Managerial Communication: A Crisis Plan

Introduction

A crisis plan is needed to prepare all the people working in the organization on what to do in the event of a crisis. The preparation includes looking for and reducing the like hood of a crisis occurring and communicating with the public by alerting them the signs of a crisis. Crisis management is effective when a plan is in place. The crisis communication plans takes the form of an affidavit that is signed by all crisis personnel including the key executives indicating that they have read the plan and are ready to put it into effect (Allen, 2009). Crisis communication should be between the organization and its public before, during and after the negative occurrence. The communications are designed in a way to reduce damage to the image of the corporation and produce a more positive reputation before the crisis. The crisis management plans or the crisis communication plan are both tools that are considered for the preparation of a crisis and they guide the members through the crisis. A crisis management team should be assembled to gather and disseminate information and this action lessens the impact of the crisis such as dispelling rumors (Botan & Hazleton, 2006).

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There should be employee information meetings updates and any additional information that will benefit the employees. The various documents that might be needed during a crisis should be prepared and gathered and this includes safety records and procedures, annual reports, photos, company maps and company fact sheets. A spoke man is the most visible representation during a crisis management plan and acts as the voice of the organization. Skeletal news releases can be prepared in advance. In a large crisis, a room is designated and well equipped with the communication equipment such as phones, additional staff, portable generators and internet. People will monitor the procedures and information will be disseminated from here including the media releases and crisis intervention procedures. Keeping the communication lines open and responding to the public concerns builds credibility of an organization.

A crisis team is put in place to control the situation. The hospital will bring independent expert to add the credibility of the results of the crisis event. The corporation’s public affairs team should monitor the media so that the company could adjust to its messages accordingly. The communication teams must keep the employees updated about the situation before they are disclosed to the media. Regular news bulletins will provide the viewers with first hand information about the developing situation. An honest and open disclosure is given to the media. The team will strictly adhere to the package and the delivery steps of the crisis management model. The hospital should assure the parties involved compensation for any damages or inconveniences suffered as a gesture to restore the hospitals image. The team should work quickly to console the employees, their family members and the general public regarding their future safety. The hospital should engage counseling for the individuals and their family members. Drills for perfection of crisis management should be deployed and the hospital leadership should evaluate the drills to determine how well the departments work together (Ciottone, 2006).

Fire explosion

“Good Morning, my name is John the spokesman of XXY hospital. The cause of this unfortunate incident is unknown at this time and a thorough investigation is currently underway. Because of the explosion, two employees were killed instantly and three others injured. Their state is reported as follows: Larry Henry who is our lab technician is in a fair condition and has two broken ribs and a sprained ankle. He is expected to recover fully within a few days. Juanita is our cleaner and was released from the hospital yesterday night. She has a broken leg and is expected to return to work within a few weeks. Rogers is our Lab assistant and remains in a critical condition with a skull fracture. He is at the hospital now. We are in close contact with the employees, their doctors and their families because their recovery is our main apprehension. We will keep you updated about their progress. We are very determined to know the cause of this accident, we are working diligently with authorities from the electricity department to determine the cause of the explosion, and no stones will be left unturned in reaching a resolution. We have called in additional investigation team to make certain that the public knows all the facts.

We assure that all parties involved will be promptly compensated for any damages or inconveniences suffered” (Fearn-Banks, 2007).

Collapse of a building

“Good afternoon. My name is John, the representative of this hospital. I have received some additional information that I can confirm relative to the accident that occurred in the morning on our jobsite. Primarily, our deep concern is for our employees who were injured because of the accident. Everyone in this hospital has been touched by this tragedy and I am very happy to report that the three injured employees were discharged from the hospital this afternoon. We only have one employee who was injured badly and his condition is very critical. We are staying in close contact with the worker, his doctor and his family. We wish him a speedy recovery, which is our primary concern. We are very worried and are determined to know the cause of the accident. We are carefully working with the authorities to determine the cause of the accident and no stone will be left unturned in that process, as we have engaged the services of experts to investigate all the facts. The site has been secured and the rubble removed. Therefore, the hospital will be reopened tomorrow at six in the morning.

This is all the information I can confirm for now and I will providing an update at six in the evening with any new information that is verified. Until then I can be reached at the office anytime from now. Now, I have just a few minutes to answer any questions you may have (Grady & Malloch, 2007).

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Flu outbreak pandemic

(We are seeking coverage following the flu pandemic in our community)

I have received some information that I can confirm relative to the flu pandemic in our community. As the front line of emergency care in this country, we have emergency physicians who will be at the heart of responding to the flu patients.

We should stop spreading of the flu from human to human. According to the centre for disease control and prevention, the absence of any control measure like vaccination or drugs could cause deaths and this impact will be felt in our economy. Emergency physicians and nurses will be prepared to attend to the arriving patients and put them in isolation.

