Catalyst Communications

Regaining Control of a Mismanaged Media Interview

shutterstock_78102040-300x252Unfavorable media coverage of a malpractice suit – This situation was one in which the wheels were in motion before either legal or communication counsel was called in to help.  A major, prime time news magazine program had begun interviews and work on a story involving a man who was permanently disabled as a result of an error in the operating room. A misguided media relations person had replied to requests for interviews before fully vetting the nature of the request. The injury occurred six years prior to the story being aired and years after litigation was settled.

The solution

Mary Ann worked with the physician, his legal counsel, hospital legal and media relations staff and the physician’s management group to minimize the coverage by cooperating with the producers to redirect their premise by verifying facts, thus convincing the producer that the physician regretted what had happened and had settled the case to the patient’s satisfaction.

The outcome

We minimized negative coverage about the physician’s role in the incident. In fact, he was not interviewed, or named during the segment. The hospital received a great deal of negative coverage because their media relations staff attempted to stonewall the producer after the story development was in progress, resulting in the reporter seeking other ways to cover the story. Had we been involved upfront, Mary Ann believes we could have prevented the story from being developed and aired.

The lesson

Get expert counsel engaged as early in the process of an emerging issue as possible. Doing so often prevents the situation from escalating to a crisis level. Before a situation becomes a crisis, contact Mary Ann.

Catalyst Communications