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DePaul PRSSA Crisis Exercise

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Presentation and exercise on message development during a crisis situation, given at the DePaul PRSSA "Get in the Loop" conference in Chicago on February 12, 2010.

Text of DePaul PRSSA Crisis Exercise

  • 1. Communicating During a Crisis February 12, 2010

2. February 16, 2010 Introductions

  • Josh Morton , Account Supervisor
    • t@joshmorton
    • [email_address]

A food & nutrition company. 3. Todays agenda:

  • Review preliminary concepts
  • Introduce the scenario
  • Formulate responses
  • Share strategies
  • Discussion

4. In a crisis You can respond using any number of media, but its important to step back before you jump in. 5. What are the most important factors in crisis response? - Speed - Intelligence-Messaging Its not the medium, its the message. 6. You cant control your message, but youcancontrol what you say.And how you say it, when you say it, can influence the conversation about you. 7.

  • Define your stakeholders
    • Consumers, suppliers, government,
  • Anticipate questions
    • Informational, challenging
  • Develop answers
    • Ease concern, show compassion, give guidance

Principles of Messaging 8. Your Role:Communications Director John Cowboy Beef

  • Established 1910
  • Family-owned
  • Fifth largest beef company in the U.S.
  • Supply to high-end steakhouses
  • Premium line of ground beef, frozen burgers
  • Flawless record of safety

JOHN COWBOY BEEF 9. You The Scenario: vs. E. coli 10.

  • The CDC and USDAs Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) are investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7
  • Investigators have found 20 people ill with matching strains of E. coli, most had consumed or handled ground beef from two restaurants supplied by John Cowboy Beef
  • USDA is requesting JCB issue a Class I recall of 200,000 lbs of ground beef (Class I is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death)

The Scenario:Multi-State Outbreak of E. coli 11.

  • Cases identified in Illinois, Indiana, New York and Connecticut
  • JCB has received 50 calls in the past week from worried restaurant managers in 7 states (including the four under federal investigation)
  • No deaths have been identified thus far

The Scenario:Multi-State Outbreak of E. coli 12. E. Coli O157:H7

  • Outbreaks often are caused by food that has the bacteria in it, typically from animal manure (cattle)
  • Every year at least 2,000 Americans are hospitalized, and about 60 die as a direct result of E. coli infections
  • A recent study estimated the annual cost of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses to be more than $405 million
  • E. colican be spread by eating undercooked meat and poor hand washing
  • Symptoms are typically easy to see

13. Health Tips:E. coli - Listen to information from public health officials on what foods to avoid - Cook ground beef to 160 degrees - Keep raw meat away from other foods - Wash your hands! 14. Time to write the messaging. 15.

  • Who are our stakeholders?
    • Consumers
    • Restaurants
    • Government (USDA/CDC)
    • Employees
    • Media

Identify Your Audience 16. Anticipate Questions

  • Informative:
    • What should restaurants do?
    • How did this happen?
  • Challenging:
    • What are you doing to solve the problem?
    • What are your safety/sanitation practices like?
    • When did you know about the contamination?

17. Develop Answers:Key Messages &Message Mapping Focus on Consumers/Media 18. Develop Your Messaging

  • Consumers/Media
  • Government Agencies
  • Restaurants

19. Develop Answers:Key Messages &Message Mapping Focus on Consumers/Media 20. Now, how will we communicate and where? 21. Discussion 22. February 16, 2010 Thank You!

  • Josh Morton
    • t@joshmorton
    • [email_address]

A food & nutrition company.