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Crisis Communications, Emily Sikes

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Crisis Communications, Emily Sikes

  1. 1. + Crisis Communication: The Role of PIO During Disaster Emily Sikes Marketing and Referral Services Saint Francis Medical Center
  2. 2. + What is a crisis?  A significant threat to operations that can have negative consequences if not handled properly. Threat is potential damage to:  An organization  Its stakeholders  An industry  A crisis creates three types of threats:  Public Safety  Injury  Death  Financial Loss  Operations disruption  Loss of market share  Lawsuits  Reputation Loss
  3. 3. + What sparks a crisis?  Natural disasters/environment  Technology/systems failures  Confrontations (boycotts, strikes)  Violence or terrorism  Criminal misconduct  Accidents  Managerial mistakes
  4. 4. + Phases of a crisis Crisis • Prevention Response • Follow-up • Preparation • Quick • Preparation • Accurate • Consistent Pre-crisis Post-crisis
  5. 5. + Pre-crisis phase: Risk management  Create a crisis management plan  Guideline/reference  Document response  Select and train crisis management team  Public relations  Legal  Security  Operations  Finance  Human resources  Pre-draft crisis messages  Statement templates  Website content
  6. 6. + Crisis response phase  Initial response  Be quick  Be accurate  Be consistent  Instruct  Inform  Express concern
  7. 7. + Post-crisis phase  Goal: Return to business as usual  Deliver information to stakeholders as soon as it is known  Crisis no longer focus  Reputation repair  Follow-up communication  Keep stakeholders updated on recovery progress  Analyze and evaluate crisis management effort  What worked  What didn’t
  8. 8. + PR crisis vs. emergency/disaster incident crisis  During a disaster, many community organizations – including hospitals – may become part of a Joint Information System (JIS) and Joint Information Center (JIC) within the NIMS (National Incident Management System) multiagency coordination system  Under the Incident Command Center (ICS) model, the Public Information Officer (PIO) is a key member of the command staff  Once a JIS/JIC is activated, the PIO has specific responsibilities in the local emergency operations plan and emergency management systems
  9. 9. + What is a PIO?  In emergencies, public information officers (PIOs) are responsible for keeping the public informed of any emergency situation in which it might be involved  Responsible to:  Public  Internal  External  Media  PIO’s agency or organization  Emergency response agencies
  10. 10. + What is a PIO?  The PIO serves as the advisor to the Incident Commander on Public Information Officer public information implications of the incident and the response/recovery effort Liaison Officer  The PIO also looks for Incident Commander opportunities to advance leadership’s goals Safety Officer  Setting up media interviews  Preparing talking points for Medical/Technical Incident Commander Specialist
  11. 11. + Qualities of a good PIO Good working Knows the relationship with the organization organization PIO Trusted advisor, Aggressive strategist
  12. 12. + Necessary skills  Community relations  Aware of demographics  Aware of community organizations and how they work and interact  Fosters innovative ideas and programs  Media relations  Has developed credibility with the news media  Provides information and access to newsmakers  Knows media needs and operations  Knows and respects reporters’ deadlines  Maintains continuing, open dialogue
  13. 13. + Necessary skills  Writing  Organizes clear thoughts on paper  Knows proper use of grammar, spelling  Knows formats, writing styles  Produces quality documents  Miscellaneous  Public speaking  Audio/visual presentation  Emergency Management Agency fundamentals  Political savvy
  14. 14. + What is public information?  Used by people to make decisions and take actions to:  Save lives  Reduce injury and harm  Protect property  Stabilize the incident  Can be used to:  Call people to action  Educate and inform  Change behavior or attitudes  Create positive impressions of your organization
  15. 15. + PIO constituencies  The public  PIO’s agency/organization  Largest audience  Promote employees,  Be aware of demographics programs and successes  Know best channels  Issues management role  The media  Responding agencies  Relationship is very important  Must have working relationship to avoid  Know the reporters conflicting messages  Groups are interdependent and interrelated, but with different priorities
  16. 16. + Role of the PIO Gather Verify Coordinate Publish
  17. 17. + Information gathering  Research and development of all written, print, photographic, audio, video and web-based materials used by the JIC  Sources:  Documentation (situation reports)  Response partners  Media monitoring  Analysis should be:  Strategic  Proactive
  18. 18. + Creating the message  Research and writing:  Coordination/approval  News releases, fact sheets,  Coordinate for accuracy talking points, web stories,  Keep partners informed etc.  Know protocol/processes for  Graphic support approval  Audio/visual  Broadcast operations  Photo/video
