IOL lecture on Crisis and Risk management for clubs and organisations report. 11 February 2014.
Overview of the day
• Accidents and crises
• Legal Perspective
• Effective Crisis communication
• Crisis communication plan
• Braking bad news
• Q & A
Who is affected in a crisis?
• Injured party
• Commercial patrons
Definition of an incident
“An event or chain of events which has caused or could cause injury. Illness/and or damage to others, the environment or third party” HSE.
If a crisis happens on a big scale there are more ramifications. Safeguarding needs to be paramount.
What is a crisis?
• Can be remote to your headquarters.
• Can involve water, RTA, missing persons, trespassing, violence.
• Incidents with fatality, not just injury.
• Criminal acts
• Building failure/environmental disaster/infrastructure
• Sexual assault
• Staff misconduct
• Disease/epidemic exposure i.e. foot and mouth.
• Natural disaster – floods etc
What are the stages of a crisis?
1. Warning – there may or may not be some kind of warning about the event.
2. Immediate response and risk assessment (first 6 hours). This time is defined by; no information, too much information, confusion, disorganisation, stress.
3. Organisational response – Management step in. Probably still internal at this stage. No press yet.
4. Management – Order and control as a plan is bought into action.
5. Resolution – Less of emergency, aftermath, investigation.
6. Recovery – Recovery can take a long time. In cases of bereavement/coroners court may take a year. Civil claims of negligence can be filed up to 3 years. All records need to be kept because of this.
If your organisation is involved in a crisis incident, there are many knock on affects. Often there is lack of preparation – get prepared! It can disrupt routines. To address and solve a crisis is often a resource heavy response and takes time. Clients and staff can become confused about what is going on. There can be involvement of external agencies for example the police if there is foul play or criminal negligence. In this instance the police are not your ‘friend’, they are there to investigate you!
Human impact of a crisis.
• Fear of consequences – potentially ending up in prison. Who is accountable in your organisation? Individuals, management or directors. Accountability may end up be settled in court.
Impact on an organisation.
Directly – usually costs £££££!! In insurance, court costs, fines, equipment damage, compensation.
Indirectly – Lost revenue, time wasted, staff morale can go down, reputation can be lost, your brand can be damaged, opportunities lost in the future. The long term impact and costs are usually hidden, but they are x11 more than immediate costs.
Positives on our side.
• Staff team work.
• Staff sense of professional duty.
• Outdoors staff will take ‘orders’
• Initiative taking, practical and resilient staff
• Trade associations are there for support and advice/legal support.
6 Principles of successful crisis management.
1. People first
• Genuine offers of support, actions.
• Keep people in role
• Look after affected people with; taxis, hotels etc. your org should shoulder these arrangements.
• Nominate a liaison person to speak to affected client group. Establish management communication quickly.
• You may need to be ‘in charge’.
• Support people who are in the front line.
• Trauma counselling for the victims.
• Proactive real offers of support proportional to the event.
2. Take responsibility – it’s on your watch!
3. Speed – Act decisively and quickly.
4. Decisions made on honest, legal and ethical grounds.
5. Be visible and available.
6. Strategic views – look at long view. How will it play out?
• Do a crisis management course.
• Have a crisis management plan.
Write your procedures
• Plan the procedures.
• Internal consultation – ask what can wrong in your organisation.
• Scenario workshop – play out likely outcomes.
• External consultation – check external sources for crisis plans.
• Draft for board of trustees to sign off.
• Print it out/ email it out to all members/workers/volunteers of your organisation.
A risk assessment approach model.
Incident – impact – response.
Write your crisis management plan.
Make this small and punchy, check lists, flow charts, keep it simple, keep it up to date review in your AGM, train staff in it , test it, make it people centred. *Having a plan helps you be effective in the ‘Golden Hour’!!*
It should consist of:
2. Who is the response team?
3. Generic responses.
4. Incident specific responses.
5. Communication plan.
6. Logistics – is your insurance plan in place? Have a contact list including; internal, external, and mobile, land and email.
7. How a log template ready to fill out as crisis happens.
Communication during the implementation of crisis management plan.
• Be prepared to deal with outside orgs 4 hour, 4 days, 4 months etc.
• Keep people centred. Put people first.
• Present yourself well to inspire confidence i.e. suit and tie.
• Chose a ‘face’ to head the communication with media/press.
• BEWARE your statement s will be edited or quoted out of context.
• Have a press release template ready.
• Who are the stakeholders in the incident? Determine the chain of communication.
• Only 1 person talks to the press. NO ONE else in your organisation is to say anything. It’s ok to say you have no comment to make.
10 tips for handling PR over an incident.
1. Get the facts straight so you are prepared.
2. The key message s are: 1. Care and control (for the customer), 2. Control (What are we doing?) 3. Commitment (lessons learned etc.).
3. Be proactive in managing the situation, consider using specialist PR staff.
4. Decide whether to alert the media.
5. Ensure the right level of sign off for communicating.
6. Monitor the news, set up a Google alert for your org and in social media.
7. Implement a press area. (at the scene and secondary at office)
8. Remember compassion and consideration for those affected. Saying sorry is not an admission of guilt.
9. Hold regular team meetings to keep team in the picture.
10. The truth and only the truth.
How to break bad news.
The police will notify you of a fatality, or it will be a Dr or nurse in a clinical setting.
1. Confirm the facts before involving Next of Kin. – Get the name right, have the right paperwork, phone the right relation, only an outline of the situation, consider who is with the relation, ask them where they are.
2. Prepare for likely questions – i.e. when can they see them, how bad is it – it’s ok to say you don’t know.
3. Make the call – think about where you are. Introduce yourself, confirm who you are speaking to, confirm why you are calling (script this), don’t talk to someone who is driving, give a warning shot ‘there’s been an accident’, offer a brief narrative, clear language/not just jargon, be empathetic to tone of voice, do NOT give false reassurances, agree next point of contact who when where and leave a phone number they can reach you at, personal number in extreme situations is ok. It’s also ok to have an answer phone on to field calls so you can prepare and ring back.
4. Later on – Contact your insurers, get advice on writing your report, don’t do it yourself!! It may go to court and your need to be under legal supervision. Don’t contact more families. If in doubt do nothing. Do collect and collate writing logs and picture from the crisis event. Get advice and support for all this stage to deal with the long term effects on your staff and organisation.