Crisis Communication Plan
All crises shall be managed by the Aspirus Crisis Communications Task Force utilizing the Aspirus Crisis & Critical Issues Communications Plan. Employees shall not take any actions on an individual basis.
A crisis is anything that may damage or impact our organization’s reputation. It is an unplanned event that may cause harm to the:
- Hospital/system • Patients/family/community • Employees/physicians
It can be internal or external; medical or non-medical.
It is the responsibility of Aspirus to act ethically when responding to a crisis. The primary goal is to do no additional harm. In speaking with the media and public, Aspirus will provide factual information and messages most beneficial to the organization and the stakeholders it represents.
In all communications, Aspirus will create a positive opportunity for the public positioning of the organization and of the health care industry as a whole. Messages should be responsive and solution/action oriented, reinforcing Aspirus’ position as a leader in the industry.
When a crisis affects one Aspirus entity, it has the potential to negatively affect all Aspirus entities ― because we are all one Aspirus. As such, a System Crisis Communications Plan & Policy ensures effective and consistent communication, efficient use of resources, and minimizes negative impact.
All entities, employees and volunteers: system-wide.
Within the 1st Hour after a Crisis:
- Contact Community Manager
- The Crisis Communications Task Force Leader will determine whether the Crisis Communications Task Force should be notified/ involved or if the crisis can be handled internally by the Community Manager.
- S/he will be the point of contact before, during and after the crisis.
- The Task Force Team can be assembled by the Community Manager.
- The Task Force Team will work through the following questions:
- Is there continuing danger/fallout/ramifications?
- What important information is missing or in conflict?
- What is the customer risk?
- What is the public risk?
- What is the employee risk?
- What is the legal risk?
- Who else needs to be involved – HR, legal, health and safety, etc.?
In conjunction with the Crisis Communications Task Force:
- Prepare public statement (or response(s) to key audiences) and key messages. All public/media statements need to be reviewed by the Task Force Leader; Community Manager.
- Follow social media postings to assess whether a response is needed and what that response will be
- Prepare script for office and front desk staff in order to direct inquiries to appropriate contact
- Assign and prepare a media spokesperson to answer questions
- Evaluate need for internal communication
Within First Day of Crisis
- Determine method of communicating with media (e.g., statement, news conference, individual interviews, news release, etc.)
- Determine communications for website and social media channels. A “dark site” is a crisis website prepared in advance of a crisis, which remains dark and becomes live and visible on the web only when a crisis occurs. The dark site is housed on an off-site server; it will be a place to post statements and other pertinent information about the crisis going forward
- Notify other appropriate audiences
- Continue tracking media and social media
- Continue notifying key audiences
- Review/update public statement
- Distribute updated communications to appropriate audiences
- Continue responding to media calls
- Continue tracking media and social media coverage