“Why do some people succeed far more than others?” That’s the opening line on the book cover of Malcolm Gladwell’s new best seller “Outliers.” In it he writes about how a person needs a lot of things going his or her way to reach success. One of those things is having worked at something for 10,000 hours. In Gladwell’s opinion, this experience makes a person an expert. My associate at Placemaking Group, Irv Hamilton, is clearly an expert in Public Relations.
Halfway through this fascinating book about success, Gladwell then turns to the subject of how certain kinds of disaster can be cultural. And the example he uses is a situation in which Irv was completely involved!
Gladwell describes the Korean Air flight 801 crash at the Guam airport in 1997. His analysis of how the crash happened because of cultural reasons, the lack of communication between the captain and his first officer is fascinating. But I’m not going to get into that. (Read the book, it’s totally worth it!) No, I’m going to tell you about Crisis Communication, which is one of Irv’s specialties.
With each of our clients, he makes sure that they have a crisis communications plan, just in case. Give Irv the chance, and he’ll tell you very interesting stories about how not having a plan in place can lead to big trouble in times of disaster.
As Gladwell points out, this attention to detail was very lucky for Guam, who had been our client for many years at the time of the crash. And Irv made sure Guam had a crisis communication plan in place. So when that airline smashed into the side of the mountain, the airport knew whom to alert, including Irv Hamilton. From Alameda, an island in the San Francisco Bay, Irv handled the world-wide press about a crash on an island, in Micronesia. And the world knew, even though there was a horrible plane crash in Guam– that the airport was reopened immediately, and everyone else landing there was safe.
Irv’s written a White Paper on the subject. Click here and download it and then make sure you and your company have a crisis management plan in place!
Tags: Crisis Communication