a day, network television correspondents, national newspaper reporters, the Associated Press, ESPN and syndicated talk show producers were all camped out in front of the school clamoring for interviews. The school administration had never dealt with media and they were concerned about how the news coverage would define Dallas Academy. Within an hour of the first media call, Sarah Dodd was at the school personally handling all aspects of the crisis communications plan. Dodd promptly began preparing students, parents and coaches for interviews. She stayed at the school from 4 in the morning to until 11 o’clock at night for the next several days facilitating interviews and fielding calls from the media. Dodd quickly developed messaging and on the spot media training for students. Because of Dodd’s journalism background, she was able to shape how the stories were told. The crisis communications plan Dodd crafted ensured Dallas Academy students ended up being praised throughout the country and tagged as “lovable.” Dodd’s insider knowledge of how news operations work enabled her to successfully secure positive news coverage for Dallas Academy. Thousands of dollars of donations even came into the school because of the positive image the school projected. Dodd Communications turned this crisis into a victory.
Make sure you have a crisis plan in place before the television crews arrive, and Dodd Communications should always be the first call.