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Preparing for the Unexpected Communication Techniques and Tips to Help you Stay in Control During a Crisis Tuesday, May 17, 2011 D R A F T 5.9.11

Mar 26, 2015

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Preparing for the Unexpected Communication Techniques and Tips to Help you Stay in Control During a Crisis Tuesday, May 17, 2011 D R A F T 5.9.11 Slide 2 2 Recent CRISIS? Slide 3 3 Types of CRISIS: Financial or operational audit scrutiny of business operations Violation of trust by an employee/staff member Unaccounted for resident Slide 4 4 Slide 5 5 Following a CRISIS, who do you want to be? Residence #A Competent, well informed Responsible & responsive Compassionate Residence #B Callus Sloppy Unscrupulous Slide 6 6 What defines a CRISIS? Non-Routine Immediately/Rapidly escalates in intensity A circumstance which invites unanticipated media, law enforcement or government scrutiny Slide 7 7 What is your objective during a CRISIS? Maintain normal business operations; modest disruption Ensure licensing status is intact Protect the short- and long-term viability of your business and its reputation Minimize damage to your bottom line Slide 8 8 You cant head off a CRISIS if its potential risks are not recognized The assisted living environment provides ample opportunity for an incident to develop into a crisis Residents are often perceived as vulnerable You are willing to assume responsibility and risk for residents seeking to live more independently Slide 9 9 Once a CRISIS occurs, accept it and demonstrate competency by resolving the problem quickly This can mean the difference between: One article reporting facts An open ended article, which requires follow up and prolongs the crisis Slide 10 10 Steps for handling a CRISIS Follow the critical path: Facts F Family F Media Identify the Facts : Gather the facts avoid speculation Know what you dont know Communicate with your company spokesperson and crisis team Slide 11 11 Dont have a CRISIS Team? Consider this Your crisis team needs to convey: Administrative authority (Administrator or Director) Comprehensive understanding of the regulatory environment (Deputy Administrator or Deputy Director) Detailed knowledge of day to day operations (Wellness Coordinator/Residence Services Director, Maintenance Director, or Food Services Coordinator) Someone who can articulate this (Spokesperson) Slide 12 12 Steps for handling a CRISIS continued Notify Family : Family follows facts Decide whether information should be distributed directly to residents and their families You may wish to designate someone for this task Slide 13 13 Steps for handling a CRISIS continued Communicate with the Media: All media inquires are to be referred to the spokesperson one point of contact (employees should not volunteer information) If you receive media calls while you are fact-finding, get the names and phone numbers of the reporters and find out their deadline Staff must take clear, concise messages Slide 14 14 Steps for handling a CRISIS continued Collect fundamental information about your residence Do not use industry lingo such as ACF or ALP Questions concerning your opinions, facts outside of the specific issue at hand should be avoided Be careful if a reporter asks for background or off the record information. Slide 15 15 Prevention Preparation can mean the difference between disastrous public consequence or control over a bad situation Demonstrating competency can actually help your residence solidify its reputation A crisis is a terrible thing to waste Slide 16 16 A commitment to media relations and the ability to manage a CRISIS has benefits Media relations is earned it is not advertising or sales. It helps you: Define your organization and message; Establish credibility; and Ensure fairness and receive professional courtesy Slide 17 17 Where do I start? Now that youve made media relations a priority, you can start by: Developing a media list Becoming aware of local reporters, their beats, and their assignments Designating a staff person to pursue positive opportunities and invite media to your facility Slide 18 18 How do I survive a CRISIS? Fundamental approaches: The crisis fairy does not work 9 to 5 The key to communicating effectively in a crisis is responding quickly, with authority, and conviction The first few hours are the most critical Slide 19 19 Conduct a self assessment Is your crisis team in place? What crisis have struck in the past? What crisis have affected similar organizations? What chain of reactions did these set off? Who are the audiences these crisis would affect? Am I aware of the critical path? Slide 20 20 How do I prepare? Create scenarios and anticipate courses of action Develop sample key messages Anticipate and develop answers for toughest questions Preparation needs to be periodic Slide 21 21 Prepare for each interview Framing the interview Determine your position and identify three key messages Anticipate tough questions Develop concise answers out loud Practice, practice, practice! Slide 22 22 Attachments Crisis team 24-hour phone list and wallet card of emergency numbers Fact sheets on assisted living, company Media lists Crisis communications checklist Risk analysis update sheet Annual report Slide 23 23 Give staff confidence in what to do Distribute crisis plan to all supervisors Train front-line staff on media protocol Include employees in your self assessment process Hold an in-service on crisis response Slide 24 24 When the crisis is over Continue to monitor the situation Stay in touch with key audiences Develop an after incident report Update crisis plan accordingly Cultivate relationships to rebuild confidence in your organization Slide 25 25 Slide 26 26