Michelle Sullivan Communications

Sheridan lockdown : Crisis management

As I blog, Sheridan College is under lockdown. Reminiscent of Virginia Tech, though hopefully with a much different outcome.

Just as with Virginia Tech, communications strategies during times of crisis are key to ensuring the safety of students.

Logging onto the Sheridan College website, we are greeted by a semi-transparent black screen, hinting at the normal webpage layout underneath, but with the following message :


Please be advised that Sheridan’s TRAFALGAR campus is currently in an emergency lockdown situation. Emergency services personnel have been contacted. The situation is under investigation. Normal operations are suspended, do not proceed to the campus. Please check this site for further updates. Thank you for your patience.

Facebook is being used to a slight extent as well here, although, strangely, not here, nor here, nor here. Given the high penetration of Facebook in the GTA, and the fact that settings allow for notification by sms, this is a communication channel that should not be neglected by institutions faced with a crisis situation.

Story developing.

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  1. Michelle Sullivan

    2008.02.08 @ 18:04

    ‘Staff and students also heard an automated message cautioning them that the school was in lockdown over the campus’s loudspeakers.’


  2. Tod Maffin

    2008.02.08 @ 18:32

    Also interesting:

    That « lockdown » screen on the site’s main page is remarkably well designed.

    It has a transparency layer and everything.

    Makes you wonder if they had a contingency plan. A good idea. (A better idea would be to have a header across ALL pages, like CNN does when there is breaking news.)

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