G. Druteikiene, J. Martinavicius

Vilnius University (LITHUANIA)
The main purpose of this article is to analyse the university crisis communication actions when the organization finds itself in an unfavourable situation. Currently, crisis situations are so common that no organization, no matter how powerful it is, can be protected against it. In addition, despite the fact most managers realize that crises are inevitable in an organization, surveys show that only half of them have earmarked a specific action plan for such a situation. Most organizations plan their business activities for a long term and usually these plans only include a “good option” – growth and prosperity. Unfortunately, only few of them think that any organization can find itself in a crisis; most managers from the very beginning refuse to recognize even such an option. Meanwhile, organizations that analyze the probability of crises and have their own specific plan of actions tackle the crisis much easier, because making important decisions in a stressful situation is more complicated.

The crisis situation is a serious threat to the university operations and even to its survival; besides, this situation is immediately reflected in the financial and economic standing of the university, and its image and reputation is in decline. Therefore, in order to preserve its image during the critical period, the university must be prepared for an effective communication with all impact groups. Since the organisation of communication is not easy in times of crisis, it should be prepared well in advance. The universities that prepare for crisis situations in advance can easier overcome the crisis. The strategic planning and forecast of a crisis provides a possibility to foresee it in advance; the timely recognition of the crisis and the effective communication during the crisis reduces its negative impact on the university image and reputation.