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It’s a Campus Emergency – Let’s Run the Crisis Communications Drill

Session Details

  • Date: Tuesday, June 30
  • Time: 10:30 - 11:15 am
  • Room: 355
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You just got assigned to your University’s crisis communications team, so what is that all about? The way a University responds in an emergency disaster can have the greatest effect on the overall outcome of the situation. So are you prepared to assist? What roles and responsibilities will you need to take on and what decisions might you be involved in? In this fast-paced session, you will not only learn about “standing up” an emergency communications center, but also receive guidance on messaging techniques and successful communication strategies.


Learning Objectives

  • Best practices for setting up and running a crisis communications center
  • Obtain a practical strategy for developing an overall crisis response
  • Gain insight on wording of messages, use of communications tools
  • Help focus /refocus on crisis preparation and provide encouragement to run drills


Karen E. Yarbrough

Senior Business Advisor - Center for Management and Economic Research (CMER), The University of Alabama at Huntsville

Karen E. Yarbrough is a professional communications specialist with in-depth experience in communications/marketing research, strategic business and communication development, corporate/organizational branding, crisis mitigation, and commercialization of new products.

As a principle and/or owner of three public relations firms during a ten-year span, and currently as a senior business advisor within the Center for Management & Economic Research (CMER) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), Karen has worked extensively with a range of government, corporate, and non-profit clients. She has been recognized professionally along with her work on local, state, and regional levels.

She has served as president of numerous boards, including both the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA) state & local boards, and WEDC (Women’s Economic Development Council). Karen served as an executive board member with Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF), Leadership Huntsville/Madison County, Salvation Army, Arts Council Inc., American Heart Association, and WEDC Foundation.

Karen holds a degree in Communications- Public Relations from the University of Alabama. She is an alumna of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County (Class 12), and a member of the Public Relations Society of America, PRSA’s Counselors Academy, PRSA of Alabama, and Rotary International.

Barbara Friend Nash

President, Barbara Nash and Associates

Barbara Nash, APR is President of Barbara Nash & Associates, where she leads an organizational positioning firm in identifying, developing, and executing fully integrated strategic communications, business development, and market engagement strategies. Barbara’s efforts further client business goals to impact the bottom line for both large and small businesses as well as governmental agencies, non-profits, and international enterprises.

Barbara has more than 25 years in the field of strategic communications, public relations, crisis mitigation, and business development and has amassed multiple local, state, national, and international honors and awards. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and holds Universal Accreditation in Public Relations. She is also a member of PRSA’s Counselors Academy, PRSA of Alabama, Rotary International, and the Alumni Association of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County (Class 15).