The number of COVID-19 cases, the disease stemming from the new strain of coronavirus, continues to spread around the world.
Cruise ships have been quarantined. Large scale events from food industry conferences to SXSW and even Coachella have been canceled or rescheduled.
If you haven’t yet created a crisis plan for your company, you should…now.
All MedVoice PR clients are in the healthcare/medical space, so you can imagine the questions, concerns and anxiety they’re experiencing from their patients and clinical staff who provide medical care on a daily basis. While health and medical companies may be on the receiving end for much of the stress, all companies are at risk for a potential “COVID-19 crisis” moment.
It could be the announcement of an infected employee or the impact it has caused your bottom line. Whatever the reason, waiting for the crisis to occur doesn’t make the crisis un-happen, rather it makes you less prepared to emerge unscathed.
It Starts With Education
When it comes to a COVID-19 communications plan, we suggest the following:
Educate yourself and your staff about how COVID-19 is spread and how to protect from acquiring and spreading the disease. Hint: The same rules for flu apply.
Create a small ‘task force team’ dedicated solely to COVID-19. Only those people should communicate to patients, employees and the public (if necessary).
Identify the stakeholders (patients, customers, vendors, staff, etc.) who need to receive the most up-to-date information and how you will communicate the information.
Be prepared to give timely and consistent updates and information about symptoms, vaccines and travel recommendations, as this situation continues to evolve on a daily basis. We suggest the CDC and WHO, as these government agencies shape the all protocols to statewide and local officials.
Develop a contingency plan for your stakeholders. If an outbreak occurs near your office, what should happen first? Second? Third? Who will be the main decision-maker and how will you communicate this information?
Prepare for media inquiries. This means having statements, website and social media updates prepared in advance.
For more information about crisis communications or other public relations or marketing needs for your practice or company, contact us.