Wed 25 Jul 2012
The Colorado massacre is one of the most horrific shootings our nation has seen — with so many innocent lives lost. It’s hard for anyone to see this as anything other than a tragedy for the victims’ families, friends and the nation. But is also a full-fledged crisis for the movie theater and the Batman enterprise. The murders in Colorado may forever be known as the “Batman Murders”, the “Dark Knight Murders” or the “Theater Tragedy”, a terrible brand for a business.
A crisis of this magnitude is extremely difficult to overcome and the theater will most likely be facing lawsuits in the upcoming months aside from all the negative images in the public’s mind. It’s the type of terrible event that could force the theater to close its doors permanently despite rebranding efforts.
But crises happen. In public relations, crisis communications teaches professionals to anticipate disasters and to plan their strategy and response in advance.
To help prepare:
- Your company should have a crisis communications plan to fall back onto as a guide when a crisis strikes.
- Determine who will be best to respond to the crisis, a spokesman or a top official. You’ll need team members who are good public speakers and can think quickly. Who will respond on a continuing basis as developments and questions arise?
- Be sure that the company is open to any assistance possible and goes beyond basics to be supportive. Look at what longer term help the company can offer.
Having a communications plan may not prevent a crisis but it’s essential in helping a company put on the best face possible and prevent a business disaster.