The UK’s largest private higher education institution was facing a possible Administration. This would be the first time a higher education body would go into Administration, and the resulting effect on its 3,5000 students, and staff, was of primary concern. The situation needed urgent scenario planning, communication channels put in place, messaging prepared for a range of audiences and essential partnerships developed.
We initially began working with the Senior Leadership Team to develop messaging and scenario planning. As un upcoming Administration became certain, preparation expanded to coordinate communications between the Administrators, key government and industry bodies to ensure extensive planning and messaging was prepared. Detailed media plans, communications pieces and timelines were prepared in advance of the announcement, which we activated and coordinated on the day the announcement was made. Acting as the central press office, we coordinated media responses and ensured all partner organisations issued communications according to the detailed plans.
News of the Administration garnered national press coverage, and as predicted, the situation continued to attract media interest over the ensuing months as students were supported to transfer to other higher education institutions. Our ongoing press office activity and involvement in preparing communications to staff, students and stakeholders ensured messages were accurate, far reaching and emphasised the effective work done by all partners to support students and staff.