Presentation on theme: "Jan. 8, 2011 Mass Shooting in Tucson: Lessons for hospital communicators."— Presentation transcript:
Jan. 8, 2011 Mass Shooting in Tucson: Lessons for hospital communicators
2 Katie Riley, MA, APR Director of Media Relations Arizona Health Sciences Center, Office of Public Affairs
University Medical Center, Tucson 487-bed primary teaching hospital of the University of Arizona Only Level 1 Trauma Center in Southern Arizona
10:15 a.m. January 8, 2011 A quiet Saturday morning… Popular U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords hosts a ‘Congress on Your Corner’ at a busy Safeway supermarket. Lone gunman shoots Rep. Giffords and 15 others. 4 dead at the scene.
Hour 1 – ‘Gabby’s Been Shot’ On-call Public Affairs staffer bombarded with calls and pages; heads to UMC. Media arrive at hospital. 9 patients arrive at UMC Trauma Center, 3 more transferred later. Hospital Command Center established.
First steps 1 st press briefing set for 2 p.m. in auditorium adjacent to hospital Media kept away from hospital until shortly before briefing Rumor control
Expert Spokespersons Dr. Michael Lemole, neurosurgeon Dr. Peter Rhee, head of trauma
Media Briefings 10 a.m. briefings for 2 weeks Docs and family members of victims
Media Briefings Live streaming of briefings In-house BioCommunications support
Media Hordes Descend on Hospital Hospital on lockdown for 5 days Provided food, port-a-potties, traffic control
Media trucks congregate at hospital entrance
Hospital shrine becomes part of the story
Interview Requests Established PIO ‘war room.’ Met daily over lunch to triage media requests.
Keeping track of requests
Scores of Interviews Arizona Media Katie Couric Brian Williams Sanjay Gupta Dr. Oz New York Times (17 staff members) Korean-American press USA Today Canadian Broadcasting Japan Broadcasting AP, Reuters Bloggers NPRWall Street Journal LA TimesAl Jazeera CNNUnivision, Telemundo
Privacy Issues Followed HIPAA and wishes of families. Did not release names of victims, only confirmed names. Hospital fired 3 employees for inappropriately accessing electronic medical records of victims.
A visit from the President
Lessons Learned Consistent spokespersons Balance national vs. local coverage It’s OK to say no sometimes The exhaustion factor
Lessons Learned Line up Spanish-speaking sources Don’t forget nurses