Maintaining Trust in a Crisis
A local nonprofit board member committed a serious crime that shook the community. While the nonprofit was not aware of the crime and the board member was not under the organization’s jurisdiction, it still received an onslaught of inquiries from well-respected local, national and international media outlets. Moreover, a portion of the nonprofit’s client base had been victimized by the board member and needed reassurance.
Chesapeake was retained to begin the process of healing in the community, maintain the nonprofit’s position of trust and keep press coverage to a minimum. We worked with leadership to create messaging that expressed great sympathy and compassion for the victims, and described the organization’s actions going forward. This information was posted prominently on their website and distributed via email to their constituency.
Chesapeake became the point of contact for all media inquiries and facilitated all communications. Given the highly charged nature of the situation and to protect our client from surprise questions from persistent reporters, we limited our responses to written statements.
Chesapeake’s work kept the organization out of the media spotlight. And due to the nonprofit’s timely and genuine communications with stakeholders, their position of trust in the community was actually enhanced.