On behalf of the hospital, we require the communities that are affected by the flu to postpone going to the public places until the crisis has abated.

We are collecting data regarding the pandemic and this will help us in developing the appropriate protocols. We urge the government to help us in providing funds for the emergency management in hospitals incase of crisis like this one.

We will continue to update the media as verifiable information becomes available (James, 2008).

Strike

XXY hospital confirms a strike of their employees and interruptions of the activities in the hospital. Talks with the employee’s representatives and the management are on progress. Firm details about the strike incident are yet to be known, but every possible action is being taken to safeguard lives and the environment. Background information about the strike will be released as soon as it becomes available. The following special number has been issued by the hospital for media enquiries relating to the incident

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We regret to announce the interruption of the operations in our hospital due to the strike. Given our current direction, we will be discussing the many issues with the union committee over the next few days. We will continue to update you with the progress of the issue. We understand that this communication raises many questions and personal concerns but our management team is available to address them with you. Until then I can be reached at the office anytime from now. I have just a few minutes to answer any questions you may have.

Death from violence in the emergency Department

Larry Henry the director of the Hospital died today after succumbing to injuries in the Head. He died at 12pm at XXY hospital following a violence attack in the emergency department. He was 50 years. The Chairman at a news conference scheduled for 2 pm at the hospital will release further details to you. It is intended that violent patients will be tamed in the emergency department in the future. Every possible action is being taken by the management to safeguard lives and the environment. The issue arose when a violent patient hit and killed one of the hospitals directors. If you prefer the issue on a hardcopy, I can send it to you on disk or e-mail it to your newsroom. In addition, you can find more information on the company’s website. Please do not hesitate to call me incase of any questions arising. Thank you in advance for considering the image of our hospital. Until then I can be reached at the office anytime from now. I have just a few minutes to answer any questions you may have (Millar& Lawrence, 2004).

The hospital should interact with the media by press release, by interview either in person or by telephone or at a press conference. The media are not always friendly but they should not be treated as enemies. The journalists act as a watchdog and they seek stories of a company’s wrongdoing making them a threat. A joint media strategy should be implemented and all the lines of communication should be open. They should not be mishandled during a crisis and frequent update should be released to them.The media is very important in a crisis and they should not be ignored instead should be viewed as an asset. All the calls from the media should be screened and the news release should invite them. Therefore the spokesman should be ready to answer all the questions. News release should be faxed or emailed to reporters as often as verifiable information is available and approved for release.

The reporters can be given press releases on how best they can help and be less disruptive during a crisis (Roberts, 2005). The liaison between the media and the hospital will provide facts that are current to the public. The hospital must let the media rely on the information they provide them. Helpful literature of support services on how to deal with the trauma repercussions of the event can be provided to the media to pass on to the public. The spokesman should avoid arguing, fighting or losing his temper when asked some questions. Therefore he must respond quickly and thoughtfully to all questions to avoid speculation of hidden agendas. Information released to the media should be clear to the point and complex language should be avoided. The media should be provided with a reporting location that is safe. Factual and honest information should be faxed or emailed to the media (Smith, 1985).

They should be provided with standard information format about the hospital and these include fact sheets and backgrounders, position papers, official statements and bios. The news can also be placed in the hospitals website and the web-masters should update the information on the site regularly and this will reduce the numerous calls from the public. All the media journalists should be treated fairly and favor to some will make the reporters to lose confidence in the spokes man. A mistake should be apologized to the reporters openly. Even though the media reports the information accurately the hospital needs to communicate to its employees, shareholders and suppliers. The media should not be the only source to communicate about a crisis. The spokesman should be well prepared and he must treat the media with respect and not in an arrogant way. However, in a major crisis one spokesman cannot be everywhere and several others will be needed to speak to the media in the conferences and the interviews (Stroul, 1993).

Reference List

Allen, P. (2009). Violence in the Emergency Department: Tools and Strategies to Create a Violence-Free ED. Chicago, Springer Publishing Company.

Botan, C., & Hazleton, V. (2006). Public relations theory II. New York, Routledge.

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Ciottone, G. (2006). Disaster medicine. New York, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Fearn-Banks, K. (2007).Crisis communications: a casebook approach. New York, Routledge.

Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2007). Quantum leadership: a resource for health care innovation. New York, Jones & Bartlett Learning.

James, R. (2008). Crisis intervention strategies. Chicago, Cengage Learning.

Millar, D., & Lawrence, R. (2004). responding to crisis: a rhetorical approach to crisis communication. New York, Routledge.

Roberts, A. (2005). Crisis intervention handbook: assessment, treatment, and research. Chicago, Oxford University Press US.

Smith, J. (1985). Hospital Liability. New York, Law Journal Press.

Stroul, B. (1993). Psychiatric Crisis Response Systems: A Descriptive Study. Chicago, DIANE Publishing.

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