Public relations helps organizations manage communication through formal and defined manner to avoid communication crisis in their organizations (Cottle 56). This helps maintain a reputation of leadership and transparency on important issues in the organization and breaking news. In relation to the recent publications, the National Association of Trauma Specialists (NATS) is purposing produce factual information and message that are most beneficial for their growth and the public at large. In communications undertaken by NATS, there is a need to create positive opportunity for public positioning and the messages need to be responsive and action oriented hence reinforcing the associations position of leadership.
This is intended to serve as a crisis communication plan for the bad publicity created by media. The report purposes to assist manage communications around the crisis in the organization. However, the plan does not suffice for the entire crisis management that can incorporate other organization considerations (Coombs 67). This crisis communication plan has the following objectives:
Prepare the National Association of Trauma Specialists (NATS) staff in managing crisis communications;
Help the management respond to issues related to these in a professional and unified manner hence creating loyalty and leadership;
To help NATS manage critical and sensitive information to the media and the public;
To enhance NATS brand and the public understanding of its value in providing quality health care.
Basic plan of action
The basic plan of action is intended to be used by the staff, board and the committee that play in crisis communication in NATS. In this case, information needed to be explained at staff orientation and reviewed within a given period by the organization management.
Crisis Communications Policy
In the case of crisis, the report should be made to the top management with an immediate effect.
Only NATS chief spokesperson is allowed to release information to media and the public. Additionally, other staff and board members should be professional and helpful to the media by connecting them with the organization spokesperson but can neither speak nor provide any information.
There should be one crisis management lead person in charge of all the coordination and direction of the organizations response including the management of messages and media.
Comments in relation to the current situation should be guided by transparency and professionalism while at the same time reinforcing NATSs leadership.
Personal matters in the organization are to remain confidential.
There is a need for proactive, action-oriented and responsive response by the involved party.
National Association of Trauma Specialists (NATS) recognizes the need of media relation to public trust and should maintain effective media relationships during a crisis.
All staff members must review the crisis communications policy as a component of orientation to help them in crisis management.
Crisis Communications Overview
Basic crisis management steps
Ensure all employees are safe
Notify the concerned leadership immediately
The crisis team convenes to review the prevailing situation strategically and manage communication.
Before going public
The crisis communication lead person must ensure all tasks are completed
Choose the spokesperson who will respond to media and other queries.
Assess the entire situation by determining the prevailing facts in the situation.
Decide on the best response.
Create an action plan for inbound and outbound communications.
Create a factual and detailed message that reflects the status of the crisis in the organization and provide proactive steps to curb the situation.
Prepare a script and talking points to be used by the receptionist who receives calls.
Ensure the press release or web updates are done necessarily.
Assess the best resource to respond to the crisis either press conference or cell-phone availability.
Appoint various staff to respond to various issues in relation to the crisis.
Going public: at this stage, NATS need to begin placing calls to various audiences both internally and externally and can use press release if possible.
Emergency Phone Tree (for use internally)
An emergency phone tree can be used in case of crisis, and the staffs are not in the office. This is because learning a crisis from the association leadership is better than from the media. The employees task is not done until the form is passed to the next person on the list and assured that he/she will continue the tree. The last person on the emergency phone tree will call the concerned person in charge of communication to ensure calls are complete.
Staff List (please indicate the preferred number)
Name Work phone Mobile phone Home phone
As soon as a crisis is noted, the designee will inform the crisis management board who should then alert the rest of the employees either through phone(Dean 195). After the initial call, periodic updates will be sent via email. After the crisis is managed and there is normalcy, a summary of the situation is sent to all the employees and resolution details as well.
PRESS RELEASE (Immediate release)
[email protected] National Association of Trauma Specialists (NATS) provides quality medical services
Emergency Rooms are not that Extravagant and Dangerous
There has been a dizzying range of information to the public concerning emergency medical care on various articles and magazines that are aiming towards tarnishing the National Association of Trauma Specialists (NATS). In this case, the general public has become conflicted on the issue, and this is meant to clarify things.
The increase in the emergency medical care has increased. This is due to some of the most expensive procedures patients undergo. An open heart emergency surgery, for example, is a procedure that has a lot of complication and follow-up appointments hence the high cost. Further, some of these complications take longer recovery period. However, there exist insurance agencies and various programs put in place by governments to cover a particular portion of the expenses. As an association, we encourage the public to try out these programs and the insurance companies to help minimize medical care costs. Generally, the hospital admission, pre-operation assessment, post-operation care and follow-up costs are the main issues to the increase in healthcare. For this reason, emergency medical care is not responsible for the medical cost.
On the subject of work relation and working environment, National Association of Trauma Specialists human resource manager said: the association has fairly treated the medical personnel, and there are programs set in place by the association to manage their stressful circumstances with various patients undergoing complicated situations. Treating patients individually is one of the ethical aspects in the medical field. Patient dignity and respect are of great importance, and the healthcare personnel should be devoted to that, added Mr. Adrian Reif, one of the board members at NATS.
As an association, our mission is to save lives by incorporating improved education programs for doctors and the public as a whole. The association is also targeting improved trauma care and injury prevention strategies and these reports linking mistakes by our staff are vague.
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Coombs, W. Timothy. Ongoing Crisis Communication. London: Sage, 2007. Print.
Cottle, Simon. News, Public Relations and Power. London: Sage, 2003. Print.
Dean, Dwane H. "Consumer Reaction to Negative Publicity: Effects of Corporate Reputation, Response, and Responsibility for a Crisis Event". Journal of Business Communication 41.2 (2004): 192-211. Web.
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