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Communications Lessons From Sandy Hook Oregon School Public Relations Association Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

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Presentation on theme: "Communications Lessons From Sandy Hook Oregon School Public Relations Association Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt."— Presentation transcript:

1 Communications Lessons From Sandy Hook Oregon School Public Relations Association Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.


3 A Quiz… Fact or Fiction  The shooter was 24 year old Ryan Lanza  The Mother of the shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary school taught there at one time  A man was arrested outside of Sandy Hook elementary school on the morning of the shooting  The school asked for teddy bears to comfort their students  The community needed volunteers, especially grief counselors to come to Newtown to help Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

4 Sandy Hook…Now You See It… Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

5 Now You Don’t… Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

6 Overview  26 people killed in a small community  Some parents are city employees – everyone knew someone  Media and visitors shuts down the town. Gridlock  President comes to visit… so does Anderson Cooper and Dr. Phil  21 Funerals in town in about a week  Massive law enforcement effort  Multiple Federal agencies respond  Businesses impacted  Volunteers… some invited … some not  $7.5 Million donated to families within 4 weeks  60,000 Teddy Bears  Cascading Events… School leadership a victim, snow, flu, conspiracy theory Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

7 60,000 Teddy Bears!!!!

8 Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

9 Let’s Look At The BEFORE of This Picture  Presidential Visit… timing, security, screening, chose location, barricades, who gets to meet him, where is the best photo op, logistics of media… badging, staging, parking, food, safety, equipment, printing, politics, Coordination of other events,  What else? Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

10 Let’s Look at the AFTER of This Picture  Controversy of his visit  Conspiracy Theory Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

11 School Issues- Shooting at a school, not a school shooting Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.  Key Leaders Victims  Plans in place… worked well for the most part  Rebuild? Tear it down?  Relocate and Reopen New Sandy Hook Elementary  Costs  Personnel Decisions  Superintendent  Sandy Hook Principal  Neighboring schools in lock down  Non Traditional Support Methods… Comfort Dogs, horses and pigs  Trigger Events for Kids – scraping chairs  Staff – Parking Lot Phone Call Support TYPICAL Reactions: Scapegoat, Staff turn over, Test Scores, Vocabulary… 12-14, Anniversaries

12 Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt. Donations Management… VOAD Adventist Disaster Services

13 What Are The PIO Issues Around Donations? Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

14 Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt, Community Communication Hub

15 Memorials… Intentional, Unintentional Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt,

16 Media/Communications Issues Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.  MSN Story giving address of school “send a sympathy card”  MSN Story asking for ‘Volunteers, especially Grief Counselors, please call…  Funeral Home Visit  Police information was wrong in the beginning  Newtown Bee provided Media Training to impacted First Responders  Connecticut Association of Funeral Directors… 18 volunteer Funeral Directors to help and a Media Consultant

17 We are NOT objective  An Event Impacts You….  Judgment May Be Impaired  School System Isn’t Alone… Use Your Resources  PIO/Communications Job During a Major Crisis May be Different Than Day to Day Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.


19 We Are Not Alone Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.







26 Senator SelectWoman School Superintendent Parent Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.


28 Take Aways  Coordination begins in chaos  It’s about relationships  Understand we are in this for the long haul  Spokesperson may change but message should be consistent  Perception IS reality Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt.

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