Expect the Unexpected: Firsthand Lessons from Health Care Public Relations Professionals Who Lived (and Worked) Through a Crisis
// By Paul Wood //
What if your hospital is suddenly the center of national media attention for all the wrong reasons? What if a catastrophic event occurs and you must respond immediately? Do you know what to do? Do you have a crisis communications plan in place?
In this article, Paul Wood, vice president and chief communications officer at UPMC, shares his firsthand account of a shooting at one of the organization’s facilities, an event that prompted UPMC to take a leadership role in crisis communications, hosting an event that he recaps here. “With the growing frequency of these catastrophic events, we saw the need to gather communicators together to share best practices,” Wood says.
UPMC and the Center for Connected Medicine convened the one-day summit in August, inviting communications professionals involved with recent high-profile incidents — Charlottesville demonstrations, Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombing, mass shootings at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay, and others — to share their perspectives and what they learned.