Communicators battle Ike and win

A detailed look at how Schneider National executed its crisis communications plan.

A detailed look at how the company executed its crisis communications plan

There’s not much good to say about Hurricane Katrina—but it did help some companies plan for this year’s storm season.

The communications team at Schneider National began preparing for the crisis weeks before Hurricane Ike hit land, in conjunction with its plans for Gustav and Hanna.

“Needless to say, it’s been a hectic hurricane season, and it isn’t even half over!” says Janet L. Bonkowski, public relations manager for the nationwide transportation and logistics services provider. “Our team had the experience and learning from Hurricane Katrina three years ago to lean on as we planned for Ike.”

Schneider is headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., but has four facilities and 300 employees in the Texas area that were expected to be worst hit by Ike, with an additional 1,000 employees predicted to be hit if the hurricane took an aggressive path.

“Planning ahead for communication was critical,” Bonkowski says, adding that two elements were at the crux of the company’s preparedness effort:

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