While we can’t go into details, the situation involved a serious violent crime on the site of the company’s family visitor attraction. The police had made arrests and certain people involved were threatening action to maximise the public attention the situation would attract.

What we did

We went to the site straight away and worked with the General Manager to get up to speed on the situation and pin-point the risks it posed as swiftly as possible.

The incident clearly had the potential to cause serious long-term reputational harm to the business, which is wholly dependent on being trusted to operate a safe, welcoming, family-friendly attraction.

The reputational danger was all the more acute because the operation had recently suffered a serious, unrelated safety incident which had resulted in huge negative publicity, a formal inquest, legal action and heavy pay-outs. A further incident would inevitably rake up the past from which the company had hoped to have moved on.

We defined a clear message to explain the new incident, reassure customers there was no risk of harm to them and emphasise that public safety was the company’s top priority.

We drafted customer and media statements based on this message and advised the company on a suitable media strategy.

We set up a team which could swing into action as needed if the situation should escalate. And we conducted role play exercises with the management team to practise managing scenarios of how the situation could play out.

The results

In a short space of time, the company went from a sense of panic that the situation could escalate and ruin its reputation to feeling back in control and prepared to handle the fall-out.

Overall, we helped the company contain the incident and protect its reputation to a far greater extent than it had thought possible when it first broke.


See more on our crisis communications services.