I know, I know that 2012 now seems like ages ago and most occurrences during that year have now become a thing of the past. It might not even seem timely to talk about something that happened almost three years back. What will continue to stick out for me from 2012 is The New York City Marathon.
The thing that captured my interest was how against all logic and reasoning the marathon was kept right on schedule. Super storm Sandy had hit the area just six days prior to the event and yet it did not prompt an immediate cancellation of the race.
I absolutely acknowledge the fact that the stakes are high with events of such magnitude, so they cannot be cancelled right off the bat. The cost-benefit analysis was poorly done by Mayor Bloomberg and NYRR in this situation. In the end, sponsors did lose money, local businesses lost sales and charities didn’t receive the support they anticipated. Most importantly, they also lost face which could’ve been easily avoided.
So venturing into the field of PR, what have I learned from this case?
Here are some of the lessons that I’ll always carry with me:
- Disjointed communications does no good to anyone. In times of crisis, we need to be more communicative and more organized.
- It’s imperative to constantly communicate with the audiences through social media and other traditional means. We should not wait to say something until we know what to share.
- Nothing at all (not even the New York City Marathon) can be put ahead of real life. Insensitivity in times of crisis does more harm than good.
- No matter how bad the crisis may seem but there’s always a chance for saving face, as long as public statements are made in a timely manner.