Use your completed Stages of Effective Message Creation Form AND the Tips for Writing to Your Stakeholder document to write your first draft of your stakeholder communication.
- You have no more information than what you already know about what has transpired (based on the scenario presented to you in Part 1 of this exercise).
- You need to communicate with your stakeholder as soon as possible because if QuantaCare waits to communicate, the likelihood of rumors and false information being disseminated over social media and in the news increases.
- You want to exude credibility. You want your audience to trust that you are working earnestly to understand more about the cause and scope of this situation.
- You can’t make any promises that this will never happen again. You can’t use the word “guarantee” because your corporate attorneys will not let you open the company up to any future lawsuits. Your corporate attorneys will also not let you reach out to the patient or his family at this time due to potential lawsuits.
- Consider what you do know at this time.
- Consider what your audience needs to know at this time. What are their unique concerns? Do they need to know all the details or just some?
- Consider how you intend to update your audience when more information becomes available.
- Refer to the tips document associated with your stakeholder for help with writing your draft. To help you with your first draft, refer to the tips document associated with stakeholder to whom you are writing:
Email to Pharmacies:
The following are some considerations as you prepare to write your communication:
- You have very little information. You don’t even know how this happened yet. You need to launch a thorough investigation to learn the cause and scope of the issue. Until then:
- Should you apologize? Not at this time. Why? You don’t know anything about this yet and apologizing too early can show culpability and leave you open to lawsuits. Depending on the nature of the cause of this, you may or may not need to apologize in the future. For this communication, you only need to show that you are committed to learning more (you consider this a serious matter and will employ all of your resources to gain more information.
- Can you guarantee or promise this will never happen again? No. Your corporate attorneys will not let. Guarantees or promises can be binding and open your company up to future litigation.
- This audience cares about their customers … pharmacists often form close relationships with their regular customers, and people rely on pharmacists for information about their medications.
The following are suggestions on how to organize your paragraphs and message.
Subject Line: (Specific, but not alarmist)
First paragraph needs to use the journalistic approach: who, what, where, when, why, etc. Try to be concise but make your sentences contain the necessary details. Example: “As you may have already heard….”
Next paragraph: What are you doing?
- Are you launching an investigation?
- What are you doing internally?
- Sample “business” terms here could be:
- Rigorous investigation
- Exhausting all internal and external resources
- To uncover the cause and scope of the issue
Next paragraph: What are you recommending they do?
- Stop filling BreatheEZ prescriptions until you can ensure it’s safe?
- Suggest their customers see their physicians for information and a new prescription for an alternate product.
- Did you set up a customer service line for BreatheEZ users, the number to which the pharmacists can provide?
- What if they, themselves, have questions? Is there a special hotline you set up just for medical professionals and pharmacists?
- Thank them for their patience and support in helping to ensure all patients have the medications they need to stay healthy.
- Tell them when and/or how you will keep them updated.
Chief Executive Officer