Crisis Scenario for Crisis Communications/ Sara Surber


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This was the crisis scenario from which press releases and the crisis communications plan fore Scott Institute were derived.

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Crisis Scenario for Crisis Communications/ Sara Surber

  1. 1. Crisis Public Relations<br />Fall 2010<br />Scenario for Final Project<br />Organization: Scott Institute<br />Your organization is a world-class institute for orthopaedics and sports medicine. The recently completed facility is state-of-the-art in every respect. Employee satisfaction is high. The CEO is a highly respected community leader and has been recognized nationally for his ability to lead and manage a first-class operation. The facility is new and has not experienced a significant crisis nor come under serious media scrutiny. Until now. <br />Given its reputation as the gold standard in sports medicine, your institute is the facility of choice for many professional athletes who need medical treatment. Recently, knee surgery was performed on Joe Dakota, an all-pro, superstar quarterback for the Atlanta Snakes. Following the procedure, the Snakes and Dakota, an all-pro, superstar quarterback for the Atlanta Snakes. Following the procedure, the Snakes and Dakota publically praised the institute and predicted Dakota’s full recovery and quick return to the field. Unfortunately, one of the nurses who assisted in the surgery felt otherwise. Following the surgery, the nurse, Bob Smith, contacted the local newspaper sports editor and informed him that Dakota’s knee would never recover. The damage was too severe. Dakota’s career was over. The Snakes’ season was in serious jeopardy. You know those allegations are, unfortunately, absolutely accurate!<br />Dakota and the Snakes denied the report, but the public damage was already done. The institution has had no comment, citing patient/doctor confidentiality restrictions.<br />As a result of this breech, your institute’s reputation has been severely damaged. High profile professional athletes expect their privacy to be respected and not splashed all over the papers. In fact, a large number of your clients have started to look elsewhere for medical treatment. <br />Line employees of the institute are nervous that this breech will have adverse effects and the loss of so many clients may put their jobs at risk. Rumors of institute downsizing are rampant.<br />Dakota and the Snakes are livid. They have been very vocal and public in their statements about the incident. In fact, Dakota is quoted as saying, “The folks at Scott ruined my career. The docs were OK, but the staff can’t keep their mouths shut! I’m going to do all I can to shut them down.” <br />The local community is equally upset. It turns out that Dakota is from the Florida Panhandle and, back in the day, was a star QB at the local high school. Locals can’t believe your institute has done this to one of their favorites.<br />Assignment:<br />Examine the scenario carefully and use your generic plan as appropriate to address each of the problems. Prepare a new communication plan based on this scenario. Include draft examples of all tactics you suggest (where it is possible to do so). Your written plan is due on Dec. 2. Present you plan to the class on the date assigned. Your presentation must answer the following three questions:<br />Who do you represent?<br />What is your crisis?<br />How did you address the crisis?<br />