Case Study:

Crisis Communication in a Healthcare Service Organization

crisis communication

The Fox Group, LLC was retained to develop a crisis communication guide that would assist this long-term-care organization in preparing and responding effectively to a crisis. Assisted Living, Independent Living, Skilled Nursing, and memory care were all part of the ongoing operation.

The Circumstances and Challenges

The stakeholders acknowledged that the national prevalence of crises, both inside and outside of the healthcare sector had compelled them to take a closer look at their preparedness and potential exposure. Within their regional community, this organization’s reputation for civic leadership, excellent care, and fostering stakeholder relationships based on integrity was well-respected.

“We’ve Been Lucky” was repeated again and again during the initial interview and situation analysis.

Our Approach

Following the initial assessment and audit of the existing policies, procedures, communication tools, public and media relations plans, this organization was presented with unexpected scrutiny of crisis.

Fifteen staff members were chosen, consisting of selected divisions and team leaders to compose the crisis communication team, including the C-suite. The leadership laid out the expectation the crisis communication team were expected to complete the curricula and training provided.

One exercise that prepares for the scenario workshop is to refine communication skills by asking unexpected questions during each session. This serves as a prudent reminder that the press always has the last word.

All crises are critiqued by not only the incident but by how a team manages the communication.

Our customized training is designed to maximize our ten-step workflow process that concludes with intensive and focused media training scenarios pulled from current media events.

Ramping up always begins with a clear strategic vision of our roadmap and customized workflow. The Fox Group, LLC is exceptionally hands-on with providing policy templates, social media analytics, and training, and most importantly, igniting team collaboration and co-creation.

Message Mapping

Creating message maps for different stakeholders requires thinking with an innovative mindset because it imagines both events and outcomes that have not occurred. Understanding that over 90% of questions can be answered in advance, the team took the time to create a stakeholder matrix as their first step.

During our training, an unexpected situation required this client to leverage mapping in two different scenarios that would protect their brand – they did so skillfully and with confidence. The team worked in concert to achieve a positive outcome; they were brutally honest, solution-oriented, and engaged with their stakeholders.

The Solution and Outcome

During the initial four-week assessment and audit stage, it became unmistakably clear that the staff had a strong ability to anticipate change. They recognized vulnerability in crucial areas and ranked them accordingly.

What was unique about this group of leaders was that they were all in agreement that they were not prepared to handle a crisis. The one comment that was unanimously revealed during the audit was that “we’ve been lucky,” and, that there was a positive and united interest in protecting their unique culture from crisis or intense scrutiny.

“We’ve been lucky” was no longer acceptable.

All members of this team had a positive bias for action; in fact, they decided to update and make current the vision, mission, and values the organization espoused. While the Fox Group provided training and resources, in the end, it was their visionary leadership that saw the need for a crisis communication plan before they needed it.

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