Today the University of Colorado at Boulder blew an announcement about their Journalism and Mass Communications school. They really didn't tell anyone before they sent a news release to the media and it caught its most important asset, its students, completely off-guard. For those of you who missed it, CU announced today that they would discontinue their current Journalism and Mass Communication Program and use that opportunity to develop a new program to meet the needs of the industry today.
We all know that the field of journalism and mass communication has changed and they need to evolve the program to meet what is going on in the real world. I support that!
But the problem is that they didn't really communicate it with the students or their advisors before they sent out a news release to the media themselves.
According to their news release they met with the staff and explained what is going on. I can't confirm that, but I'll take them at their word. But they didn't tell their students. No email, call, or have a specific meeting for them.
Worst yet, they didn't tell the student advisors before the announcement went to the media. So the students are seeing the reports in the media, contacting their advisors, and then getting no response or information. This I can confirm.
How is a student supposed to feel or react especially when all the headlines and breaking news texts going out from most local media outlets say that CU is closing the Journalism and Mass Communications Program.
They didn't send anything out to the students until later in the day and then they only sent the news release to them.
They way it should have been handled was after meeting with the faculty and then advisors, had an email go out to all the students prior to news release going to the media. They should have received the announcement first.
The announcement should have told them what was going on and referred them to a website for the students to see more explanations on how this pertains to them. It should have also referred them to their advisor to answer their questions.
I think the CU Media and Community Relations folks need to go back to school and learn how to communicate with their stakeholders and roll out a big announcement like this. They definitely could have handled this a lot better.