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Crisis? Don’t cringe; be prepared

October 21, 2012
by Tina Young
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Crisis communications doesn’t have to make you cringe. If you plan accordingly and understand how to protect your reputation in a crisis, you can successfully navigate the situation and avoid the potentially negative impact an unexpected event could have on your long-term care organization.

We’ve all been there. You’re going about your day, handling multiple priorities and pushing forward with the usual tasks when out of the blue, you get that call. On the other end of the line is notification of a problem that needs to be handled immediately with the potential to be very damaging to the organization. What happens when that problem is a true crisis, with far-reaching ramifications that could impact residents, employees or your reputation externally?

Have you thought about how you will handle things when a problem is more than an everyday problem, but rather a crisis that seems to swell by the minute?

THE THREE Cs

The first thing to do is consider what I call the three Cs: you need to be calm, credible and connected during any crisis. Many in your organization will be looking to you to handle the situation and provide direction quickly. To help ensure you can genuinely embrace “the three Cs,” you need to make crisis planning a priority now, before you’re called to confront a problem.

A PLAN IS PRIORITY ONE

Putting a crisis plan together will allow you to think through the potential scenarios that could result in a crisis, and prepare your team for handling anything that comes your way. Here are the main areas to cover in your written crisis plan:

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