We were called in to calm a political and media storm when a killer food poisoning outbreak claimed the lives of 20 elderly people.

The health authority was at the centre of the media frenzy where it was being attacked by politicians of all parties for its handling of the outbreak. They urgently required crisis management support.



The health authority was handling the outbreak professionally but they had no media plan in place and no authorized and trained media spokespeople.

Doctors, environmental experts and health care professionals were giving off-the-cuff press comments to journalists and participating freely in media interviews.

We immediately ended the rash of ill-considered comments and ensured that only approved information was released to the media.

Within days the sterling work of the health authority in curtailing the spread of the outbreak was recognized by journalists and instead of being criticized, the health authority was upheld as an exemplar of how food poisoning outbreaks should be managed.