  19. 19. + Information dissemination  Providing written and oral communication to the news media, public and other organizations  Proactive:  Media distribution (news releases, media advisories)  News briefings or conferences  Media/public distribution (web stories, social media)  Responsive:  Media relations/news desk  Public inquiry centers  Internal (briefings, media monitoring reports)
  20. 20. + Why work with the media?  The First Amendment (freedom of speech)  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and local Sunshine Laws  Cultural cohesiveness  Perception
  21. 21. + Why work with the media?  Benefits of working with local media:  Understand what local reporters need  Help them see you as a “person”  Help them understand the issues  Contact them before an emergency  Call or meet with media representatives/reporters  Send news releases  Provide briefings/media advisories
  22. 22. + Media’s role in emergency management  Use the media to send information:  That will reduce the public panic  About action the public should take  To alert/warn the public
  23. 23. + Types of news interviews  Print vs. Broadcast  General vs. Investigative  Ambush vs. Prearranged  Office vs. On-site
  24. 24. + During the interview  Remain calm and in control  Respond honestly  The welcome sets the tone  Review expectations  Work in key points before you begin  Be ready with overview statement  Choose words carefully  Expect follow-up questions
  25. 25. + During the interview  Start with conclusion  Most important facts first  Provide 5W + H  Work in key messages  Answer/acknowledge the reporter  Bridge from point to point  Use “quotable quotes” at least three times  Jump in and be responsive  Don’t go “off-the-record”  Don’t lose composure  Keep answers clear and concise
  26. 26. + During the interview  Use familiar language – not jargon  Explain technical terms and acronyms you must use  When you don’t know:  It’s OK to say “I don’t know”  Offer to find answer and follow up  Never use as a way to avoid answer  Look out for “What if …?”  Avoid request for opinion or speculation  Return to facts or key talking points  Never say “No comment”!
  27. 27. + Plan in practice: A hospital scenario  Pre-disaster: The hospital is notified by law enforcement that a gunman is at large at the university. There are casualties and injuries, but no word yet how many.  The hospital’s disaster plan is activated, anticipating an influx of patients, family members and the media.  The Command Center is set up and key staff, including PIO, report for duty.
  28. 28. + Plan in practice: A hospital scenario  Other PR staff, under direction of PIO, are assigned to:  Staged Press/Media area (away from ER and other designated areas)  Man telephones  Prepare and distribute media badges  Prepare register/log for media  Release information as available/approved  Distribute press releases with public information  Family/Information area  Maintain roster of family members entering/leaving area  Maintain file on each victim  Provide comfort and support  Maintain crowd control  Labor Pool (as available) for other assignments
  29. 29. + Plan in practice: A hospital scenario  Primary responsibility is to patients, families and employees  HIPAA privacy laws still in effect for releasing PHI (private health information)  Secondary responsibility to general public  Media is channel for information
  30. 30. + Summary  In an emergency, a PIO needs to get out:  Accurate, timely information on the scope and nature of the emergency  Life-threatening and live-saving information  Actions being taken by responding agencies  The best vehicle for the message is the media  Using multiple media channels reaches a larger audience  Being proactive takes planning
  31. 31. + Questions?
  32. 32. + Learn more:  Joplin tornado case study: Communicating after a disaster. http://www.slideshare.net/bdherrick/joplin-case-study-social- media-and-crisis-management
  33. 33. + Sources  Coombs, W. T. (Oct. 30, 2007). “Crisis Management and Communication.” Institute for Public Relations. http://www.instituteforpr.org/topics/crisis-management-and- communications/  Emergency Management Institute. (Oct. 2003). “SM-290 Basic Public Information Officer Course.” Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Federal Emergency Management Agency. (Oct. 2009). “G291 JIS/JIC Planning for Tribal, State and Local PIOs.”  National Disaster Education Coalition. (2004). “Talking About Disaster: Guide for Standard Messaging.”
  34. 34. Responsibilities:+   Represent service lines within the Medical Center in varied aspects of communications: writing, media relations and special events.  Oversee production of monthly employee newsletter  Coordinate general employee communications (audience = 2,600)  Write/distribute news releases and generate positive news and feature stories with local, regional and national media  Write speeches and prepare presentations forAbout Me the CEO, other executives and members of leadershipAccount Services Coordinator at Saint  Coordinate special events and activitiesFrancis Medical Center  Serve as public information officer/spokesperson to the mediahttp://linkedin.com/in/emilysikes  Education:  Master of Arts in Journalism/Strategic Communication (2014, expected) – University of Memphis  Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication/Public Relations (2006) – Southeast Missouri State University

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