Transport operators work in a high-profile industry where safety is rightly seen as the overriding priority. Any accident is bound to come under intense public scrutiny. But because such incidents are rare, and happen without warning, the media response can be difficult to deal with.
All airlines and shipping companies have PR arrangements, but only the very largest will have the resources to cope with a full-scale emergency in house. Even they will be in unfamiliar territory. PR companies may be excellent at handling day-to-day publicity, but crisis management presents a different challenge. An accident could produce enquiries from news organisations all over the world. There is also a growing need to address the social media. Posts on sites like Twitter and Facebook can severely jeopardise a company’s reputation. But used well, these platforms can be a powerful tool in damage limitation.
Blake Emergency Services has considerable expertise in this area. Our international team includes experienced media professionals with a background in broadcast and newspapers, combined with a specialist knowledge of the aviation and wider transport industries. Following an incident, they can quickly be on hand to advise and assist with the media response. This might include arranging and attending news conferences, preparing company spokesmen for interviews, writing press releases, directly handling enquiries from journalists and maintaining a positive company presence online.
As in all aspects of emergency response, preparation is crucial. Our team provides training to key executives, showing what to expect if faced with a serious incident, and how best to manage the ensuing news coverage. This may include analysis of previous accidents and the media strategies which proved effective. We can also provide an opportunity to practice on-camera interviews with current broadcast journalists, working to prepared scenarios. This training is not generic. As no two clients are the same, each course is prepared with a specific operation in mind.