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Senior Living Crisis
Communications: Making the
Best of Bad Situations
Presented by:
Janis R. Ehlers, President
The Ehlers...
Crisis Management vs. Crisis Communications
• Operations vs. Communications
• Handling the crisis vs. Communicating the cr...
Crisis Situations
Crisis situations require:
• Planning
• Preparation
• Procedure
• Practice
groupcast.com
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given
the truth, they can be depended upon to
meet any national crisis. The great ...
Value and Use of Social Media
• Facebook
• Twitter
groupcast.com
What is a Crisis?
• Unexpected
• Traumatic
• Conflict and drama
• Seen and unseen
• Time sensitive
groupcast.com
Potential Crisis Situations
groupcast.com
 Death
 Accidents
 Fire
 Abuse
 Fraud-Embezzlement
 Sexual Harassment
 Mi...
Crisis Communications Planning
• Answer the “what will you do if” question
• How likely could crisis occur
• Potential dev...
Potential Damage Ranking
• 0 – No Damage / Not a serious consequence
• 1 – Little Damage / Not serious enough for media co...
Crisis Communications Preparations
• Predict potential crisis situations
• Assess communications methods
• Assess media aw...
Crisis Communications Preparations Cont.
• Crisis resources (attorney, health department, police and fire
departments)
• S...
Predicting Potential Crisis Situations
Create a written plan that goes into effect
• Relevant to your geographic area
• Na...
AssessAvailable Communications Methods
• How will information be disseminated?
• Are the methods effective?
• What emergen...
Determine the Audiences Affected by a Crisis
Internal
• Residents
• Employees/Staff
groupcast.com
External
• Residents’ fa...
Using an Internal Communications Manager
• Person responsible for the communications
• Spokesperson vs. Communications man...
Using an Internal Communications Manager Cont.
• Value of emergency notification system
• Person who can write press relea...
AssessYour Communications Quotient
• Be prepared with media relationships
• Get your community known in good times
• Have ...
Media Kit
• Community fact sheet
• Community principals background
• Spokesperson background
• Business and civic contribu...
Media Policy
• Creates awareness how media is handled at the community
• Establishes who speaks on behalf of the community...
Social Media Policy
• Spells out what can be shared on public forums
• Assumes nothing is private
• Establishes rights to ...
Crisis Communications Strategies
• Keep information clear and simple
• Be accurate
• Stick to the facts
• Use talking poin...
Good vs. Bad Crisis Communications
GOOD
• Factual
• Timely
• Spokesperson stays on
point
• Spokesperson offers
reassurance...
Key Crisis Messages
• Concern for residents is #1
• Concern for employees is #1
• Information and talking points answer 4 ...
Key Crisis Messages Cont.
• Explain what the community/company is doing
• Express regret
• Offer reassurance
groupcast.com
CRATechnique for Crisis Messaging
Context
“In the five years we’ve been operating this community, we never
have had a situ...
Dealing with the Media
• They are doing their job
• If crisis warrants media, they will do the story
• Be prepared
• Stay ...
Dealing with the Media & “No Comment”
• Efforts to help the media go rewarded
• No comment may imply guilt/wrong doing
gro...
Social Media in a Crisis
• Plan for internet rants
• Take control of situation with social media
• Value of blogs, Faceboo...
Positive Crisis Resolutions
• Listening to the customer
• Crisis response plans ready
• Tone
• Top-down adoption of social...
Crisis Communication Aftermath
• Review
• Reflect
• Regroup
• Prepare
groupcast.com
Real Crisis – Real Communities
Senior Living Community Faces Hurricane Sandy
• Poor communication with families
• Poor com...
Real Crisis – Real Communities
Senior Living Community & the Mannequin
• Multiple people speaking to the media
• No reassu...
groupcast.com
Janis R. Ehlers
The Ehlers Group
954-726-9228
Janis@TheEhlersGroup.com
www.TheEhlersGroup.com
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Senior Living Crisis Communications

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Senior Living Crisis Communications

