Share these talks and lectures with your colleaguesInvite colleagues
Coronavirus communications and the college president's power to calm campus
This case study outlines the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic communications for colleges and universities and highlights the ways in which an institution's president can allay concerns and create calm. Key communications strategy components include building trust through transparency; displaying honesty in uncertainty; fighting fear; demonstrating expertise and communicating concern. Primary tools include first-person videos from the president; a dedicated website; social media sharing and consistently scheduled e-mail updates. Florida Tech's communications approach contributed to enrolment increases during the pandemic and fostered greater acceptance and, ultimately, widespread support for, and adherence to, the university's COVID-19 safety protocols.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal.
Wes Sumner is Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Florida Institute of Technology. He has served more than 20 years in higher education, leading award-winning communications and marketing efforts across the University System of Georgia before joining Florida Tech in 2009. An invited presenter at regional and national marketing conferences, he focuses on practical strategies for higher education marketing teams. Wes previously worked as a print and broadcast journalist. He earned a bachelor’s degree double-majoring in journalism and political science from the University of Central Florida, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Valdosta State University and a doctorate in business administration from Florida Institute of Technology’s Bisk College of Business.