Archive for April 2009

Crisis Blog 7: 10 Year Columbine Shooting Anniversary

April 21, 2009

On April 20, 1999 two gunmen entered Columbine High School in Colorado with full intentions on killing fellow classmates and teachers. The two men, Eric and Dylan, killed thirteen individuals and then they both committed suicide. This was a tragic day in our history and everyone can remember what they were doing and how they felt on this day. Now, ten years later it is the anniversary of this shooting. From many people on the outside, it may feel as though time has flown by but for the family and friends directly affected by this day, I am sure time has drug by.

Anniversaries are a very important aspect of public relations. If you are skilled and react quick enough to survive the actual crisis, you have to maintain your crisis management skills to get passed the anniversaries that come up every single year. There have been many different events and vigils that have take place on each anniversary of the Columbine shooting. This lets families, friends and the public pay their respects to the people who lost their lives this day.

Many people are wondering what has happended in 10 years to help prevent something like this ever happening again. Every school should have their own Crisis Communication Plan (CCP) to help aid then if a crisis takes places. There was a difference added to Columbine’s CCP after the shooting. There is an emergency box for administrators which now includes: an updated roster of staff and students, blue prints of the school and additional cell phones.

There were also many changes made within the district which included: school and district emergency management plans were implemented, mental health crisis responders were put into place, community crisis response teams were designated, an incident command system was set up and a student risk assessment process was created. All of these things are helping Columbine be more prepared in the event of a crisis.

From a public relations standpoint, make sure you understand that the media will approach your company on the anniversaries of crisis and you should refer to your CCP for suggestions on topics to discuss as well as express your sympathy to individuals that were affected.


Crisis Blog 6: Domino’s Pizza

April 21, 2009

Two individuals that worked at a Domino’s Pizza in North Carolina made a video with them both doing disgusting things to the Domino’s food that they were allegedly going to serve. However, they claim that this food was not served to actual customers. Both individuals are facing criminal charges for this act. There are many different videos that have been placed all over the internet of them doing these acts to the food at Domino’s but most of them are being taken down. There is a news broadcast that discusses both of the participants involved and what happened on this video they made.

Why does this involve public relations? How would you handle this if you were a public relations professional working for Domino’s Pizza?

This is a major issue that public relations professionals face everyday because the brand of the company that they work for is just as important as the company. This video surfaced on the internet with numerous Domino’s customers being able to view it. This is going to hurt the reputation of the company as well as drastically affect the sales.

This is what Patrick Doyle, President of Domino’s Pizza had to say in response to the situation.

Within his statement Doyle does say that the store was shut down and sanitized. This is something that showed the public that he was aware of the problem and also taking the appropriate actions in order to make sure this store was clean. He also discuss how they are going to reevaluate how they hire new employees so individuals like these will not be allowed on the Domino’s Team. When Doyle says, “It sickens me that the actions of two individuals could impact our great system”. I believe this statement to the public was effective and reassure individuals that were bothered by this incident. Doyle was honest, informative, and motivated the correct the problem that took place in North Carolina at a local Domino’s Pizza.

Crisis Blog 5: American Civic Association Shooting

April 6, 2009

On Friday, April 3, 2009 a gunman killed 13 people and wounded 4 in the American Civic Association located in New York before committing suicide.  The American Civic Association helps individuals seek citizenship. This is said to be the 5th deadliest shooting in the United States in the last month. What are the causes and motives of these shootings? Is it the downfall of our economy in the United States or is it completely unrelated and just personal issues with the shooters? With such a tragic event, this type of event should be handled with sympathy.

From a public relations standpoint, if you are the PR professional that works for The American Civic Association and you are entitled to release a statement regarding this shooting at your company location do you know what to say to the public? To express sympathy and help ensure citizens that this won’t happen again? To show individuals that your company is a safe place to be? These are all things that need to be thought about if you are the person in the position to handle such a crisis. Your company should be prepared to handle something like this and to have an updated crisis communication plan (CCP). This will help when a crisis takes place because you can reference it at a time of crisis and the plan will include all necessary components to handling specific crises. These are several components that should be in your CCP including:

-Make sure CCP is updated every 6 months

-Crisis Policy

-Organizational Structure: crisis teams,  individual responsibilities

-Notifications: phone tree, order of contact



-Drills and programs

-Letters of agreement

-First-Response Issues

-Back up response team


-Quarterly crisis team meetings: to update plan, prepare for anniversaries and identify prodromes

Having this time of detailed and up to date crisis plan could really help you if your company is ever put into a crisis situation similar to the shootings at The American Civic Association. You can just pull out the CCP and procedure from there to tackle the crisis situation thoroughly and responsibly.

10 Things I Never Knew About The Eagle Print Shop

April 1, 2009

This is what I learned from going to The Eagle Print Shop:

1- Print newsletters on 11 x 17, 80 lb glossy text paper

2- Save your documents as a PDF file

3- If you know where you have stuff on your jump drive, your experience at Eagle Print Shop will be easier!

4- Link all of your pictures!!

5- If you need to get in contact with Eagle Print Shop e-mail them at :

6- Having personal contacts with individuals at the print shop WILL help you in the future!

7- CMYK: cyan, magenta, yellow and black; RGB: red, green and blue

8- To print the newsletter it will be 89 cents for each copy

9- Eagle Print Shop uses acid free paper

10- Eagle Print Shop uses paper that is 30% – 50% recycled