Stakeholder Communications – Crisis Communications
You are a member of the Corporate Communications Department for QuantaCare, a major pharmaceutical company. One of your company’s most profitable products is a rescue inhaler called BreatheEZ. Your product is used by asthmatics to treat their condition in the event of a life-threatening asthma attack. This product is well-established and has great brand recognition—the public can easily identify your product’s logo and considers it to be a trusted brand for their family.
It’s 6:00 am on a Friday morning. Your CEO just called your boss and said, “We have a crisis. Check the news and have your team meet me in the War Room ASAP.” The Associated Press and Reuters are running the headline, “Defective BreatheEZ asthma rescue inhaler linked to hospitalization of 21-year-old male.”
Facts you’ve confirmed by 8:00 am:
21 year-old asthmatic male attempted to use his BreatheEZ inhaler during an asthma attack. The product failed to work. 911 was called and emergency personal were able to stabilize the patient who is now in stable condition at a local hospital.
The Chief Resident at the local hospital called your customer complaint department late last night to report that the patient’s BreatheEZ inhaler did not appear to have contained the active ingredient.
The local news is picking up the story and will air it shortly; news is already breaking on social media.
Your team gathers in the War Room. Your CEO tells you to develop crisis communications for all necessary stakeholders. This needs to get out ASAP.
TASK 1: Spend the next 15 minutes listing who you feel are the important stakeholders you need to reach out to.
TASK 2: Now that you’ve identified the people you need to contact, Use the Audience Analysis Worksheet for this step.
TASK 3: Now that you know to whom you want to communicate and you’ve thought about their needs and how this news will affect them, determine what form of communication you are going to use to reach out to them.
TASK 4: Keep in mind the type of communication you are writing (internal memo, external press release, letter, etc.). Format your document in the appropriate way.