• November 12, 2019

Board eyes crisis communications agency - Odessa American: News

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Board eyes crisis communications agency

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Posted: Monday, October 14, 2019 4:27 pm

Ector County ISD trustees will consider approving an agency services agreement to have the DeBerry Group appointed as the crisis communications agency of record for the district for an estimated price of $80,000.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. today in the board room of the administration building, 802 N. Sam Houston Ave.

Supplemental agenda material shows the DeBerry Group will provide crisis communications management, public relations and counsel, “which may include internal and external communications strategy, media relations, stakeholder relations, and support to develop materials such as key messages, fact sheets, press releases, website copy, and letters to the school community.”

Following the Aug. 31 shootings, ECISD is taking on the role of serving as a central source of support, information and mental health resources for teachers, staff, students, parents and the larger community, the agenda material said.

Communications Officer Mike Adkins said DeBerry Group has a lot of experience in crisis communication, including school-related tragedies. It helped at Santa Fe ISD after the high school shooting there.

Adkins said what ECISD wants help with is in developing messages, materials and other resources that it is going to need in responding to the Aug. 31 shootings as time goes on. DeBerry Group has the expertise to respond to the types of situations that can trigger responses long after the initial incidents.

Adkins said this will take a “huge burden” off the communications department, but also the counseling department and individual counselors.

He added that the tragedy will resurface and the anxiety will resurface and the district will need to be ready.

“Because of the nature of the shooting, (it) impacted from east to west and from north to south and we’re going to feel that for a long time and we have access to 34,000 kids and their families and we need to have resources in place. We feel strongly this group is going to be able to help us,” Adkins said.

The DeBerry Group will play a key role in this effort through the following steps:

>> Initial meeting and strategy session with ECISD Office of Student and School Support, Guidance and Counseling, and Communication Department.

>> Creation of strategic communication and message to address needs and concerns of key audiences; development of a resource hub to be incorporated into the district’s existing website to provide information that helps the community’s healing/recovery process; create materials — for internal and external use — tailored to the different audiences and age ranges served by the district; help prepare the district and community for difficult milestones and anniversaries surroundings the mass violence tragedy.

>> The estimated contract price is $80,000 including all consulting, creative work, production of materials/resources, software, licensing fees, and travel costs for the 12-month period of the contract.

Also on the agenda are:

>>A request for approval to renovate/repair the pool at Permian High School. The recommendation is to hire MNC Superior Pools for a total cost of $459,864, the agenda material said.

The pool was built in the 1960s and much of the plumbing is original. The most recent renovation occurred in the late 1980s. The pool is leaking 12 inches of water per day and the mosaic tile becomes loose and is a safety issue from year to year prior to repairs being made.

Additionally, the material said the valves do not close properly.

  • A report from Superintendent Scott Muri on his Look, Listen and Learn tour, which he has been conducting since he arrived this summer.
  • Several policy updates.
  • Requests for approval of student out-of-state travel.
  • Approval of the appointment/reappointment of members of the Student Health Advisory Council.

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