Sometimes we in this business think everyone gets the basics of crisis communications–like never hide from or turn your back on the media. But even substantial businesses, like Roberts Brothers, a prominent St. Louis real estate firm, clearly have not gotten the basics.
I suspect this video posted on a PR Daily report will serve many media trainers very well in making an important point. It’s hilarious–and sad. When an investigative reporter from a local TV station showed up at the company offices while following up on a complaint from a property owner about a dangerous tree, the receptionist hid under her desk for over 30 minutes instead of buzzing the reporter into the reception area. You see her pop up from under the desk every once in a while to see if the cameras are still there. Yep, they are, and still rolling.
The finally send someone out, He’s wearing a Security jacket (good move, send a Security guy out to talk to the press). He’s unbelievably unhelpful and rude, slamming the door on the reporter’s face (who remains calm and professional throughout). Then, perhaps getting some advice from a PR person probably also hiding under some desk, the security guy comes out with a changed attitude.
This story via crisis expert Chris Syme and Mr. Media Training Brad Phillips, will serve as a great training aid. Plus, it will provide encouragement to any in the media training business that, sadly, there is still much work to be done.