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Director of Public Affairs featured presenter in crisis communication teleseminar

May 22, 2009

IMAGE: Meredith Hartley

Meredith Hartley, Loyola’s director of Public Affairs and External Relations, recently participated in a national crisis communications teleseminar targeted to higher education administrators and professionals.

Hartley was one of three featured speakers in the United Educators telephone roundtable, “Crisis Communications: Strategies for Succeeding in the Court of Public Opinion During Difficult Times.” More than 300 listeners from 90 institutions around the country were dialed in during the roundtable, which addressed the need for crisis communications planning, the components of a plan, and the applications of crisis planning strategies to hypothetical scenarios.

Joining Hartley as presenters were Norm Arkans, the associate vice president of communications and media relations at the University of Washington in Seattle, and Teresa Valerio Parrot, the vice president of media relations and crisis communications for SimpsonScarborough, a public relations firm in Washington, D.C., specializing in educational institutions. Alyssa Keehan, risk counsel for United Educators, served as moderator.

During the conference call, Hartley highlighted communication lessons Loyola University learned as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and how these lessons spurred Loyola to improve its crisis communications capabilities. As a result of these improvements, the university executed a successful crisis communication effort before, during and after the recent evacuation for Hurricane Gustav. Hartley also highlighted the importance of sharing these successes with the media to ensure the university was positioned before the public as ready and capable of handling a crisis event.

United Educators Insurance, a Reciprocal Risk Retention Group, is a licensed insurance company owned and governed by more than 1,160 member colleges, universities, independent schools, public school districts, public school insurance pools and related organizations throughout the United States. Members range from small, private schools to multi-campus public universities.

Hartley has been the director of Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs and External Relations since February 2008. Prior to working at Loyola, Hartley owned a public relations and marketing consultancy in Charleston, S.C., directed community outreach for the Medical University of South Carolina, managed public and media relations for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, and reported for several newspapers.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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