The Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) approached Prominent in August 2020 to take the lead on crisis communications and media relations. Prominent’s work soon evolved to include a much wider range of services to raise the profile of the Trust and its schools in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Prominent has also delivered training on how to handle calls from the media and crisis situations with the creation of a comprehensive crisis communications strategy.
The 24/7 press office we provide for DEMAT ensures we are the first port of call for all enquiries from the media. This allows us to set up interviews, provide statements and manage crisis situations on behalf of the Trust.
As well as handling crisis communications, we work with DEMAT and its 39 schools to identify positive PR opportunities to enhance the reputation of the schools locally and raise the profile of the Trust.
We have worked with schools needing to increase pupil numbers by securing coverage in the local media to raise their reputation with current parents, prospective parents and the wider community. Articles have celebrated how schools have handled the third lockdown by adapting to remote learning, ensuring pupils had the technology at home to continue learning and praising staff for going above and beyond.
Successes have also come with schools receiving laptop donations and funding to create a specialist STEM room at an Ely primary school to support pupils, particularly to engage girls with technology.
Coverage has been secured on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Ely Standard, Hunts Post and Wisbech Standard.
As with any vast organisation working with a multitude of individuals, there are occasions when a crisis situation arises.
Since last year, Prominent’s crisis communications team have used their expertise to manage an array of media enquiries relating to reputational risk.
The team, which includes several journalists who are fully trained in media law, have helped deal with potential threats from historic and current events, including a consultation over plans to merge two of the Trust’s schools.
For this, we provided our expertise to control internal and external messaging with press releases, statements and enquiries from media outlets. We also offered training on how to handle a public meeting held as part of the consultation process.