Takes over for FDA to ensure info is right where the public is looking
The recent rash of meningitis infections, now known to be linked to contaminated steroid injections, should have fallen under the realm of the FDA – after all, the infections are not the result of an outbreak, but rather the result of a company issuing an (allegedly) improperly mixed or stored drug. However, someone at the FDA realized that they just weren’t equipped for the type of communication-heavy crisis management that’s needed in this type of situation, and that’s where the CDC came in.
Already having set a precedent as a “go to” source of information with its excellent crisis management and crisis communication for a whole string of outbreaks, including West Nile, Hantavirus, and a long list of food recalls, the CDC clearly had the framework in place to handle the situation, and handle it they did.
If you’re looking for a premier example of using the ‘net for crisis management, look no further. The level and sheer volume of information available on the CDC website is extremely impressive. Where most companies put up a simple blog post, if anything, to explain a crisis and what’s being done about it, the CDC has current updates, case maps, links for doctors, links for patients, and links for people who just want to know if they could be at risk. If that’s not enough, they’ve got a clearly listed (and yes, actually attended) phone and email for the public to ask questions.
In situations like this the very best thing you can do is make sure that everyone involved has the most information possible, and the CDC’s accomplished that and then some. While the meningitis situation isn’t under wraps, thanks to the outstanding crisis management work by the CDC the public is more aware, and more protected, than ever before.
The BCM Blogging Team