5 Following a CRISIS, who do you want to be? Residence #ACompetent, well informedResponsible & responsiveCompassionateResidence #BCallusSloppyUnscrupulous
6 What defines a CRISIS? Non-Routine Immediately/Rapidly escalates in intensityA circumstance which invites unanticipated media, law enforcement or government scrutiny
7 What is your objective during a CRISIS? Maintain normal business operations; modest disruptionEnsure licensing status is intactProtect the short- and long-term viability of your business and its reputationMinimize damage to your bottom line
8 You can’t 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 vulnerableYou are willing to assume responsibility and risk for residents seeking to live more independently
9 Once a CRISIS occurs, accept it and demonstrate competency by resolving the problem quickly This can mean the difference between:One article reporting factsAn open ended article, which requires follow up and prolongs the crisis
10 Steps for handling a CRISIS Follow the critical path:Facts F Family F MediaIdentify the Facts :Gather the facts – avoid speculationKnow what you don’t knowCommunicate with your company spokesperson and crisis team
11 Don’t 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)
12 Steps for handling a CRISIS continued… Notify Family:Family follows factsDecide whether information should be distributed directly to residents and their familiesYou may wish to designate someone for this task
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 deadlineStaff must take clear, concise messages
14 Steps for handling a CRISIS continued… Collect fundamental information about your residenceDo not use industry lingo such as “ACF” or “ALP”Questions concerning your opinions, facts outside of the specific issue at hand should be avoidedBe careful if a reporter asks for “background” or “off the record” information.
15 PreventionPreparation can mean the difference between disastrous public consequence or control over a bad situationDemonstrating competency can actually help your residence solidify its reputationA crisis is a terrible thing to waste
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; andEnsure fairness and receive professional courtesy
17 Where do I start?Now that you’ve made media relations a priority, you can start by:Developing a media listBecoming aware of local reporters, their beats, and their assignmentsDesignating a staff person to pursue positive opportunities and invite media to your facility
18 How do I survive a CRISIS? Fundamental approaches:The “crisis fairy” does not work 9 to 5The key to communicating effectively in a crisis is responding quickly, with authority, and convictionThe first few hours are the most critical
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?
20 How do I prepare? Create scenarios and anticipate courses of action Develop sample key messagesAnticipate and develop answers for toughest questionsPreparation needs to be periodic
21 Prepare for each interview Framing the interviewDetermine your position and identify three key messagesAnticipate tough questionsDevelop concise answers – out loudPractice, practice, practice!
22 AttachmentsCrisis team 24-hour phone list and wallet card of emergency numbersFact sheets on assisted living, companyMedia listsCrisis communications checklistRisk analysis update sheetAnnual report
23 Give staff confidence in what to do Distribute crisis plan to all supervisorsTrain front-line staff on media protocolInclude employees in your self assessment processHold an in-service on crisis response
24 When the crisis is over… Continue to monitor the situationStay in touch with key audiencesDevelop an after incident reportUpdate crisis plan accordinglyCultivate relationships to rebuild confidence in your organization