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Crisis Comm Model Plan

Crisis Comm Model Plan - Crisis Management Plan Mass...

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Crisis Management Plan: Mass Shooting at Millersville University The following is a crisis management plan that pertains to a mass shooting at Millersville University. After the Virginia Tech tragedy, this issue has received increased attention with universities worldwide. The following plan will utilize Timothy Coombs’ (1999) outline of the three-staged approach to crisis management with insight from other sources of material. This crisis management plan will outline the steps that need to be taken in order to deal with the possibility of a mass murder shooting at Millersville University. Precrisis: As part of the three-staged approach, the precrisis stage features three substages which include signal detection, prevention, and crisis preparation (Coombs, 1999). These three substages represent possible ways to avoid a mass shooting crisis all together. Signal Detection: Signal detection plays a significant role in the precrisis stage. Coombs (1999) writes about the importance of signal detection: “Most crises do emit early warning signs. If early action is taken, these crises can be avoided.” One of the first steps Millersville University should take is to closely monitor their students who receive therapy through the university’s psychologist. Quoting Neil Kaye, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Thomas Jefferson University, Neely Tucker (2007) writes about the problems of mass murder cases: “…mass killers do this for multiple reasons, and even when you develop a profile of people at risk, 99 percent of them never go out and do anything bad.” For this reason, the most Millersville’s psychologist can do is closely monitor moods and behaviors of their patients. This method is the closest form of signal detection one can implement in the case of a university mass murder.
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Prevention: Coombs (1999) states that crisis preparation features preventative measures that fall into three categories: issues management, risk aversion, and relationship building. He further explains that issues management takes steps to prevent an issue from maturing into a crisis, risk aversion attempts to eliminate or lower risk levels, and relationship building seeks to build positive relationships (Coombs, 1999). In the case of Millersville University, issues management would translate to taking necessary steps to prevent a mass shooting occurrence on campus. Coombs (1999) explains the idea behind issues management: “The idea is to have the issue resolved in a manner that is not a crisis.” So, necessary steps at Millersville University would include recognizing a potential dangerous patient and recommending correctional medicine or strengthening the treatment he/she receives. It would also curtail acting on any evidence provided by other students or faculty who know of the intentions of a particular student or person outside of the university. The Issues Management Council (2007) writes about the internal benefits of effective issues
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