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Public Relations

Crisis Management

SeaWorld Accident Leads to PR Crisis

A crisis can happen in an instant.

On February 24, 2010 people were horrified when a terrible accident happened at SeaWorld.

The “Orlando Business Journal” reported,

“The fatal killer whale attack at SeaWorld Orlando on Wednesday now leaves the marine life theme park to deal with a big public relations nightmare.”

Accidents happen—Is your firm ready for them?

As human beings we my not accept the fact that unexpected things happen. In our personal lives, we manage our risks by taking good care of our physical selves, purchasing insurance for our health, our homes, our cars and our high value items. We even undertake financial planning.

When it comes to your business do you pro-actively manage your risks? If we are prudent we have a line of credit to help even out cash flow issues. We may have a team who offers redundant support so that if one person is out, another can pick up the pieces and continue the work flow. We may even have liability insurance.

Risk management begins before the accident

Do you have risk management or crisis management plans in place for your business? If you are a restaurant owner, do you know how you’d react if a patron contracted serious food poisoning and your restaurant was the source? If you are a limousine driver and one of your vehicles was involved in an unfortunate accident, how would you respond? Or if you had an employee who embezzled money from you; how would you mitigate the public’s perception that you should have been more knowledgeable about what was happening in your business?

As the people at Sea World have learned, tragic things happen to businesses. How you respond to the crisis can dictate how you will survive the consequences of the tragedy. Even if the negative event is not a life-ending, how will you mitigate or respond to the public’s perceptions of your firm?

Professional consultants bring perspective

Professional public relations practitioners are skilled in analyzing the types of situations you may encounter and helping you create an outline of how you will respond. Don’t wait until you have a tragedy to plan your response. Outline your response now so you won’t have to guess at your reactions; you will instead be prepared.

Photo credit: flickr creative commons user brittreints

If your business or firm is facing a crisis, contact us at 843-628-6434 for consultation and assistance. If you would like to have us perform a crisis audit for your firm so you are prepared in advance, we welcome your call.

2 thoughts on “Crisis Management

  1. The most basic “emergency plan” is to know WHO to contact and HOW to reach them. Shouting and looking up phone numbers in a crisis is not good planning.

    Been there. Once.

    1. Chuck, you have our sympathies! Being in the midst of a crisis is no fun. No one wants one, hopes for one or relishes being in the thick of it. You’re so right about having a plan.

      We recommend that organizations have a crisis team and that the crisis team have an assessment process every 6 months to evaluate any threats and be sure they are ready to manage in a time of crisis.

      If the trustees at Penn State had been more careful, more deliberate and more involved, they might have helped begin the recovery much sooner.

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