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Crisis Communications

At Frank PR we believe that crisis communication is an important element of the total communications program.

A danger exists for all organizations -- the real potential for something unintentional, unexpected, and unsavory that may happen to negatively impact or implicate the company.

Having a plan of action-- a crisis communications plan -- and ensuring that the organization is trained and prepared to put it in motion if it is needed, safeguards the organization's future viability. In addition, should there be a "crisis," with an ongoing communications' program in place, an organization is poised to leap at the opportunity the crisis may provide in furthering one or more of the organization's key objectives.

Being out in front of the issue, that is, proactively dealing with a company-wide crisis, is vital to quickly capturing public understanding and for earning the public's early adoption and confidence in the company's problem and suggested solutions. When potentially millions of dollars are at stake, you cannot afford to neglect this important communications tool.

Case Study

Background: HMOs are targets of the public's scrutiny and disappointment for a variety of reasons, mostly involving of lack of medical and pharmaceutical coverage.

Problem: An HMO member, upset with a coverage issue, made a public display of his unhappiness by committing suicide on an LA freeway during the afternoon drive time. His sign "HMOs Suck" which he held up before lighting himself ablaze, attracted national media attention. The media wanted to know the name of the deceased's health plan. This information is considered confidential, yet every other heath plan was quick to deny this man as its member - which left my client's plan as the plan of record.

Solution: Adhering to a carefully structured, total company crisis communication plan that had been well communicated to all employees prior to any crisis occurring, Ms. Frank handled all calls respectfully and efficiently. She worked closely with all levels of management to ensure that the corporate message was accurately and consistently communicated. Skillfully responding to the media, and telling them that the law specifically does not allow for a health plan to confirm or deny that a particular person is a member provided the desired result: the health plan was never identified in the news as the health plan of record.

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