Managing the Reputational Fallout of a Care Home Closure
Byfield was referred to a charity client by a law firm to advise on the communications around the closure of a local care home, following a safety assessment. The charity was well known for protecting vulnerable people and it was concerned about how the news of the closure would be received by local residents and the media. The closure also involved redundancies and a number of those affected had contacted the local media to complain about the closure and the potential loss of their jobs.
Byfield created a communications strategy for the charity to engage with local residents, their families, the wide community and the media. Whilst the issue did involve the closure of an important public service that was relied upon, the valid safety reasons for its planned closure had been overlooked by the local media in favour of more salacious headlines. We advised the charity to engage with the local media and provided media training to key spokespeople. Alongside this, we conducted local town hall meetings with affected residents and staff. We also ensured that the good work the organisation continued to do in the local community was communicated with the press, and on social channels.
The charity had not dealt this kind of negative attention in its history and was unsettled by the enduring damage to its reputation the closure of the care home could cause. Byfield supported the charity throughout the process, acting as its press office and offering advice on how and when to engage with the media and other interested parties. Byfield ensured that more balanced reporting of the issue emerged over time and the charity was both guided and reassured by our counsel.