Having a nose for news can avert a crisis
Posted by: Alistair Clay | 08.06.15

 

Media crises are too often wrongly labelled as Black Swan type events.

“How could we have seen it coming?”, “this hit us like a bolt from the blue”, “we had absolutely no way of knowing we would be front page news” etc etc.

This is rarely the truth.

It’s a fact of life for the social care sector that it is now firmly in the cross hairs of the national media and as a provider it’s important to recognise that fact.

Having an appreciation of the broader news agenda, what makes a story/crisis newsworthy and themes that are of particular interest to the media can put you in control of any potential issues.

Of course as a quality care home provider you will be committed to delivering the best care for your residents and would never countenance ending up on the end of a negative headline.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t be swept along by a tidal wave of negative coverage affecting other homes.

This damaging content affects the whole sector and can colour people’s opinions of care homes in general.

Having an awareness of the issues that have made these stories newsworthy can ensure that you are ready with a clear position on the matter to deflect any criticism that may come your way.

Being fully news aware will also ensure that you always respond to your residents and wider stakeholders in a context that they understand and can relate to. They may have read troubling stories online, or in the press, and they want to feel reassured that they are not, nor ever could be, affected in such a negative way.

To ignore the negative news agenda, pretend it isn’t there or to hope it will leave you alone is not a wise strategy.

Arm yourself with as much awareness of mainstream social care news as you can and you will be much better placed to confront any negative perceptions that may come your way.