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
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.