  1. 1. Senior Living Crisis Communications: Making the Best of Bad Situations Presented by: Janis R. Ehlers, President The EhlersGroup www.TheEhlersGroup.com groupcast.com
  2. 2. Crisis Management vs. Crisis Communications • Operations vs. Communications • Handling the crisis vs. Communicating the crisis groupcast.com
  3. 3. Crisis Situations Crisis situations require: • Planning • Preparation • Procedure • Practice groupcast.com
  4. 4. “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” – Abraham Lincoln
  5. 5. Value and Use of Social Media • Facebook • Twitter groupcast.com
  6. 6. What is a Crisis? • Unexpected • Traumatic • Conflict and drama • Seen and unseen • Time sensitive groupcast.com
  7. 7. Potential Crisis Situations groupcast.com  Death  Accidents  Fire  Abuse  Fraud-Embezzlement  Sexual Harassment  Missing Resident  Personnel Issues  Complaints or Accusations  Resident/Patient Care  Disease Outbreak  Power Failures  Flooding  Natural Disasters  Building Incidents  Construction Issues (Asbestos, mildew, mold)
  8. 8. Crisis Communications Planning • Answer the “what will you do if” question • How likely could crisis occur • Potential devastation groupcast.com
  9. 9. Potential Damage Ranking • 0 – No Damage / Not a serious consequence • 1 – Little Damage / Not serious enough for media concern • 2 – Some Damage – Slight chance of media being involved • 3 – Considerable Damage – Not a major media issue • 4 – Considerable Damage – Definitely a major media issue • 5 – Devastating front page news – Far reaching effects groupcast.com
  10. 10. Crisis Communications Preparations • Predict potential crisis situations • Assess communications methods • Assess media awareness and reputation • Determine audiences affected • Review a crisis plan and if it includes communications • Crisis team members groupcast.com
  11. 11. Crisis Communications Preparations Cont. • Crisis resources (attorney, health department, police and fire departments) • Spokesperson • Media policy • Media kit & resources • Social media policy • Scheduled trial runs groupcast.com
  12. 12. Predicting Potential Crisis Situations Create a written plan that goes into effect • Relevant to your geographic area • Natural disasters or sudden scenario • Missing person • Lingering crisis • Special features groupcast.com
  13. 13. AssessAvailable Communications Methods • How will information be disseminated? • Are the methods effective? • What emergency notification systems go into effect? groupcast.com
  14. 14. Determine the Audiences Affected by a Crisis Internal • Residents • Employees/Staff groupcast.com External • Residents’ families • Employees’ families • Referral sources • Business/Vendors • General public • Other
  15. 15. Using an Internal Communications Manager • Person responsible for the communications • Spokesperson vs. Communications manager • Needed tools: oHome and cell phone numbers oEmail address oFax numbers oKept current groupcast.com
  16. 16. Using an Internal Communications Manager Cont. • Value of emergency notification system • Person who can write press releases, updates, all communications • Media contact list groupcast.com
  17. 17. AssessYour Communications Quotient • Be prepared with media relationships • Get your community known in good times • Have go-to people • Resources to tap for specialists groupcast.com
  18. 18. Media Kit • Community fact sheet • Community principals background • Spokesperson background • Business and civic contributions • Press releases / backgrounders groupcast.com
  19. 19. Media Policy • Creates awareness how media is handled at the community • Establishes who speaks on behalf of the community • Guards residents’ and employees’ privacy • Media procedures for inquires and visits • Maintain a log of media inquiries groupcast.com
  20. 20. Social Media Policy • Spells out what can be shared on public forums • Assumes nothing is private • Establishes rights to delete and/or block posts groupcast.com
  21. 21. Crisis Communications Strategies • Keep information clear and simple • Be accurate • Stick to the facts • Use talking points to explain the situation • Make sure everyone has the same information • Rely on spokesperson or internal communications person • Have a timetable or communication messages • Respond quickly groupcast.com
  22. 22. Good vs. Bad Crisis Communications GOOD • Factual • Timely • Spokesperson stays on point • Spokesperson offers reassurance groupcast.com BAD • Incorrect • Lag time • Saying as little as possible • Person with authority not available • Rumors start • No reassurance by someone with authority
  23. 23. Key Crisis Messages • Concern for residents is #1 • Concern for employees is #1 • Information and talking points answer 4 “w” and “how” oWhat oWhen oWhere oWho oHow groupcast.com
  24. 24. Key Crisis Messages Cont. • Explain what the community/company is doing • Express regret • Offer reassurance groupcast.com
  25. 25. CRATechnique for Crisis Messaging Context “In the five years we’ve been operating this community, we never have had a situation like this.” Regret “Our main concern is for our residents. We are working closely with families to provide support …working with authorities…working with specialists.” Action “We are reviewing our procedures and meeting with employees to ensure this situation does not occur again.” groupcast.com
  26. 26. Dealing with the Media • They are doing their job • If crisis warrants media, they will do the story • Be prepared • Stay on point • Stick to the facts • Balance bad news with good news • Offer a positive perspective on the community/company groupcast.com
  27. 27. Dealing with the Media & “No Comment” • Efforts to help the media go rewarded • No comment may imply guilt/wrong doing groupcast.com
  28. 28. Social Media in a Crisis • Plan for internet rants • Take control of situation with social media • Value of blogs, Facebook andTwitter • Value of text messages • Monitor chatter groupcast.com
  29. 29. Positive Crisis Resolutions • Listening to the customer • Crisis response plans ready • Tone • Top-down adoption of social media • Follow through groupcast.com
  30. 30. Crisis Communication Aftermath • Review • Reflect • Regroup • Prepare groupcast.com
  31. 31. Real Crisis – Real Communities Senior Living Community Faces Hurricane Sandy • Poor communication with families • Poor communication with external community • Social media portrayed community in a bad light groupcast.com
  32. 32. Real Crisis – Real Communities Senior Living Community & the Mannequin • Multiple people speaking to the media • No reassurance • No leadership groupcast.com
  33. 33. groupcast.com Janis R. Ehlers The Ehlers Group 954-726-9228 Janis@TheEhlersGroup.com www.TheEhlersGroup.com

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