I presented a webinar yesterday on crisis communications as they relate to financial crises – layoffs, construction stoppages and the like. While the webinar was well attended and received, one question was asked again and again:
“Yes, we’re dealing with financial crises, but at the moment, I really need your thoughts on what we should be doing to communicate about swine flu”.
For hospitals, it’s important to understand the role that you play in the crisis at this stage.
- Put information on your home page – I know that home page screen real estate is precious, but this is one of those situations where it’s worth investing in.
- Be the trusted resource hub – you don’t need to be the source for all swine flu information, but as the trusted local resource, you should point health consumers to credible national information.
- The CDC has information and resources that you can share through your Web site.
- Google is tracking reported cases on Google Maps. We’ve talked in the past about Google’s efforts at tracking flu outbreaks, and this is a great example of what’s coming from that work.
- As a hospital or other healthcare provider – this is a great opportunity to build out your social networks. Using Twitter or Facebook? Start directing people in your community to connect with you through these channels as the ideal way to get information from your organization on the flu.
- Be the source of information for cases that may impact the communities that you serve. As you see cases in your state or local area, make sure that your consumers can get information on local disease progress.
- Provide best practices on preventing the spread of the flu and what to do if you have symptoms.
- Offer translation of, at least, the most important information if you serve a significant-sized non-english speaking population.