Sometimes, good things can come out of challenging situations. That is the case for Bakersfield College’s year-long communication effort on the athletics sanctions which were announced last May. Before that announcement was made, Bakersfield College’s Public Information Officer, Amber Chiang, was hard at work planning our communication strategy, and after the announcement, she continued this work to keep the college’s message, plans, and position in the community through strategic outreach.
In February, Amber looked back on the year of work, and submitted an extensive package of information to the Community Colleges Public Relations Organization PRO Award competition’s “Media Success Story” category. Bakersfield College took home top honors on April 17!
That night, Amber accepted the award on behalf of Bakersfield College and texted me just after the win.. Amber said she found the sustained crisis communications effort to be professionally challenging, and was elated the college was recognized by our peers for our work. Most of the time, happy news items win the “Media Success Story” category (Bakersfield College won it in 2012 for our media outreach on Dr. Levan’s historic gift), so for a crisis communication effort to win is really something special.
Bakersfield College’s “Media Success Story” scored 56 out of a possible 60 points to win. The judges’ comments included:
Well executed! A textbook example of how to respond to such a development. Wow!
An admirable, disciplined effort under difficult circumstances. Very well organized and prepared.
Amber’s role in the sanctions communications was not an easy one; she battled internal and external forces while working to maintain the college’s image in the community and our focus on students. Good work Amber! and thank you!