Teachers’ Union Gets Good Marks for Crisis Preparation

Teachers' strikes are almost invariably a nightmare for all sides. Though the recent strike in Chicago lasted only nine days, the 26,000-plus teachers who "abandoned their classrooms," and the government side which "undervalued the importance of teacher," certainly did some harm to their image in the eyes of the people of Chicago, especially the parents of school-aged children.

Now that dust is settling post-strike, the PR hit caused by the strike has forced the teachers unions to take a proactive approach to crisis management, as the strike in Chicago may be a sign of things to come. Meaning more strikes.

To avoid even worse PR hits, the teachers are taking some positive steps to build goodwill. 

On Sept. 21, the American Federation of Teachers, the parent organization of the Chicago teachers union announced it will hold town hall meetings and workshops in the coming weeks in major cities across the country. The move is intended to help repair the image of teachers unions and be a rallying point for members.

If and when another strike occurs, a plan will have been implemented to help avoid the potential negative PR it will produce. The public will have been educated on the issues teachers are dealing with which build support and better understanding among the community.

Having knowledge of a crisis is an advantage that allows time to produce a strategy and plan of action.

Think of the Chicago teacher’s strike as a crisis that was settled, but one that left lingering negative feelings. It produced negative PR and didn’t go over with the public (the consumers) well at all. Now you, the PR pro, are armed with the knowledge gained from the last crisis and can use that knowledge to diffuse a similar crisis that may happen in the near future. By laying the groundwork before a crisis hits, you can either avoid the next one completely or soften the blow.

Follow Jamar Hudson: @jamarhudson 

Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Measurement Conference 

prmeasurement2015-180x150Join PR News at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago on Nov. 18 for the Measurement Conference, where you'll learn how to focus on measurable media relations, social media reputation-enhancing and crisis management programs that clearly affect your organization's bottom line.

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Crisis Management Guidebook


Crisis management is an art, not a science. In this edition of PR News’ Book of Crisis Management Strategies & Tactics, you will discover many different views on this art, and you are certain to find takeaways that will transform the way your organization handles crises. 

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.