Issues Management: Developing a Preparedness Strategy
the client challenge
A charitable patient assistance organization operates in a highly regulated space that is occasionally scrutinized by national news media. The organization sought to develop a proactive issues management plan including a suite of issues preparedness materials to allow them to quickly and strategically respond if contacted by reporters.
-We begin our engagement with a 1.5-day workshop to get grounded in what the organization stands for, how they operate, and the precautions they take to ensure OIG compliance. We discussed organizational goals, objectives, and operations, mapped stakeholders, defined risk categories, and got up to speed on existing issues-related tools and materials gaps.
-We discovered that the organization lacked foundational communications materials; therefore, we began by creating a core narrative for the organization, focused on their commitment to patients and differentiators. We additionally created a master message hierarchy and message track.
-Once the story was clearly defined, we developed issues response messaging aligned with the various risk areas identified in the workshop; we additionally made recommendations about potential actions that could mitigate risk or stakeholder perceptions of issues.
-We deployed the following messaging and issues preparedness materials to the executive team:
– Slides summarizing the external environment and areas of risk, the core narrative, message themes, boiler plate, elevator speech, and results of the stakeholder mapping
– A messaging toolkit containing the core message pyramid, message map, core narrative, elevator speech, boiler plate, glossary of terms and Q&A, including responses to tough questions that the company might be asked in a time of scrutiny
-We conducted a message training, including mock interviews with video recording, to ensure executive comfort in responding to tough questions, concisely and on message.
The executive team was confident in their preparedness for issues and ability to present themselves consistently to the public in a way that emphasized their rigorous approach to compliance and foremost commitment to patients.