Guiding Principles for Leadership Communications
The following principles guide presidential and administrative communications when determining if events internal or external to campus warrant an official response. Their application is a matter of W&M leadership's best judgment, considering all that may be known about a specific matter or event:
- The Emergency Management Team (EMT) and William & Mary Police have the lead on all crisis communications involving campus public safety. The EMT has an established emergency communication protocol for immediate public safety incidents and imminent or pending threats such as weather events and/or university closures.
- When considering non-imminent public safety communications and statements, members of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) are empowered by the president to reflect the university's view through statements on current events and messages to the community on issues that fall within their domain. Members of the ELT will consider the facts of the specific incident and consult as necessary with members of the campus community. Decisions will be guided by these considerations:
- Direct impact. ELT will assess the extent to which an incident directly impacts members of the campus community and if so, the scale of the impact.
- Indirect impact. ELT will assess the extent to which an incident indirectly impacts members of the campus community and if so, the scale of the impact. This could include anything from proximity to W&M, demographics of individuals involved or some other factor that has impacted members of campus.
- Appropriate responder/platform. If a response is warranted, the ELT will recommend whether the situation warrants a presidential statement, campus message or a response from another member of university leadership.
- Platforms to be considered (one or all may be used):
- Campus email message.
- Statement posted to the W&M website:
- Statement distributed to media.
- Statement shared on W&M social media sites.