Like much of the Midwest, Indiana is well known for tornadoes that wreak destruction, floods that rip apart rural communities, and ice storms that bring life to a frozen standstill.
To help state agencies communicate with each other and the public during the worst times imaginable, Leah Logan, '08, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, led a seven-member team of talented Ball State public relations students to develop a crisis communications protocol for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). The first order of business is talking with public information officers around the country to determine the most successful in crisis communication planning.
"Crisis communications is the cornerstone of public relations training," says Logan, who was an executive director of Cardinal Communications, Ball State's full-service, student-run public relations and advertising firm. "Not only was I gaining experience in developing writing a crisis protocol, but I was on a team working for the state of Indiana.
"We knew that this project was going to take a lot of work, and that meant long nights on top of our schoolwork and projects for clients of Cardinal Communications. But not many college students get the opportunity to participate in a project like this. I think it puts our team ahead of the majority of our peers."
This is the first time a state department of homeland security is partnering with a group of college students to develop public relations protocol. Ball State previously worked with IDHS in 2007, when students majoring in telecommunications and journalism spent a semester writing, shooting, and editing eight 30-second, black and white video Take Responsibility to educate viewers on the precautions to take before an emergency occurs.
College of Communications, Information, and Media
Department of Journalism