Stakeholder and Media Communication

A primary objective of the EMP is to arrange opportunities for the University to present complete statements of fact about an emergency and to be decisive, responsive and proactive in doing so. It is equally important for the University to avoid the appearance of being ineffective and to avoid being placed on the defensive. In accordance with the authority of this EMP, the Director of the Communications and Marketing Division is responsible for managing and implementing all communications related to an emergency and issues arising from such an emergency that could negatively affect stakeholder and media perception or reputation of Rhodes University. The Director should thus be notified of any emergency immediately, in accordance with the University’s Emergency Management and Response Network

Negative issues include crimes against students, faculty or staff; suicides; student demonstrations; inappropriate conduct by faculty, staff or students; academic freedom issues; fiscal irregularities; and personnel issues. Both the stakeholders’ legitimate right to know the essential facts and privacy concerns – especially those related to individual rights, personal security and legal liability – must be determined and considered before any public statements are made. It is, however, inevitable that incidents, and most particularly incidents that involve students or staff members, will attract a great deal of interest from stakeholders and the media.

In order to ensure that appropriate messages are communicated and that individual rights and institutional reputation are protected, it is very important that all messages and communication collateral material are prepared and dispatched by the Emergency Communication Team working under the leadership of the Director of the Communications and Marketing Division – who is Rhodes University’s officially designated spokesperson.

Last Modified: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:07:05 SAST