More #FallAtHarding // 11.17.2017

The communications and marketing office at Harding hosts a campaign and contest each fall called #FallAtHarding. It’s pretty simple—document what you love about our university during the fall months.

I shared some of my #FallAtHarding photos in my “Seasons of Life” post earlier this month. Check that out here.

I was out around campus on Friday (Nov. 17) for a couple hours. It was the Friday before Thanksgiving break, campus was dying down and the final leaves were falling as students left for home.

I found the two-hour break in between my morning and afternoon classes, and I found some of favorite shots from the year.

Here are a couple shots from my second #FallAtHarding outing.

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That last photo is not very fall, but it is representative of my favorite season—winter! The lighting ceremony is the Monday night we get back on campus, and I can’t wait.

You can check out more fall photos here from student, faculty and staff from across campus: #FallAtHarding.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-K

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Seasons of life // 11.09.2017

On Tuesday (Nov. 7), I found myself with an hour in my schedule during the middle of the day, which is quite an unusual occurrence.

If I ever have any free time where I’m not napping, I like to spend it outside shooting—photographs, not skeet. So, that’s what I did. I spent my extra hour in the middle of my Tuesday across campus shooting the fall colors. It was in the low 50s, the sky was overcast and I needed and sweater and a coat to stay warm. I loved it.

My hour went by too fast, and I realized I needed to head back to my room, grab my backpack and head to class. It was a great hour, and I hope I’ll take another hour next week to do just the same. I love fall, and I loved getting to capture the fall colors, but it reminds me how excited I am for my favorite season—winter.

Here are some photos from my day.

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Today, I’m thankful for seasons, and I’m thankful that I can see God at work in the changing of the weather. I’m also thankful for seasons of life.

My current season of life is a weird one—I’m constantly plagued by thinking “I just have to make it to the next day.” Although that mindset gets through some challenging points, I often find myself simply making it to the next day instead of living in the current one. It’s also a season where I’m learning a lot about myself. So, it’s a strange balance.

Today, I’m thankful for seasons—literal and metaphorical. But with my favorite season nearing and this one being harder than I expected, I guess I am just ready for the change.

For now, though, I’ll enjoy watching God in the transition (and taking some pictures along the way). I hope you can do the same.

–K

Away for the day // 10.07.2017

After a week of tests and yearbook deadlines, I knew I needed to get away for the day. My friend, Levi, and I spent the day in Mountain View, Arkansas. The overcast skies and low 80-degree weather made for a really great day, and I have some pictures to prove it.

Today I’m thankful for a break from school and for friends.

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-K

Commanding crisis communication control

The public relations tactics class at Harding had the unique opportunity to experience crisis communication in action on Wednesday, April 19.

For the last decade or so, officials at Harding University, in partnership with local agencies and organizations, have hosted a disaster drill on campus that tests the university’s and community’s preparedness for such a situation. In past years, drills have involved simulation of a pipe bomb, active shooter and dorm fire.

This year, the simulation tested preparedness for a bus accident carrying 60+ student-athletes in another state. The scene mimicked a car accident with two Harding vans and one Harding bus. Theater students acted as the injured students, nursing students practiced triage work and university officials practiced their readiness.

For our class, we watched from the sidelines as Harding’s Director of News Services Shelby Dias walked us through the communications and marketing office’s response.

The first response

According to Shelby, the first response comes within 30 minutes to an hour of the university’s knowledge of the crisis. The brief statement outlines what police and university officials know at the time. As a note of courtesy and professionalism, sometimes not all information is given due to sensitivity and notice to families. At this time, a script will go out to campus switchboard operators and office managers.

Hannah Owens, Harding’s director of digital media, added that control of the university’s social accounts is crucial in the first moments of the crisis. An email will go out to all social media managers letting them know of the situation and what to do with their social accounts.

The second response

The second response is more involved — more media and more information. Often times, police will give the initial statement due to the sensitivity of the crisis. Harding would give a follow-up statement regarding the university’s response, control and thoughts.

According to Jana Rucker, Harding’s vice president of communications and marketing, the more severe the crisis, the more important Harding’s spokesperson would be.

The basics of Crisis Communication 101

  • Never release information that is unknown or is sensitive (deaths, severe injuries, etc.) until proper channels (family, friends, etc.) have been notified.
  • Law enforcement should be the official source of casualty and injury count.
  • Social accounts related to the organization should be secured, and one account should be releasing information.
  • The crisis doesn’t end when everyone goes home. Be on alert for media and social mentions and develop a plan for restoring things back to normal post-crisis.
  • Control is everything. The more control you have on the message your brand is sending during the crisis, the better it gets handled. You never want to lose control and have multiple messages being dispersed.

 

Photo courtesy of Harding University